Letters, May 28 2021


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Clarity over candidate dialogue with voter

On May 7, you printed a letter from Ian Mitchell in which he claimed he did not receive any reply to an email he had sent me asking questions about Liberal Democrat policies.

I replied to Mr Mitchell three hours and 35 minutes after receiving his email. Mr Mitchell acknowledged receipt of these answers.

Alan Reid, Lib Dem candidate at May 2021 election.

Shocked and alarmed by school league table article

I was alarmed and saddened by the headline ”Failing’ school is ‘betraying’ pupils and the community’ in last week’s Courier.

Coming from a retired Campbeltown Grammar School (CGS) teacher, it is hard to believe that someone who has worked in the profession could have such criticism for his/her fellow colleagues.

Although clearly passionate about the future of CGS, perhaps retirement has helped this individual forget what a challenging job all school staff face.

It is commonly known that CGS has not had its troubles to seek in recent years with major staff shortages due to ill health and other unforeseen circumstances.

The league tables do not make good reading but, on their own, I don’t think they reflect the efforts of the staff.

It is a well known fact that you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. Is the behaviour of pupils the greatest barrier to success?

Despite the efforts of teachers to discipline the pupils, there are few deterrents for the offenders, especially where the pupil is aware that, if they ask, the parent will fight their corner instead of backing the school.

The responsibility of teaching our children to behave and respect others needs to be instilled from early years by us all and not just when the child reaches CGS.

Maybe the retired teacher should offer his/her skills and visit CGS and see the problems that all staff are facing?

It is time for the community to pull together and support our school and encourage our children to believe that a good education is very achievable in CGS.

Happy parent of CGS pupils.

Issues with ageing ferry fleet can’t be left on backburner

Recently, an investigation by the Herald newspaper uncovered that ‘just over half of Scotland’s lifeline ferry network is operating outwith its working life expectancy’, with 16 vessels out of 31 in operation over 25 years old.

Despite the huge challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic that our hard-working ferry crews have to deal with,  residents rightly expect a high quality ferry service that runs on time and has enough space to ensure they can travel to and from the islands, businesses can transport goods to the mainland and tourists can visit our islands to boost the economy.

Unfortunately, cancellations and delays continue to plague routes. I have been working closely with residents, our community councils and other parties to find long-term solutions.

This pressing matter simply can’t be left on the backburner.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and the Islands. 

National Lottery Awards are open for entries

The 2021 National Lottery Awards are now open for entries.

Once again, the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded people and projects will recognise those individuals and organisations who have made an extraordinary impact in their community – especially during these unprecedent times.

National Lottery players raise £30 million every week for good causes and we know this money is being used in amazing and inspiring ways.

As part of The National Lottery Awards, we want to celebrate those whose selfless dedication and fantastic work makes such a difference in villages, towns and cities across the country.

Encompassing all areas of National Lottery funding, you nominate local legends and hometown heroes in the following categories: culture, arts and film, community/charity, heritage and sport.

In addition, there will be a young hero award for someone under the age of 18.

Groups or organisations are eligible to enter The National Lottery Project of the Year category, where shortlisted finalists will face a public vote later in the year.

All award winners will receive an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and £3,000 for their organisation.

Nominations can be made by completing an entry form on our website at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards.

All nominees must have been funded by The National Lottery or be associated with a National Lottery funded project. Entries must be received by midnight on June 7.

Jonathan Tuchner, National Lottery Awards.

Have fun this Childhood Day

Now, as we approach summer with hopefully fewer restrictions, we can start to make plans about how we will spend time with family and friends.

Following the challenging year we have experienced, we could all do with a bit more play in our lives. Play is a hugely important part of childhood and has a whole host of benefits, including improving physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Throughout this pandemic, children have had to deal with so many difficult challenges; some having to stay in unsafe homes and many living with families who are struggling with health worries and financial issues.

Children have told Childline that they have struggled to cope and their mental health has suffered as a result.

It doesn’t matter how people choose to play this Childhood Day (June 11), whether it’s organising a sponsored kickabout in the park, a game of cards, a musical get-together or an online gaming tournament, we just want as many as possible playing and raising money to help us keep children safe.

We look forward to hearing how your readers plan to support the NSPCC and children across Scotland this Childhood Day.

To find out more and download a fundraising pack, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/childhoodday or search online for NSPCC Childhood Day.

Paul Cockram, head of fundraising, NSPCC Scotland.