Letters to the editor

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MAMAFest taking time out


I am writing on behalf of the MAMAFest (Mid Argyll Music and Arts Festival) committee which met recently to discuss the way forward, following the past four years’ weekend festivals and mini-MAMA events.

MAMAFest 2017 in particular was a real mixture of highs and lows. The highs in the main were the incredible musical line up and range of styles. The biggest low was the limited number of people who came along to listen to that fabulous music.

We have decided not to go ahead with MAMAFest 2018 and instead to take some time out to:

  • consider the future of MAMAFest and how and if it can survive within the context of other festivals and events in the are.
  • see if anyone else would like to join the committee to help with and plan future festivals.
  • give the current hard-working committee a well earned break.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful sponsors, volunteers, musicians, background support and everyone who attended one or more of our festival weekends and other events for their support to date.

Lastly, we would like to thank The Argyllshire Advertiser for its never ending positive publicity and encouragement.

Liz Miller, chair, MAMAFest

Hard pressed council


Conservative councillor Alastair Redman has sunk to a new low.

In his letter in the February 23 edition of the Argyllshire Advertiser he complains about  lack of investment in our roads. He has the gall to cite a named Argyll and Bute Council official, whose role is to carry out the Conservative/Independent council policy.

His party has cut public services by £46 billion and given tax breaks to its friends of £20 billion. Does Councillor Redman agree with his party’s cuts?

If he does, he should not be surprised that our local council is hard pressed. If he doesn’t agree with his Conservative Party’s policy he should say so and not blame named individuals who cannot fight back.

David Roberts, Ardrishaig

Learn ovarian cancer symptoms


I used to be one of the four out of five women in the UK who can’t name bloating as a major symptom of ovarian cancer.

Then my role model, the wonderful comedian Linda Smith, died from the disease. Now as an ambassador for Target Ovarian Cancer, I am calling for more awareness of the disease during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month this March.

I want everyone to know the four symptoms – it could save lives: persistent bloating; feeling full; tummy pain; needing to wee more.

I’m asking your readers to join us to raise awareness and money to support Target Ovarian Cancer this March. It’s time to TAKE OVAR. Together we can make sure every woman knows the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Join us at your workplace, school or community. ‘Bake some noise’ with a cake sale or coffee morning, join us on Friday March 9 for The Big Colour Clash by wearing your loudest outfit for a donation, or challenge yourself to tell 50 people about the symptoms and raise £50.

We’ll send you everything you need for free – stickers, symptoms leaflets, badges and wristbands. Call 020 7923 5474 or visit targetovariancancer.org.uk/ March

Raise awareness, fund research, and save lives this March.

Susan Calman, Target Ovarian Cancer ambassador

Best site for Screen Machine


I write following the decision by Argyll and Bute Council to push for the Screen Machine mobile cinema to be sited either beside the Winterton or at Inveraray Castle (Argyllshire Advertiser, February 23). This despite a wish by many local people to have it sited more centrally at Fisher Row, near the pier.

I intend to set up  a meeting in April between all parties – the council, Screen Machine staff and Inspire Inveraray – on site to determine what are the risks and if we can resolve the problem.

The Fisher Row site is the best as it has both standard and disabled
toilets, but the council loses money if the lorry parks on the parking bays –  not in the winter months but in summer, and that seems to be the major
sticking point.  The paying toilets, however, have not taken much money for some time due to faulty entrance gates, and that’s a bigger loss to this cash-strapped council.

Inspire Inveraray is not yet in a financial position to hire the
required toilets and the other possible sites with toilets do not
have disabled facilities.

The Screen Machine would not be as visible to the public as in the Fisher Row car park, but we will be looking closer at these sites if the council still refuses to move on our preferred site.

Derrick Anstee, vice chair, Inspire Inveraray

Want to be hunted?


We are looking for applicants for Channel 4’s series, Hunted.

The series will follow a number of volunteers as they try to go off grid and become a fugitive in the UK. We are looking for men and women of all ages to try and evade capture from a team of expert trackers. We are looking for people from a variety of backgrounds and professions who think they have what it takes to disappear in 21st century Britain.  They could be going it alone or with friends, family or colleagues.

A prize of £100,000 will be shared equally between the fugitives who successfully evade capture.

We will cover reasonable pre-agreed loss of earnings for everyone who participates.

Visit www.huntedapplications.com to find out how to apply.

The closing date for applications is Monday March 12 and you must be 18+ in order to apply to take part in the series.

If you do put someone online, it would be great if you could let me know or send me the link, so we can share it too.

Alexandra Rombaut, junior casting researcher, Hunted

Falling short on A83


I just thought I would add to the growing number of road users experiencing misery at the current state of Argyll’s roads.

I struck a series of potholes on the Glasgow-bound A83 on approach to Strone Point, causing my cars alloy wheel to actually crack. The series of potholes on this section of road is extremely dangerous.

There is loose gravel across most of the road, reducing grip and enormous cavities in the carriageway causing drivers to swerve aggressively to avoid damaging their vehicles. I feel that an accident on this section is inevitable.

I contacted BEAR Scotland to report the defects as soon as the incident happened but have received no response and no acknowledgement.

The defects had not been repaired more than 10 days later.

As for my car, I have been told the wheel is not safe to repair and I am now left with a bill of £500 for a replacement wheel. In addition, I am left driving to my job as a doctor with a temporary spare wheel until I am able to source a replacement.

I hope my story and photograph contributes to the portfolio of evidence that BEAR Scotland is falling well short of what road tax paying motorists expect from a trunk road maintenance agency.

Dr Gregg Neagle, Kilmartin