Letters to the editor – June 12, 2020

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Amazing volunteers


I would like to take this opportunity to thank volunteers for all their help and hard work over the lockdown period.

Volunteering groups have been amazing and I have personal experience of the support offered by Team Tarbert to enable others to stay safely at home.

The volunteers have been compassionate and reassuring and every visit the volunteer has a cheery smile and happy wave.

Thank you to all volunteers. You have made a difficult situation so much easier and it is much appreciated.

Stay safe stay well.

Councillor Anne Horn, Tarbert.

Public toilets – a letter to Argyll and Bute Council

Is it possible for the public toilet in Lochgilphead to be opened again soon if the necessary safety measures can be put in place to protect the public and staff?

I would suggest:

  • Disinfectant hand spray could be available for users prior to entry to the toilet if people were to put their hands underneath a sensor? All users would have to use this spray before being allowed entry. It could be similar to a hand drier in that people put their hands under the sensor for the spray.
    The spray could be available for people leaving the toilet as well as normal soap and water.
  • A limit to stop too many people using the toilet at the same time. If not a manual count, perhaps an automatic device to inform people outside the toilet how many people are inside? This would ensure a maximum of perhaps two or three people were using the toilet at the same time.

I think the toilets should be available soon for the public, but more safety measures such as disinfectant hand spray would be required before they opened.

Peter Laing, Lochgilphead.

Reply from the council’s roads and infrastructure services department:

Dear Mr Laing,

In order to focus resources on maintaining essential services, protecting frontline staff and ensuring public safety, a number of services have been suspended, including the closure of public conveniences.

At this time, we do not have the resources to ensure public conveniences are regularly cleaned and maintained, furthermore we do not wish to encourage those from outlying areas to visit and risk bringing infection to the local area.

We will continue to monitor the services and will re-open the public toilets when safe to do so.

Dominic Cummings should go


In condoning Dominic Cummings decision to go to Durham and Barnard Castle during lockdown, Boris Johnson has completely undermined trust in the UK Government and its efforts to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

To trivialise his misdemeanours effectively says ‘it’s alright to disobey the rules’, ‘just follow your own instincts’. It shows contempt for those in the NHS who have risked their lives to save others. It shows contempt for those who have died without their loved ones by their side. It shows contempt for all of us who have stuck by the rules to protect our lives and the lives of others.

Boris Johnson has asked us to ‘move on’ but this issue will not go away. This is a wound that will continue to fester.

Dominic Cummings continues to be a major player in government decisions and rules, those rules he so shamelessly flaunted without even an apology. He should have had the humility and integrity to resign, or been sacked by the Prime Minister.

Marion Lacey, Lochgair.

Recognising rural businesses


Organised by Scottish Land and Estates (SLE), the annual Helping it Happen Awards, which are free to enter, showcase the work done in 2019/20 by businesses, farms and estates to help rural Scotland thrive.

We have heard of so many wonderful examples of people working together during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are especially encouraging entries to our new ‘Community Champion of the Year’ category.

If you have helped your community during the pandemic, diversified your business, are doing innovative work on your farm or perhaps you have been doing some really important work in conservation, the environment or educating youngsters about rural Scotland, you should enter – or nominate someone else.

The Helping it Happen Awards are sponsored by GLM and there will be a Community Champion of the Year award across five Scottish regions: North East, Highland, Central Scotland, South West and South East.

To enter, visit tie SLE website or search for ‘Helping it Happen Awards’ online. The deadline is Wednesday August 5.

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive, Scottish Land and Estates.


You can be big, you can be small,

You can be heroes, one and all.

You can be Captain Tom on his hundredth lap,

Support key workers with the Thursday night clap,

Provide a Care Home with protective gear,

Be a voice on the phone dispelling all fear,

A musician or singer putting smiles on a face,

When out and about respecting other folks’ space,

The company boss with a work-safe plan,

A volunteer who signs up to help where she can,

Raise funds like the wee boy riding his bike

Or run up and down stairs – a dad’s mountain hike,

Give a shielding neighbour a friendly wave,

Be an ICU nurse with a life to save.

The things that you do can be big, can be small,

You can be heroes, one and all.

Kirstin Thompson, Lochgilphead.