HAVING read last week’s article in the Press, “Restaurant owner’s hope to ‘stay alive’”, most, if not all, of the business owners in Dunfermline city centre will agree with Prasad.

This article raises many issues surrounding small businesses since the COVID lockdowns and now the cost-of-living crisis. 

The rising cost of energy prices has trebled with very little help for business; what help there is does not support business enough and will be withdrawn very soon. 

Whilst high prices are here, the only people who benefit are the businesses who are charging the higher prices. A new radical system needs to be looked at to ensure companies benefitting from these higher prices pay their fair share of taxes.

The Scottish Government, as well as the UK Government, really do need to look at the rates system as well as how private landlords charge for leasing their properties. Local government does not have the finances or tools to do this alone. 

Prasad is correct in saying that his business attracts visitors outwith Dunfermline but more has to be done to encourage more locals as well as visitors to venture into our city centre. 

One issue in and around the centre is the lack of lighting, which will worry a lot of people, as the area does not encourage feeling safe. There are too many areas where the footpaths are unsafe due to loose paving slabs. The bin storage up and down the High Street, East Port, New Row, Douglas Street, and Bridge Street is an eyesore. This issue has been ongoing for years now. 

There is still an issue with the CCTV around the centre and cars still use the centre as a shortcut even between the hours of 12-3pm when it is supposed to be closed off for traffic. Maybe once a month the High Street could be opened up for street stalls, farmers’ markets, craft and design stalls, etc. 

Once the Scottish Government and the UK Government actually do something radical for centres up and down the country, and once Dunfermline city can attract visitors coming into the centre, for all types of entertainment, then our businesses, restaurants, cafes and bars will have a better chance of Staying Alive. 

If everyone came into the centre at least once a week to support the local economy this would be a start. Spend Local, Support Local.

Garry Haldane,