Letters to the editor – week 10

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Screen Machine and common sense

Sir,

In reply to Derrick Anstee’s letter in last week’s edition of the Advertiser, I would like to point out that Inspire Inveraray has had the offer from Mr Hugh Nicol, Argyll Estates factor, to site the Screen Machine on a site close to the castle.

Inveraray Community Council has offered to pay for the hire of portaloos as well as insurance and the like. Inveraray Shinty Club has also offered the land beside its clubhouse, with the use of their facilities, but I don’t think the Screen Machine would fit in.

Mr Anstee also states the preferred choice would be Fishers Row beside the public toilets, but this is in fact Front Street – Fisher Row being the other side of town.

There have been safety concerns about large vehicles parking at the Inveraray toilets as it can get very busy with pedestrians. Inveraray residents would welcome the Screen Machine visiting again and I hope that common sense can prevail.

The community council would like to thank both Mr Nicol and the shinty club for their offers of help.

Linda Divers, convener, Inveraray Community Council

Council’s swimming pool boost

Sir,

Your readers will have seen in last week’s Argyllshire Advertiser that Mid Argyll Community Pool is to benefit from an additional £25,000 funding from Argyll and Bute Council over the next two years.

This cash injection is a real boost to our coffers and we are very grateful to the council for finding extra money in such a difficult financial climate.

When we ran our ‘I Love MacPool’ campaign last year, we had overwhelming support for our plans to improve and extend the services we offer to the people of Mid Argyll. We are delighted that the council has recognised this and provided this money to help us to realise our development plans.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our local councillors Taylor, Philand and MacMillan for their continuing support and championship of MacPool.

Kim Ritchie, chair, Mid Argyll Community Enterprises Ltd

New trade deals needed

Sir,

It was intriguing to note both the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, touring radio and TV studios to herald the increases in trade the UK has experienced with countries outwith the European Union. This included the likes of Japan and South Korea.

What was surprisingly not mentioned by these gentlemen was that this increase is largely due to the very fact that we are members of the EU, which has trade arrangements with these nations. There is, for example, a free trade agreement with South Korea which has provisionally applied since 2011.

Indeed, the EU has around 80 trade agreements either in place or partly in place, including with the likes of South Africa and Russia and 18 being negotiated, including with China, Brazil and India.

Many of these have taken years to be concluded, and that is with an EU market of 500 million people representing the world’s second largest economy.

By the UK tearing itself out of the EU it means not only are we removing ourselves from the largest single market in the world, with the economic impacts this brings, but we also have to begin lengthy negotiations to strike trade deals with those very same countries.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

Roads money well spent

Sir,

On Friday February 23 I removed a small quartzite boulder of 7.5kg weight from the roadway on Manse Brae east in Lochgilphead. This chunk of pure white silicon had fallen from the rear of a 4×4 and trailer combination as it passed over a rough area of early stage potholes.

The potential for costly damage was obvious. Fortunately no damage was done to tyres, windscreen or front end bodywork of my car.

This served to remind me of the big, coarse granite chippings from Crarae and Furnace quarries, measured in their hundreds of thousands of tons, used by Argyll County Council department of roads in the 1950s to 1970s.

In those days no road resurfacing job was signed off as complete until the secondary layer of blacktop had received its waterproof, frostproof coating of bituminous emulsion – that is tar and granite chippings.

This caused scores of broken windscreens during the first few days, but the end result was a good hard-wearing weatherproof top coat which could last up to 22 years.

This was money well spent, unlike the relatively recent resurfacing on Lochnell Street which is breaking up and will have to be re-done or patched very shortly.

Duncan Iain MacDougall, Tarbert

Tossing rubbish out car windows

Sir,

I attach a photograph of some items picked up off the roadside on the way over to Achahoish on Sunday March 4.

It is extraordinary that in the light of recent publicity about plastic pollution in our oceans and the campaigns run by national and local newspapers that there are still people who drive around using the open window of their cars as a convenient method of disposing of rubbish.

Never mind that it is an offence to do so, tossing crisp packets, coffee cups, water/juice bottles and, most frequently, cans of Red Bull.

Who are the rubbish tossers?

Mike Murray, Crinan