I RECALL my granny telling me about her next door neighbour’s oven in Kilnside Road in Paisley when she was showing the neighbour how to bake. Suffice to say it demonstrated beyond doubt that Paisley has always been a city of cultures.

I’m struggling to understand why nationalist councillors and parliamentarians are so supportive of the UK City of Culture bid (“Full cross-party support for Paisley’s city of culture bid”, The Herald, July 17) when a fundamental condition of success is that the winner is part of the political union which is the UK. It is a celebration of Unionism.

What happens to the bid if Scotland votes for independence before 2021?

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I’m rather suspicious of all these claims of investment and regeneration when Hull has received no direct UK Government investment and it has had to raise most of its cash from council reserves and private sector sponsorship.

While the argument will be that the purpose of the accolade is to kick-start the renaissance of a place, it begs the questions as to why did the place get into the state in the first place, and if it has the reserves, why hasn’t it made the initiative without the cost and effort of indulging in this competition when these energies could have been channelled into the town’s regeneration anyway?

There is much to celebrate about Paisley and thus far what I’ve seen hardly scratches the surface. Our finest moments have been when we changed the world.

Paisley, Scotland’s largest burgh for almost 200 years, should have been a city long ago if Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha had done the decent thing when she visited the Abbey for its Octo-centenary in 1963. But for the skill of a monk in the abbey in 1316 in delivering the first of the Stewart kings by Caesarian section none of the subsequent British and most European monarchs would have lived. A little gratitude would have been appreciated.

Apart from our contribution to military force the Union after 1707 left Paisley largely to its own devices as it rose to be home of the largest company in the British Empire and the third largest in the World.

But since the First World War the Union has not been kind to Paisley. The corporate centralisation of the Unionist state saw the demise of the mills, and the Unionist Labour Party which controlled the council for so many years had such little understanding and ambition that even when it did try something radical there was never the confidence in its ability to see it through to a conclusion. Witness the truly inspiring yet incomplete 1960s municipal campus in Cotton Street now part demolished and replaced by fourth-rate housing and a bastardised civic rump. The criminal neglect of the museum and surrounding buildings makes me weep.

For those of us of independent mind why don’t we just start calling Paisley a city? If Alex Salmond could call the Scottish Executive the “Scottish Government” why not "the City of Paisley"?

It’s time for the council to replace this UK malarkey by creating its own celebration: “Global City 2021”, and really think beyond mediocrity as we once did.

Graeme McCormick,

Redhouse Cottage, Arden by Loch Lomond.

SO one Government department has the power to fine another Government department for breaching rules on setting salaries (“Home Office is fined over pay breach”, The Herald, July 15). The £366,900 fine is being paid by the Home Office to the Treasury for breaching the rules on the process of setting salaries which, above £142,500, must be approved by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Only in the world of Westminster could such practices exist. The inefficiency of not knowing the rules in the first place and the stupidity of moving money from one department to another beggars belief.

This is the team that is going to manage a successful Brexit?

Dave Biggart,

Southcroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm.

I FOUND it passing strange that Philip Hammond commented that “Cabinet meetings are supposed to be a private space in which we can have a serious discussion” (“Hammond: Brexiters in Cabinet are risking British jobs”, The Herald, July 17).

Westminster Cabinets in previous days did take things more seriously; in the early 1970s they concealed the impact of Scotland’s oil, and we were told nothing of this until the Cabinet papers were released under the 30 year rule.

What a pity then that no Cabinet member had the ambition to further their own career by leaking this to the press; this applied to both Labour and Tory members who blithely squandered billions through the manufactured Continental Shelf.

Scotland could have been independent and prosperous years ago and have a massive oil fund as per the Norwegian model.

Jim Lynch,

42 Corstorphine Hill Crescent, Edinburgh.

THE Chancellor claims public sector workers are paid too much (“Unions accuse Hammond of arrogant contempt as he doesn’t deny ‘overpaid’ state workers jibe”, The Herald, July 17). Does he include himself? Is he not also a public sector worker? Are civil servants at all levels included? The military and armed forces? They are all public sector workers. Perhaps even the royals. Where does it all end?

John Edgar,

19 Gilmours Avenue, Blackford.