Letters, July 23 2021

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Raising the question of ‘iniquitous’ road maintenance

Late last year my neighbour organised repair of the private road that extends from Broomfield Rd to 16 properties on two  joined roads that comprise High Airds.

Pleas from residents in High Airds for the council to adopt private roads are falling on deaf ears. NO_C30_CarradaleRoads_Letters

The section in front of his house was so badly pot-holed it was almost impassable and we have carers who come to two residents four times daily, who have to use it.

He obtained three quotations from which to choose and we opted for one that installed  two reinforced concrete strips on which to drive, sharing the cost.  Those on the road to Abbeyfield paid extra to have their potholes filled.

I contacted Argyll and Bute Council and protested that we had in iniquitous situation whereby we all pay community charges but some of us receive a poorer deal and I suggested the council should consider adopting High Airds and Hillside Rd, bringing them up to standard.

Some properties on Hillside Rd date from pre-WWII so they have endured a very inadequate road for a long time.

I had a reply, just before Christmas, from Councillor Anne Horn in which she told me there was no funding available to adopt private roads.

A month ago I found the council proposed to tar and chip every bit of road in Carradale East, including Shore Rd and the road to Portrigh, both of which had recently been resurfaced.

Broomfield had a perfectly good surface, as did Loch Park but now the work is complete I see even a tiny road to four houses on Broomfield and the road at Tormhor have been done.

I put it to Councillor Horn that it was irrational for her to claim a lack of cash in the kitty when they were spending money resurfacing every inch of side roads in the village, with only the main road through needing attention.

Her reply was much the same, that public money, to which I and my neighbours contribute, can only be used for public realm so it seems we must continue to endure recurring repair costs ourselves, together with a total lack of street lighting.  I find this quite incommensurate.

Brian Gee, Carradale East.

Actively working to find a way forward

I write in connection with your front page article in last week’s paper regarding
Campbeltown Grammar school.

I note you quote Mr Tommy McPherson as saying ‘the lack of engagement by our elected ward councillors has been absolutely shocking’.

I would have hoped that before printing that quote that you would have checked with the local members as to its accuracy.

I cannot speak for Councillors Kelly and Colville but I know like myself they have been very active in working with parents and council officers to find a way forward with the current issues.

Since the exam league tables were published I have had a meeting with the head
teacher and a council officer; a meeting with the parent council which the head
teacher also attended; I have been approached by numerous parents and school
staff asking me to look into and try to get answers on certain issues which I took up
with Executive Director Douglas Hendry.

I have also spoken with the convenor of Campbeltown Community council on the issue.

The one person who has not contacted me is Mr McPherson and had he done so any points he wanted me to address would have been done in the same way that I do for any constituent.

I am pleased that the council has taken action to improve in particular areas identified
in the original inspection, and also pleased that there will be a full complement of staff when the new session starts in August.

It is to be hoped that the issues that arose in recent months are now addressed and the school can move on from what has been a very difficult last year and a half.

Councillor John Armour, South Kintyre

Gunea Pig Club celebrates 80th anniversary

Eighty years ago in July 1941, a group of young men who had sustained severe burns in aircraft crashes during the Second World War came together to form The Guinea Pig Club. They took this name in honour of the ground-breaking techniques of pioneering plastic surgeon, Sir Archibald McIndoe.

Upon leaving hospital following their lengthy treatments, members established new careers, married and raised families, challenging the opinions of those who questioned their abilities. These young men quickly became a beacon of hope and their perseverance and tenacity continues to inspire burns survivors today.

The RAF Benevolent Fund is proud to have supported The Guinea Pig Club since its formation 80 years ago and has provided assistance to many of its members over the years. However, just six members of the Guinea Pig Club remain, so the Fund is taking this important anniversary to highlight the inspiring story of the Guinea Pig Club to ensure its legacy lives on.

I urge your readers to pay tribute to those who served and sacrificed their lives during the Second World War by visiting rafbf.dedicationpage.org/gpc80 where they can share memories, photographs, and thanks.

Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Chief Executive of the RAF Benevolent Fund