Letters to the editor – February 26, 2021

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Politicians in hiding over A83

Sir,

The news that 100,000 tons of debris could close the Rest and be Thankful is not what  we need to hear just now.

There is some possibility of recovery from Covid-19 economically within the next few  months and Transport Scotland is said to be looking at a range of options for the Rest.

The best and only option that would bring some relief to the people of Argyll would be  a new road through Glen Croe, and as soon as you like please. Options! There is only one possible and that should be obvious.

When I first moved to Argyll, driving through Glen Croe was a beautiful feeling that I had left the urban areas behind and come out into fresh country. No longer – it is a disaster zone and will remain so for a number of years, and possibly decades, if a new  safe road is not built.

With the elections in May for the Scottish Government, we should be calling on our  politicians to deliver a suitable road through Glen Croe and to do it soon, not 10 years  away with no firm plans to do it even then. Our politicians are in hiding and it is time they should deliver.

The option should be for a new safe road well away from any landslide so that we, the inhabitants of Argyll, can get back to some normal life.

Derrick Anstee, Inveraray

No more cheap solutions

Sir,

The neglect of the A83 is a disgrace.

It’s not just the long detour via Crianlarich when it rains heavily, it’s the potholes and ruts when we get a spell of cold weather.

Three years ago we had a cold winter and the A83 became a dirt track. Emergency repairs had to be carried out. The Scottish Government said they’d solved the problem. Now we have another cold winter, and again emergency repairs are needed.

Other trunk roads in Scotland don’t get closed when it rains or get all these ruts and potholes in a cold winter.

We need serious money invested now to solve the A83 problems. Yet all we get from the Scottish Government is waffle about lengthy public inquiries.

We need money and action now to make the A83 as reliable as Scotland’s other trunk roads, not more cheap solutions.

Councillor Alan Reid, Cowal ward

Mr Reid is the LibDem candidate for May’s Scottish parliamentary election

Roaming the streets

Sir,

With reference to the return to school, I do hope that the pupils in Lochgilphead Joint Campus are kept in at lunchtime instead of being allowed to roam the streets like herds of wildebeast, with absolutely no social distancing or the wearing of masks.

There is a perfectly good functioning canteen/restaurant in the school and/or packed lunches.

There is no need, at this time, for them all to be out and crowding supermarkets, fast food shops, cafes and chippies.

This needs to be addressed by the Argyll and Bute education department as soon as possible.

Name and address supplied

Airbrushing out Scotland

Sir,

In a leaflet delivered to every home in the Argyll and Bute constituency, Conservative MSP Donald Cameron claims that the ‘UK Government (has) announced the Argyll and Bute Rural Growth Deal worth £50 million’ and goes on to say that he is working with local councillors ‘including Alastair Redman’ (who is pictured)  to ‘see what further action is needed’.

The Rural Growth Deal, however, is a joint project involving £25 million from the Scottish Government and a matched sum from the UK Government as well as more than £20 million from other sources.

In addition the deal has its origins in discussions between the Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell, then Scottish Government Finance Secretary John Swinney and the former leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Dick Walsh, in February 2016. The UK Government only became involved some years later.

This would be a very serious attempt at disinformation were it not so ludicrously self-defeating. Mr Cameron is standing to be a member of the Scottish Parliament yet he is trying to airbrush out anything Scottish about the largest investment ever in Argyll and Bute and its future.

I hope it is merely ignorance of what has happened here that has led him to so severely misrepresent the truth of the issue, because if it is political spin then he needs to apologise and withdraw the leaflet.

Being pictured next to Alastair Redman won’t help him either, given that Mr Redman is best known for his regular letters to local papers attacking the very Scottish Government that is putting an extra £25 million into this area.

The Scottish Tories need to decide who they are working for – Boris Johnson in London, or the people of Scotland.

Until Mr Cameron sorts his loyalties out, then he can’t be regarded as any sort of contender for the privilege of representing the people of Argyll and Bute.

Michael Russell MSP

A divisive referendum

Sir,

The SNP has committed £600,000 to prepare for a second referendum within the next year.

Instead of being focused on Scotland’s vaccination programme and protecting people’s jobs, the SNP’s priority is holding another divisive referendum as early as this year.

Setting aside this vast sum of money to help preparations for a referendum shows the SNP’s commitment to return Scotland to the politics of division all over again.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and the Islands ward