Letters, February 19 2021

Letters.

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Leaflet ignores farming, fishing and aquaculture

Like other householders throughout Argyll and Bute, I have received a leaflet from the Conservative candidate standing in May’s Scottish election.

It is an extraordinary leaflet – not for what it says, but for what it does NOT say. Its six pages contain not a single reference to farming, fishing or aquaculture – all vital industries in Argyll and Bute.

The Tories have every reason to be mortified by the devastation their botched Brexit deal has had on the lives of our farmers and fishermen, but to simply ignore these issues is an insult to those who work in these industries and the communities that depend on them.

Les Wilson, Port Charlotte, Islay.

Dog fouling – remember to scoop it, bag it and bin it

Members of Campbeltown Community Council wish to express their concern regarding the amount of dog fouling that is not being uplifted by a small minority of irresponsible dog owners.

We are very fortunate in Campbeltown to have so many different places to exercise during the current lockdown, only for these areas to be spoiled by dog fouling. To this small minority, please be more responsible and consider others.

Perhaps if Argyll and Bute Council could install more waste bins this might help to alleviate this problem.

If you wish to report any incident of dog fouling, you can phone 01546 605514.

Remember: Scoop It. Bag It. Bin It.

Alan Baker, chairman of Campbeltown Community Council.

Support for local newspapers

The SNP government’s decision to scrap emergency business rates relief for the newspaper industry is a disgrace. At a time when Nicola Sturgeon’s press conferences dominate the airwaves and many national newspapers support one political party, local newspapers are a very important way for people of all shades of opinion to get their message across.

I am very pleased that all the opposition parties worked together in the Scottish Parliament and got behind a motion which called on the SNP government to keep giving business rates relief to newspapers and to use its advertising budget to support regional and local newspapers.

The SNP opposed this motion but fortunately it was passed by one vote. I hope the SNP will abide by the will of Parliament and not go ahead with its sinister attack on Scotland’s local newspapers.

Councillor Alan Reid, Cowal ward.

Headline

The UK Government has announced a further £1.1 billion in funding to help Scotland tackle Covid-19. This additional funding can be spent in the remaining months of 2020-21 or carried over into 2021-22.

Scotland has now received an additional £9.7 billion since the pandemic began in March 2020. Throughout the pandemic, the SNP has been too slow to give businesses the support they need. It must now use this extra funding to protect jobs and support businesses.

Jobs and businesses are never the priority for the SNP. We, in the Scottish Conservatives, will always put Scottish livelihoods first.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and the Islands ward.

Protecting children in sport

The personal testimony of the men and boys in the final independent report into non-recent sexual abuse in Scottish football – who have shown incredible courage – demonstrates how needed this independent review has been.

The abuse young players have suffered in football is inexcusable and heart-breaking. By bravely speaking up, they provided the catalyst for the review and the changes that will come from it are thanks to them.

We welcome the ongoing work the Scottish Football Association (SFA) has carried out in light of the report’s recommendations and encourage it to continue its progress.

The SFA is showing it is willing to listen and implement changes that ensure no more children suffer the experiences described in the report.

We are pleased to see children and young people’s involvement in the process, including the consultation with the Scottish Children’s Parliament. The voices of children and young people are crucial to developing improvements for their own wellbeing and safety and to change a culture where children can be frightened to speak up.

Safeguarding in Sport, a partnership between Children 1st and sportscotland, has developed the Standards for Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport, which state children have a right to express their views and have their voices taken into account.

We are keen to support the SFA in its continued implementation of the recommendations to create a culture in football where we can be sure that every child is safe to enjoy the huge benefits of participating in sport.

Any volunteer or official looking for advice or support about a child can contact safeguardinginsport@children1st.org.uk or contact the Children 1st Parentline service on 08000 282233 or online at www.children1st.org.uk/parentline.

Mary Glasgow, chief executive, Children 1st.

Save on energy costs

Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service provides free, independent advice to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to introduce more energy efficient technology.

Businesses can apply for an interest-free Scottish Government SME loan of £1,000 to £100,000, with a maximum cashback grant of £20,000 for those eligible.

Many businesses in Argyll and Bute have decided to take action to reduce their energy use, adding profit directly to the bottom line while helping Scotland meet its target to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2045.

Since 2016, the impartial advice given to companies in the region has identified almost £30m of potential energy savings through heating, lighting and building upgrades.

To find out more or to apply, visit www.energy.zerowastescotland.org.uk. Alternatively, email EnergyEfficiency@zerowastescotland.org.uk or call 08088 082268.

Marissa Lippiatt, head of resource efficiency, Zero Waste Scotland.

Help to prevent a potential kitten crisis

With World Spay Day coming up on February 23, Cats Protection is urging that unneutered pet cats are kept indoors to prevent a potential kitten crisis.

We estimate that around 70 per cent of kittens born in the UK are the result of unplanned pregnancies, which puts severe pressure on owners to arrange for their feeding, care and rehoming.

The pandemic has meant that we are currently only able to take in a small number of cats as emergency cases. This is why we’re asking the public to help us by ensuring that unneutered cats are kept indoors, and unneutered siblings kept apart.

The coronavirus has affected many vets too. Many have had to prioritise emergency appointments, meaning access to neutering operations will vary. It is important to check with your vet for availability and make an appointment in advance if you can.

Cats Protection can help owners on limited incomes with the cost of neutering pet cats. To find out if you are eligible, call our Neutering Line on 03000 12 12 12 (option two) or visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering where you can also find out more about neutering and its benefits.

Sarah Reid, acting head of neutering, Cats Protection.