I AM certain that everyone will be glad that the implementation of changes to the fire and smoke alarm regulations has been delayed for a year after I (Letters, October 13) and others were able to draw attention to the problems the legislation would bring.

There is little doubt that this act was well intentioned and necessary as it affects every property in the country. However, it is surprising that Holyrood failed to fully consider the implication of this Act and the failure to start adequate publicity without realising what it entailed and considering the time needed to fully implement the requirements of this act.

My house insurance company has stated that it will not be requisite to have this implemented when renewing the policy but point out that it is my duty to have a duty of care to meet any legal requirements.

This legislation should be highlighted on purchasing new insurance policy renewal as this is so important. One should appreciate that it would be necessary when selling, buying or renting any property.

Hopefully, the Citizens' Assembly would be asked to comment on any proposed legislation affecting every person in the country before it is put to the vote. I do appreciate that it is easier to see flaws in any proposed bill rather than actually doing the donkey work. However public money could be saved if this assembly of people from all walks of life were to be involved.

After all, the Citizens' Advice Bureau and other voluntary organisations have to sort out many problems caused by poor legislation. This would save money for the Government and these organisations could be used more constructively in other areas.

Ian Turner, Bearsden.

ANY death caused by fire is to be regretted. It is a terrible thing. But the Scottish Government's new law on smoke alarms, inflicting costs on every household in the country, seems an inappropriate response.

The 2018/19 fire fatalities report from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service records 44 deaths, of which 35 were in dwelling houses and five were in caravans and mobile homes. The SFRS reports that 50 per cent of fatalities were caused by "smoking-related actions".

So, rather than blanket coverage the Government should surely be targeting those people most at risk, by educating those who smoke that they are in more danger than those who don't and focusing on the installation of smoke alarms in caravans and mobile homes, which are disproportionately dangerous.

Fire is a killer. What happened at Grenfell Tower three years ago was an unspeakable tragedy. But let's take a measured response which properly examines the dangers, rather than this poorly considered action.

Stewart J Brown, Largs.


COPYING Mark Bratchpiece's funny take on lockdown version of Bing Crosby's White Christmas (Letters, October 23) may I have a go at the 12 Days seasonal song with:

“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me Alan Partridge on the TV then:

Two biologically-engineered flying tortoises;

Three No-Deal Brexit forbiddingly expensive French chickens'

Four parrots;

Five 10-carat black market fakes;

Six unchlorinated geese for an alternative traditional Christmas dinner;

Seven swans coping as best they can among all that waste plastic;

Eight female farm servants ensuring organic food production;

Nine ladies Strictly speaking as per gender-conscious Saturday night BBC;

10 Lords leaping mad because no mention of them sharing Commons MPs' pay hike;

11 pipers in virtual lockdown Hogmanay performance and missing a band member whose laptop stopped working, and

12 drummers subsequently jailed on two counts of, 1: anti-social behaviour, and 2: illegal gathering during lockdown.”

I do advise that attempting to sing this song is ... inadvisable.

Ian Johnstone, Peterhead.


PRETTY as the Queen's flower-petalled hat is in the photo of her opening the Glasgow Airport, it is the little parked car that looks like a "Traveller" that caught my eye ("Those were the days: The Queen opens Glasgow Airport, 1966", The Herald, October 21).

In 1964 my little family travelled north in a Ford Cortina and stayed for six months in Barrow-in-Furness and then travelled back south in a Morris Minor Traveller. Having loaded the cot, the pram and the baby-bath, boxes of books and the kettle inside the wee car and somehow stuffed the two children into the remaining spaces, we loaded the suitcases onto the roof-rack. Leaving the M6 and then the East Lancs Road not too far from home, we were horrified when, on a sharp bend, the suitcases departed from the rack and landed in the road. It was soon sorted by my clever husband, who rather spoiled his heroic effort when he said that it might have been better if we had put the cases inside the car at first, and tied the children to the roof-rack. I fell a bit out of love with him – for about an hour. They hadn't been very noisy.

I have to say many thanks to Russell Leadbetter and other members of The Herald staff who keep us informed and entertained with these selections from The Herald Picture Store. They do brighten the day.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.