I WONDER when the Scottish Government intends to widely publicise the impending changes to the law in respect of new fire regulations which will be required within all Scottish homes. These new laws are being implemented because of the Grenfell fire in London in 2017, according to the Scottish Government website, and whilst they come into effect from next month, having been delayed one year due to Covid, there does not appear to be an end date for compliance.

These new regulations require a heat alarm to be fitted to the ceiling in the kitchen and smoke detectors to be located in all hallways and main living rooms. They require to be interlinked by either hard wiring or wireless connectivity. In addition, non-interlinked carbon dioxide monitors are required adjacent to gas boilers and any other gas installations within the home. The average cost of this work on a DIY basis is £220, more if installed professionally.

Whilst these new rules are indeed commendable, it does appear that they demonstrate little or no regard to the pending cost of living crisis. Home owners are expected to self-fund the work required and details of financial help for the elderly and infirm are patchy, to say the least. I am a pensioner and live in a bungalow with three exit routes and existing linked smoke alarms, however I am still obliged to comply with this new law and install completely new equipment. Furthermore, there appears to be an assumption that the general population is alive to the pending changes and it is also unclear whether non-compliance nullifies home insurance.

A campaign of awareness should be made with clear and transparent messaging relating to all the implications of these changes either by press advertising, leaflet drops or regular television broadcasts. Currently the message is being communicated either by word of mouth or via contractor’s advertising, which is just not good enough.

Christopher H Jones, Giffnock.


IT was good to see Iain Macwhirter describing “real” inflation as being that measured by the Retail Prices Index ("Bring your own booze to Johnson’s farewell party", The Herald, January 12). The new Consumer Prices Index measure devised by the Office of National Statistics had to be quickly augmented to the CPIH to include housing prices. It is disappointing to see the monthly press releases always promote the first two so strongly to the detriment of the RPI. The next monthly statistical release is due on January 19.

The ONS tells us that “the RPI does not meet the required standard for designation as a National Statistic”. It admits that “it is widely used in contracts”. Too true, and these still include many wages and benefits agreements. As Mr Macwhirter implies, people feel that it is RPI that more closely reflects reality. Seven per cent is a lot more than five per cent. It matters in so many ways. The RPI figures should be more accessible, especially at this difficult time.

R J Ardern, Inverness.


A STATE of emergency has been declared in Kazakhstan amid violent protests over soaring gas prices. France is allowing electricity producers to burn more coal over possible power shortages. Millions of British families will have to choose between eating and heating as they face huge energy bills increases this year. Already around four million homes in the UK are classed as fuel-poor and this could rise to six million.

The cleverly-concealed 15 per cent green taxes plus VAT of five per cent on gas and electric bills, totalling £10 billion a year, must be cancelled. Those earning over £100,000 should be taxed at 60% not 40/45% and the extra put into a fuel poverty fund. This ineffectual Government must find ways of curbing escalating energy bills.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.


CAN Dennis Canavan (Letters, January 12) explain the difference between ending someone's life when it becomes evident that they are not going to recover, but in no pain, and assisting someone to a pain-free end when it is evident that they are not going to recover and in excruciating pain?

Iain McIntyre, Sauchie.


WHILE England's new agriculture policy is to create parklands and wetlands and to rewild vast areas, where is the nation’s food to come from?

There are loads of woodlands and public country parks all over the British Isles within reach of our towns and cities.

Scotland no doubt will have similar plans in mind.

With an ever-increasing population we need to think long and hard before making irreversible plans for our countryside.

Sheila Kerr, Newton Mearns.


WILL Abellio ScotRail please explain why closing ticket offices will “deliver a better level of service” (“ScotRail under fire over ticket office cuts”, The Herald, January 12)?

Gordon Casely, Crathes.


I AGREE with Alan Simpson that joke-telling is an art form and some are considerably better at it than most of us ("The woke BBC is no longer a laughing matter", The Herald, January 13 ).

Although I like to think, discounting wokeness, that some of my nearest and dearest choose perversely to laugh at mine when I’m not looking.

I suspect they think that’s funny.

R Russell Smith, Largs.


I WAS a wee bit sad that Ian W Thomson (Letters, January 13) seemed to enjoy people booing Muhammad Ali and sending him home to think again. Not exactly a positive take on Paisley.

My own favourite story of Ali’s visit has been told on numerous occasions by our own Wee Willie Henderson.

Willie was invited to a PR event with Ali, due to his keen interest in boxing, quite apart from his fame as a footballer.

Anyhoo, when Willie was introduced to Ali, not knowing anything about “soccer” Ali asked Willie what he did for a living. Willie proudly announced he was a footballer for Rangers and Scotland. Ali looked down on Willie’s broken nose and said: “Gee, Willie, when I look at your face I’m glad I stuck to the boxing.”

John Gilligan, Ayr.