One cannot but agree with Marie Sharp, senior reporter with the Courier, that the proposal by East Lothian Council is mad in the extreme – to charge £2 per visit to the coast, where the residents of the county have been enjoying the beaches and shores from time immemorial.

The question is, of course, why they have taken this step. The report from the council opposition is that it is a tourist tax. One wonders why they wish to tax tourists. I would have thought the council would wish to encourage tourists to visit East Lothian but it seems they would rather discourage them.

If the purpose is to tax tourists, why is it that the residents of East Lothian are to be charged also? Where is the sense or logic in that? None that I can see.

I take my car daily to the beach and park there, along with many others of my vintage. Mostly they are local pensioners taking their dogs for a walk and getting exercise themselves. It appears the council wish to discourage this. Perhaps they just don’t like pensioners because they are not “economically active”.

This would certainly support their other recent action, where the concession train fare to Edinburgh from Dunbar was changed from a reasonable, though not cheap, level to a higher level of £6.10 return. At the same time, they restricted the times when these concessions may be used.

The council in West Lothian, faced with similar cost restrictions, maintains the concessionary fare to Edinburgh from similar distance towns e.g. Livingston or Linlithgow at £1.98 return.

Does this not smell of contempt for the residents of East Lothian and in particular the older residents, who will suffer more than any other section of the population? Or perhaps they just don’t care.

Kenneth Stanton Mayfield North Road Dunbar