IN his Agenda article on Housing First ("Why Housing First really matters for Scotland", The Herald, May 21) Callum Chomczuk rightly makes the case for adopting a new approach to those most affected by the homelessness crisis.

As a partnership between the voluntary sector, housing professionals and the Scottish Government, there is a real opportunity for new ideas and new resources needed to make them a success.

However, I share Mr Chomczuk’s anxiety that recent cuts to local authority homelessness services do not align with this new approach. At Shelter Scotland, we support the development of the Housing First model for those most at risk. We must, however, keep our aspirations for a new solution in check against the growing scale of Scotland’s housing emergency.

With thousands more, including children, not able to benefit from the Housing First programme we must not be distracted from ensuring councils continue to work to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place. At the very least we must maintain investment in prevention whilst new opportunities like Housing First are allowed to mature and develop. Cuts to services and the failure to build the homes we actually need will only make an already bad situation worse.

Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland,

Edinburgh EH2.

Poll is insignificant

SO the Greens are welcoming huge support for the workplace tax proposal ("Almost three in five back new parking tax in Holyrood poll", The Herald, May 22). Less than .05 per cent of the population gave their support in the consultation, indeed less than one per cent even bothered to respond.

It is not huge support and it’s time these consultations were not even reported if a majority of the population do not respond.

The Greens' claim is as ludicrous as Nigel Farage saying the majority of the UK population want to leave the EU.

William Eadie, Giffnock.

Another one down

MY admiration for cruciverbalists knows no bounds, and good luck to all The Herald’s Wee Stinkers out there, but if there is such a condition as Herald Crossword Dyslexia (HCD), then I've got it ( Letters, May 21 & 22).

Not only am I stumped for answers, but I don’t understand the questions, and gave up long ago, with neurons misfiring, emotions frazzled, and the old grey matter in danger of over-heating.

I hope it is correct that expertise with cryptic clues will help to prevent dementia in devotees, but include me out and I’ll take my chances, on the basis that I’d be 6 down and 3 across before I could crack one.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.

DR Hamish Maclaren (Letters, May 21) laments the disappearance of the clue submission element of the Saturday crossword by Myops. May I invite him, and any other like-minded individuals, to log onto crosswordsolver.org. Twice a week, on the forum at that site, there is a competition to compose a cryptic clue to a given word or phrase. There are entrants from all over the world but, as far as I can see, a disproportionately large percentage is Scottish.

The winner sets the following week's competition and awards an online "prize", usually a Youtube link to a clip, be it music, comedy or whatever they like (i.e. nothing of monetary value, just a bit of fun). "Clueless", running Tuesday/Wednesday, is judged by the setter of the challenge whilst the winner of "Peer Review", running Thursday/Friday, is voted for by all those who have submitted clues. Take a look in and search previous competitions to see if it's your cup of tea.

Brian Johnston, Torrance.