Letters – week 24

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Dog poo

Sir,

Further to your article ‘Three amigos clean up in Lochgilphead’, Friday May 25, I would like to add the lane behind Lochgilphead Bowling Club is often filled with fresh poo.

I’m sick of coming over nearly every day and finding poo all over the lane. The lane floods, so between trying to dodge puddles, you land in dog dirt.

I wish they would fix the path because a lot of people use it, some of them pensioners with or parents with prams.

Celia MacFarlane, Lochgilphead.

Diabetes week

Sir,

Seven out of ten people with diabetes feel overwhelmed by the demands of their condition and this significantly affects their mental and physical health.

That is why we are calling for new national standards for diabetes emotional and mental health support and to increase support available in Argyll to people living with diabetes.

As part of Diabetes UK’s Diabetes Week (June 10 – 16) we are urging people in Argyll to #SeeDiabetesDifferently and back our campaign for national standards for diabetes mental health support and services.

Our recently published research revealed the relentless nature of diabetes can impact people’s emotional well-being and mental health, ranging from day-to-day frustration and low mood, to specific psychological and mental health difficulties including clinical depression and anxiety.

The findings, published in the report ‘Too often missing: Making emotional and psychological support routine in diabetes care’, show that diabetes is much more than a physical condition – and that emotional and psychological demands of living with diabetes should be recognised and support provided.

Diabetes Scotland is urgently calling on the NHS to create national standards for diabetes emotional and mental health services. These should ensure everyone receives ‘joined up’ care, that they are asked how they are feeling as part of every diabetes appointment and that a mental health professional with knowledge of diabetes is part of every diabetes care team.

To sign our petition, go to diabetes.org.uk/missing

Angela Mitchell, National Director of Diabetes Scotland.

Serious crime

Sir,

I’m asking residents in the Highlands and Islands to give their views on Conservative proposals for tackling serious crime.

In order to provide Scotland with an alternative to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in 2021, we are keen to gain feedback from as many people to our policy proposals to make them as relevant as possible to the needs and aspirations of everyone in Scotland.

Too many people in Scotland are affected by the behaviour of serious criminals. This needs to be properly addressed and my colleague Liam Kerr MSP, shadow Justice Secretary, has outlined key policy proposals in a member’s bill in the Scottish Parliament to tackle this scourge.

It would give Scottish judges the power to impose whole life sentences to those convicted of the most serious violent and sexual crimes including the murder of a police officer.

The courts would still have discretion to impose the appropriate sentence based on all the facts of each case, as they do in England and Wales where such a provision already exists.

The proposed Whole Life Custody (Scotland) Bill will not mean the perpetrators of a particular crime will always receive a whole life sentence, but rather that the courts will have the power to impose one where there is sufficient justification.

We have started the consultation and experts and members of the public are invited to register their views.

Email me at donald.cameron.msp@parliament.scot or write to me at Donald Cameron MSP, 108 George Street, Oban, PA34 5NT, with your views.

MSP Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands.

NHS under threat

Sir,

The SNP has warned Scotland’s NHS is under threat from a Tory-Trump trade deal that could leave the Scottish Government without a veto over a post-Brexit deal that sells Scotland out.

This stark warning follows the revelations from Donald Trump that in terms of trade deals, everything, including the NHS, would be on the table.

At Prime Ministers Questions, SNP Deputy Westminster Leader Kirsty Blackman MP said Donald Trump and the Tories could not be trusted on the NHS and criticised the UK government for plotting to take powers away from the Scottish Parliament that would allow it to safeguard Scotland’s NHS.

The threats to Scotland’s NHS are growing under the prospect of a hard-right Tory-Trump Brexit trade deal. Those threats could undermine the integrity and independence of our Scottish NHS.

The UK Tories will block any potential veto by the Scottish Government over such a damaging deal.

The SNP government will fight to the end to defend Scotland’s public services from this unprecedented Tory Brexit danger. Our NHS must remain in public hands. It is not, and should never be, up for sale.

Scotland has been completely ignored throughout the Brexit process and Tory plans to grab powers from the Scottish Parliament will leave us even more exposed.

It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests, and keep our NHS in public hands, is with the full powers of independence.

MP Brendan O’Hara, Argyll and Bute.