THE excellent Agenda article by Suki Wan, the chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, illustrates how important is for us all to listen to the voices of our children and young people ("Time for our MSPs to stop children being hit", The Herald, May 10). She asked us to note that the Youth Parliament's Lead the way Manifesto, attracted 72,744 children and young people between 12-25 to express their views, with 82 per cent agreeing that "all physical assault against children should be illegal”. Only six per cent of those surveyed disagreed with this and 12 per cent abstained.

We should be so proud that we in Scotland have for many years now had our own Youth Parliament which is represented by young people from every council area in Scotland. They are consulted by our MSPs on all matters concerning the lives of children and young people. Their voice is so important because unlike so many of us adults, they are young, they have very little vested interests, they bring to the table now and very imaginative ideas and solutions to so many things that we have failed to address for decades.

Recent examples of the power of the voice of the young have included Malala Yousafzia campaigning for education for girls in nations across the world that deny girls this right and Greta Thunberg, who at 16 has challenged political parties, to take seriously the urgency of addressing the damage we are all doing to our environment.

I am proud to be one of the youth workers who supported young people for decades to create a way to have their voices listened to by helping them to create the Scottish Youth Parliament. When we compare the positivity of harnessing that energy against the response of President Trump ignoring the pleas of children and young people who have challenged him to change the gun laws, we should be proud of what progress we have made, and do all we can to support it.

When we learn to listen to our children and young people, we will realise, that they are like mirrors, reflecting back to us what we have done to them.

Max Cruickshank,

Glasgow G12.

Test the council

IN the interest of fairness and as an exemplar, I assume that those councils who intend to introduce drug and alcohol testing for school staff ("Teachers hit over new tests for alcohol and drug use", The Herald, May 10) will in tandem implement the same mandatory test for elected representatives and other council employees voting at meetings and determining policies that impact on the whole community.

We then would know for certain whether some are crackpots or simply acting under the influence of crack or pot.

David J Crawford,

Glasgow G12.

Save the trees

CAN I make a serious plea to Glasgow City Council to stop the ill-thought-out policy of cutting down trees on pavements all around the city? The city's nickname is the Dear Green Place. Please, let's keep it that way.

They cut down trees and in most cases do not remove the stump, which is a hazard for visually-impaired people. This unfortunately happened to my 99-year-old brother. These stumps should be removed and replaced with saplings.

It seems to me that the more trees we have, with their cleansing effect on the polluted air we breathe, the better it is for the planet.

I would also wish for it to be made easier for the department responsible to get preservation orders on healthy trees in all situations in Glasgow. This would make it easier to stop people with private gardens cutting down beautiful, healthy trees to save them the bother of sweeping up the leaves in the autumn.

Colin Mackellor,

Glasgow G14.