Letters to the editor – January 17, 2020

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Skate park pipe dream

Sir,

in 2017 The Argyllshire Advertiser ran a story entitled ‘Skate park pipe dream a reality for Lochgilphead’. Nearly three years later I fear the dream is still a long way from that reality.

Mid Argyll Youth Development Services (MAYDS) certainly seems to have ambitious plans for an indoor skate park and this is to be lauded, however a quick look online will show an apparent apathy with regard to moving forward with the project. A young man created the ‘Lochgilphead Skate Park Association’ on Facebook in 2012, yet a final post in 2016 indicated how little the proposal had moved forward. If the project needs more money to actually get it built we need to know how much, so that appropriate funding can be sought.

What is causing the project to take years to come to fruition?

The potential for help by the £3 million Tarbert and Lochgilphead Regeneration Fund in 2016 was dashed when councillors instead decided that improvements to road junctions, streets, a cycle track and indoor bowling were more important, and allocated a staggering £250,000 to feasibility studies for these projects alone, this is before any work is actually done, you understand.

That is a great deal of money for feasibility studies and design works.

Let us be realistic – in nine long years the community has gone from the initial excited buzz about a skate park to finally managing to purchase a plot of land upon which to build it in early 2018. From there it seems the project has not been able to move.

In the meantime the youngsters who worked so hard to give momentum to the project appear to have given up hope and are now probably giving thought to employment prospects rather than having fun.

It is a sad state of affairs.

But rather than giving up hope, let us reignite this campaign for our children to have the dream of a skate park in Lochgilphead whilst they are still young enough to enjoy it.

Nick MacIneskar, Tayvallich

Inveraray shore access

Sir,

With regard to your story in last week’s Argyllshire Advertiser ‘Inveraray seawall in need of attention’, would it be possible to contact BEAR Scotland and ask them if they could also create an access point to the shore?

Possibly at the bus stop at Barn Brae. Thanks very much.

Marion McIntosh, Inveraray

Better behaviour, not more laws

Sir,

I should like to make an appeal to all MPs, MSPs, councillors and all lawmakers that in 2020 they make no new laws.

At the beginning of this new decade they should improve the laws they already passed. I would even like for them to go further and reduce the number of laws that are in existence.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not against all laws. What I fear is that instead of addressing the issues which are negative to individuals and society, legislators believing that by extending what are regarded as crimes changes society for the better. Their belief is wrong.

We know that parking on pavements is wrong; ‘upskirting’ is horrifying; smoking in a car in which they are children is unacceptable; dropping litter is shameful; driving through a red light is dangerous.

What we need is the range of social and cultural influences that help us feel that we should behave in a positive way. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s the majority of people regularly attended churches and religious organisations. In these environments people developed feelings of what was right and wrong. Positive behaviour was also developed by participating in the extensions of these organisations through activities in young mother groups; women’s guilds, choirs, and religious celebrations. These helped develop positive moral compass in people.

Equally, most children and young people went to youth organisations such as the Girl Guides, Scouts, the BBs, army and naval cadets. Even into the 1990s local authorities ran youth clubs and had excellent people called ‘youth leaders’. No more. ‘We cannot afford them’ is the call of the day. Without them the honourable behaviour of society will continue to deteriorate.

So my plea to politicians is simple – stop making us all criminals by passing more and more laws and start supporting and encouraging agencies, groups and people who indirectly and directly instil in individuals behaviour of which all can be proud.

Finlay Craig

Cove

More local honours please

Sir,

There is all the hoo-ha at the moment over the lesser royals deciding its going to be a better life that beckons from opting out from royal duties – perhaps wanting a less stressful, more normal, life for themselves and their family as ordinary people away from the media hype and national newspapers.

It was lovely, however, to see in the same week front page on the local paper a real regional award for a less well-known commoner.

An MBE given for services to the local youth community, making this two great awards for Lochgilphead in recent years and showing that local strong ladies in Mid Argyll do have what it takes.

Hard work and true Scottish grit and determination in their hearts for the area and community. More of the same meritorious awards for the ordinary people of Scotland please.

Credit to all editors and staff for their outstanding journalism given over the years in all of Scotlands progressive, thriving local papers.

Stephen Jones, Oban