Letters to the editor – week 32

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Rent or buy

Sir,

At the latest Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islands meeting I stated a large number of my younger constituents have been contacting me in regards to the availability of housing.

While a greater number of affordable rental accommodation is more than welcome, a larger amount of affordable housing to buy needs to be built across Argyll.

I was also very happy at a recent meeting with my fellow Conservative councillors to discuss the huge importance of having a more streamlined planning service that helps rather than hinders economic strength across Argyll and Bute.

An effective planning system plays an important role in supporting growth – promoting and enabling the homes, jobs and services that communities need, creating a more competitive local economy and minimising uncertainty and delay for those proposing or affected by development.

We in Argyll are seeing a tremendous increase in our industrial output and we as a council must not place barriers in the way of future growth in this area.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Islay.

Best small shop

Sir,

I’m calling on Argyll and Bute’s small shopkeepers to enter the Best Small Shops competition, celebrating the creativity of small shops and the central role they play in their local community.

Argyll and Bute is a hub of small local retailers, many of which are a lifeline.

The Best Small Shops competition is open to any small shop operating in the UK. The competition is free to enter and all shops who enter will also be promoted to consumers through an online Indie Retail Directory.

Shopkeepers can nominate their businesses until Sunday September 9 via bestsmallshops.co.uk. A shortlist of 25 of the most impressive applications will be shortlisted by a panel made up of established representatives from the independent retail industry.

The judges will be looking for evidence of a small shops’ entrepreneurial spirit, ways that they have been innovative in their business and what they have done to have a lasting positive impact on their community.

The shortlisted small shops will be invited to a parliamentary reception on November 13 to meet their Member of Parliament and find out who will be crowned Best Small Shop 2018.

Argyll and Bute has an amazing array of small shops which help support our rural economy and I would love to see them recognised.

Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute.

Is this acceptable?

Sir,

Since when is it okay for a man to stand in a layby and urinate in broad daylight?

It has become more noticeable in recent years and is never a pleasant sight. It strikes me this sort of selfish attitude is something that may also be contributing to the growing problem of drivers throwing rubbish out their windows on Argyll’s road network.

If you can’t find a public toilet, at least find a tree to hide behind when you’re caught short – and a bin to chuck your rubbish in.

Name and address supplied.

Royal Mail goes digital

Sir,

At Royal Mail we never forget that we form an essential part of the UK’s social fabric.

We know our postmen and postwomen are valued members of the local community as they deliver letters and parcels six days a week – in all weathers. We’re also continually looking to make our services even better to give customers greater convenience as they shop online.

I’d like to make your readers aware of a few changes to their doorstep deliveries so there are no surprises.

Customers expecting tracked items from large retailers are among those to benefit from these changes. If they are not at home when we deliver, they will now receive email/SMS notifications on the whereabouts of their delivery. For customers who have provided their contact details, the notifications will confirm when their items have been delivered to a neighbour, as well as specifying the neighbour’s address.

The ‘Something for You’ card is also going digital, making it easier for customers to retrieve their item if they are not at home when we deliver. Email and SMS notifications will let customers either re-arrange their parcel delivery for another day or collect their item from their local Customer Service Point using relevant identification. Customers will no longer need to go home to collect the physical card – which we’ll continue to post through letter boxes.

And finally customers taking pre-paid parcels (including returns) to selected Royal Mail Customer Service Points will receive an acceptance scan as soon as they drop off their item thanks to new scanning technology.

Gerry McAuley, delivery director, Glasgow Mail Centre.

Decision on assisted dying

Sir,

The Supreme Court appears to have come to a sensible decision for the terminally ill in its landmark right-to-die ruling.

One year ago my adult children and I watched helplessly as a most loved, mentally alert member of our family, with terminal cancer, suffered a needlessly horrible and prolonged death.

This, after the patient had pleaded, for two weeks, with family doctors and religious leaders to end the constant suffering by requesting some form of assisted dying.

This Supreme Court decision has come too late for our loved one but hopefully Westminster and Holyrood will now each consider and pass a bill to allow assisted dying and prevent suffering for current and future patients.

Gordon Caskie, Muasdale.