Letters to the editor – week 12

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Ambulances need funding

Sir,

The recent announcement by Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing of plans to build up to 70 new telecommunications masts in Argyll and the Isles is of concern to the Scottish taxpayer.

An investment of £25 million in mobile connectivity should raise questions as to this government’s priorities.

These masts are not about connecting remote communities. They are ‘infilling’ to cover any potential blackspots and the question should be asked as to whether this huge amount of money could have been better spent.

I would urge readers to email their MSPs to ask serious questions regarding why their money is being used to ensure 100 per cent mobile coverage when we have many other issues in the Highlands, not least the lack of funding within the NHS.

As a former member of the ambulance service, I am acutely aware of the limited resources at the forefront of emergency care. This lack of resources does not include a need for 100 per cent mobile coverage or 4G but are more about maintaining vehicles with mileages equivalent to the distance needed to get to the moon.

Creaking and unsanitary conditions are present in ambulances because they are so old. It is not unusual for vehicles to break down. Some essential equipment is almost at the point of being unusable. Only the very hard work of ambulance staff keep these vehicles on the road.

Have a good look at an ambulance next time you can and think about where that £25 million should really go.

Nicholas MacIneskar, Barrahormaid Farm, Tayvallich.

Remember our seafarers

Sir,

The world’s oldest maritime welfare charity is asking churches in Argyll to remember the world’s seafarers in a special service.

Congregations from around the world will take part in Sea Sunday services on Sunday July 8 in aid of the Sailors’ Society.

Each year, the Christian charity, which celebrated its 200th birthday on Sunday March 18, asks churchgoers to pray and give thanks for the world’s 1.6 million seafarers.

Whether they know it or not, the people of Argyll rely upon seafarers.

More than 90 per cent of everything we own comes by sea – our clothes, phones, cars – even the bricks used to build our homes. All of these goods are brought into the country by seafarers who risk extreme loneliness, dangerous storms and piracy.

Holding a Sea Sunday service for Sailors’ Society is a fantastic way of recognising the amazing work seafarers do.

The charity has created a variety of resources for churches, which are available to download at www.seasundayhero.org.

The resource pack includes a sermon outline, PowerPoint, videos, posters and Sunday School lesson plan and activities.

Stuart Rivers, chief executive officer, Sailors’ Society.

Ignoring rural Scotland

Sir,

Shockingly 30 per cent of A roads in Scotland are now classed as red or amber, meaning they are in need of inspection or requiring work.

Despite Scotland spending significantly more than the UK average on maintaining roads, only three per cent of A roads in England were in poor condition, compared to 30 per cent in Scotland. These figures are shocking and have a huge knock on for motorists who face increased damage to their cars, vans and motorbikes.

Ultimately the SNP has failed to improve the situation and motorists are the ones paying the price for inaction.

When you include the challenges that we in rural constituencies like Argyll and Bute face with the large upcoming spike in logging tonnage on our roads and the continued growth of heavy freight from our world famous distilleries, it’s clear a piecemeal approach to road maintenance is not enough.

Argyll and Bute Council has stepped up to the plate with plans to spend £15 million on roads over the next two years.

Now it’s time for the SNP at a national level to act. For far too long the separatists in the Scottish Government have focused too much on urban areas while ignoring rural Scotland.

With the large scale losses inflicted on the separatists in the last election, particularly in rural constituencies, the SNP must heed public anger on this matter or face an even faster decline.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Isle of Islay.

 

 

 

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