Letters to the editor

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Open letter to Transport Minister Humza Yousaf regarding the A83 at Strone Point and the Rest and be Thankful


Yet another accident has happened on the A83 at Strone Point near Inveraray. Luckily no-one was killed.

As the administrative nightmare continues regarding this whole issue, I guess I’m asking what it will take for this to be resolved and taken forward.

We have had multiple deaths, multiple accidents and injuries and again another recent crash. Will it take yet another death before it sinks into those who are digging in their feet the unacceptable time we in Argyll have had to wait for this to be taken forward. More carnage may occur whilst the people in authority sit in rooms far away from the site.

If this was the Forth road project, would we have had to wait for about a year before we could even start? I don’t think so, and all I am requesting is that we in Argyll are treated the same as any county in Scotland.

I do hope you able to assist with this as I do have faith in you given the meetings we have had and, I believe, so do others – but the longer this goes on it does not bode well for the relationships that we require to get the work on the A83 going.

Would it also be possible for an update on the pits that were going to go in at the Rest and be Thankful? It is fast approaching another winter when the land slides are more prominent, and yet I don’t see the work being done.

I look forward to hearing from you, and I will continue to work positively with you but as you may see in this message it is increasingly frustrating to have to write to you when the agreed works should have been completed.

Councillor Douglas Philand, Argyll and Bute First

Editor’s note: Since this letter was written, a further accident has occurred at Strone Point. 


When will work start?


I would like to ask Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) why work to improve drainage along the path at McIntyre Terrace has not yet started.

I was told a price had been agreed  for the necessary drainage work.
Weeks later, nothing has happened and yet residents suffer because they cannot use the path at times.

We were promised the area would also be tidied up but it is a mess, with a fence needing replaced too.

To date there is no sign of any contractor, yet I was assured that people would be on site before the end of August. I’ve had to chase this matter up for most of this year, with Councillor Dougie Philand also helping, yet still nothing has been done.

I appreciate that ACHA has done a lot to improve the houses in the area but residents have been promised the path would be fixed to stop the flooding. The path has been a problem for years, and ACHA have been aware of this.

Contractors cleared an area nearby last year but this had no effect on the path, which floods easily.

All we want is for the job to be done so we can use the path again and for the area to be tidied, as promised by ACHA, as it is an eyesore.

Peter Laing, Lochgilphead

Health and social care challenges


It is plain for all to see that we in Scotland, and particularly in Argyll and Bute, face growing problems with health and social care. In fact it is a problem that is raised by my constituents on a regular basis.

Unfortunately the SNP has been less than efficient when implementing changes to our health and social care.

A report by Audit Scotland has stated that while limited progress had been made in implementing self-directed support, there was still much more to be done.

Keep in mind that the decade-long strategy is now in its seventh year, yet many service users were still to experience change.

The self-directed support initiative was launched back in 2010 and was designed, at least in theory, to allow individuals and families, rather than social workers, to make the majority of decisions in relation to their care.

It was argued at the time that this would improve a number of areas, including dignity for service users and the ability to make informed choices.

Age Scotland has also stated that people need more information relating to how they can access that personal support.

It is not clear why, after the Scottish Government made this change in legislation, it has yet to allow many people to have more control over the support.

The Scottish Government is seven years into a 10-year strategy, yet it is leaving far too many people behind and taking far to long in ensuring these options are available to everyone.

In future, the Scottish Government needs to do allot more to support these vulnerable people and do it quicker. With Scotland’s demographics changing every year and the elderly population growing – particularly in Argyll and Bute – ignoring this issue is not an option.

Cllr Alastair Redman, Isle of Islay

Check your eyesight


National Eye Health Week runs next week, from September 18 to 24. Diabetes Scotland and RNIB Scotland are joining forces to highlight the single biggest cause of preventable sight loss among working-age people in Scotland – diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when blood vessels in the eye leak or become blocked. But if detected in time through diabetic retinopathy screening  – which is a special eye exam different to the one you get at your opticians – this condition can be treated to prevent further damage.

There are over 291,000 people living with diabetes in Scotland. It is vital that people with diabetes understand the importance of getting their eyes examined regularly. Left untreated, retinopathy can lead to permanent visual impairment or even blindness.

If you’re living with diabetes, please make sure you attend your retinopathy screening appointment. Neglecting this could cost you your sight.  If you have not been invited for screening, you should speak to your GP or healthcare team.

Don’t lose sight of what’s important.

Campbell Chalmers, director, RNIB Scotland and Jane-Claire Judson, national director, Diabetes Scotland