Letters, October 23 2020

Letters.

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Thank you for supporting church gift day

Please may I use this column to thank everyone who so generously supported the Highland Parish Church gift day last Saturday.

I am overwhelmed by the expressions of support, both verbal and financial, and very encouraged that so many people in Kintyre and beyond value the ongoing work done by the folk of the Highland Parish Church.

Thank you very much.

Reverend Steve Fulcher, Highland Parish Church minister.

‘Keep Islay safe’ poster slashed

I was out and about in Port Charlotte recently speaking to my constituents and hearing about many pressing local concerns – while social distancing.

It was great to check up on the progress of the local pavement and road repairs in the village. However there is still much more work that needs to take place just outside of Port Charlotte, including pothole filling.

There was also justifiable anger about one of the ‘keep Islay safe’ posters being slashed. I have contacted our council’s Covid-19 department about this and I have also spoken to Donald Cameron MSP.

I will continue to work day-in, day-out to address important local matters in every corner of my council ward.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and the Islands.

CAPTION:

The ‘keep Islay safe’ poster which has been slashed. NO_c43letters01

No costings or timescale for Rest options

I write as a retired civil engineer with regard to the Rest and Be Thankful.

The problem seems to basically stem from a complete lack of proper maintenance over many, many years. Mountains in such locations need to be treated as living things and action taken so as to ensure that they are kept under control.

In the case of the Rest, there appear to be particular problems:

  • That action is needed in different areas. In this context, I would suggest that pressure grouting much higher up the mountain, down to bedrock, would solve a number of problems with the more minor landslides.
  • The road could be protected in many places by the use of gabions; these would surely be a better solution than the fencing currently in use.
  • At the locations where small side streams can act as a conduit for debris to come and block the road, the provision of a box culvert under the road would ensure that the debris could be diverted into the valley.
  • There may be a few locations where it could be more advantageous to install portal frame protection, but I believe that these are relatively few. The provision of a suitable ‘ditch’ on the eastern side would also help.

I am horrified that the authorities had the audacity to suggest the number of options that they did, for public comment.

I think that questions need to be asked as to who was responsible for this. Why they were presented with no cost indication and no potential build-out timescale. I would recommend that properly qualified engineers who have a track record of overcoming these problems are appointed with a remit to prepare a properly costed report within six months.

I firmly believe that the proposals that I have outlined here are by far the most economical solution to the problem and, with proper control, the end result could probably be achieved by the autumn of 2022. This depends on meaningful management of the problem. After all, there are very many major roads in the Alps where similar problems have been successfully overcome.

I am only too well aware that I do not live in Argyll, but I have strong family links and it is incumbent on all interested parties to make comment and to ensure that the public is fully aware of the shortcomings exhibited in the proposals presented to date.

Fergus Macdonald, Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire.

National Covid support service needed

Urgent action is needed to improve care for people living with ‘long Covid’ in Scotland.

Thousands in Scotland are living with the long-term effects of this virus, many going without proper help.

There are significant psychological and social impacts that will have long-term consequences.

Hospital one-stop clinics and social support must be considered, along with the financial pressures on previously economically active people.

People are struggling to breathe, walk to their end of their street and some people have felt almost bed bound for months.

We have a chance in Scotland to bring together health professionals and charities to provide a seamless package of care.

We need to see a full national support service for ‘long Covid’ in Scotland. People don’t have time to wait.

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.

Showcase your moggy this #BlackCatDay

Cat lovers have a lot to celebrate this Black Cat Day (October 27) with Cats Protection’s news that black and black-and-white cats are no longer overlooked as they once were.

Since we created the awareness day in 2010 to highlight that black cats took longer to rehome than other cats, they now spend 11 days less on average in care than before, prior to moving to their new loving homes.

Around 65,000 black or black-and-white cats have been homed through our adoption centres in the decade since the campaign started, a remarkable 44 per cent of all cats homed through our centres during that time.

We would like to thank readers for their support and for helping us make a real difference. Not only do these cats now spend less time in our care, but each year thousands celebrate the day and engage with our #BlackCatDay hashtag on social media.

Throughout the campaign, Cats Protection has explored reasons why black cats might be less popular, working to change perceptions and buck the rehoming trend. These included black cats being seen as unlucky or not photogenic in selfies.

We would love to invite readers to celebrate and showcase their black cat knowledge by hosting a quiz for friends and family while also raising vital funds for their local branch or centre.

More details about the quiz and Black Cat Day can be found at www.cats.org.uk/black-cats

James Yeates, chief executive officer, Cats Protection.