Interactive: Stores should ration out vital supplies of salt for customers

Do you think retailers should have a one bag each policy regarding the sale of salt or grit at the moment, or should firms do business in the way they see fit to make a profit? Tell us what you think

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ON THURSDAY morning I popped into a DIY store to try to pick up some salt or grit for my elderly parents' path as they have been afraid to leave the house at all, even to venture into their garden. Past experience told me this product was never available but I hoped I might find some if I kept trying.

When I arrived a full pallet of coarse salt had just been brought out of the storage area. By the time I managed to get a trolley for my purchases, about three or four men with Transit-type vans had taken the full pallet of salt between them, some lifting ten to fifteen bags.

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When I complained to the shop assistant that the salt should have been limited given the serious conditions, I was told that by law they were not allowed to limit how many bags the customers bought. I think this is rubbish. Although I accept that these men may have businesses to run, their need is no more important than yours or mine. The store took no responsibility at all in ensuring its other customers were treated fairly.

I would like to suggest to retailers that all their customers should be treated in a fair manner in the very difficult circumstances that we are all experiencing at the moment. Limit the bags of salt and give everyone a chance to get about – not just the men with the biggest vans!

Dot Fraser, Biggar Road, Edinburgh

Attempt to mask council's failings

BY ACCUSING Edinburgh residents of laziness and opining that they should clear frozen pavements themselves (News, 6 January), could Norman Work be attempting to divert attention away from a failing council?

Rather than facing up to his part in this failure, it looks like it might just be easier for Councillor Work to unfairly and unfavourably compare today's residents with those of yesteryear. If Cllr Work wants simplicity back rather than fighting for progressive solutions, maybe he is in the wrong job. I'm sorry, but clearing snow and ice from public thoroughfares is the responsibility of the council, not local residents, some of whom might not be up to this arduous task.

Local authorities, not just in Edinburgh but all over Scotland, are not only struggling to keep frozen roads and pavements clear because of a lack of salt, grit and manpower, they are also facing the prospect of not being able to fix worsening potholes and doing other essential repairs because of massive budget deficits.

With a General Election in the offing, it is time every one of us questioned why a wealthy country like Scotland should spend obscene amounts of money on nuclear weapons and illegal wars when necessary public services are being cut and there is not enough money for snow and ice clearing and road repairs.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh, East Lothian

Real world would be like hard work

NO-ONE should be surprised by Councillor Work's pathetic comments. The vast majority of council employees, at all levels, are far too lazy and incompetent to find work in the real world.

Any private sector business that operated like the council would find itself bankrupt within a year. Happily, this is never a problem for the public sector, since it doesn't have to show a profit and has a guaranteed cash-flow from the taxes of people who actually have to work for a living.

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Of course, one can hardly blame local government; they are merely following the example set by Holyrood and Westminster.

Frank Castle, Redford Road, Edinburgh

Words of wit show city's true grit

I SUGGEST a motto for Edinburgh City Council: "Gritless and Witless".

Perhaps our councillors could hire an expensive consultant to translate it into Latin. You know, to give it a touch of class.

Martin James Dowds, Glencairn Crescent, Edinburgh

War finance PM's biggest blunder

CALLING for Gordon Brown to stand down as some Labour MPs are doing because he cannot win UK votes is quite different from demanding that he stand down because he financed an illegal war in Iraq, causing horrendous ongoing damage.

Andrew JT Kerr, Castlegate, Jedburgh

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