Letters to the editor – 29.7.22

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‘Lets’ have significant consultation on real issues

In response to the article about short-term lets in the Oban Times of July 21, the Scottish Government has given local authorities the power to control short-term lets because of significant concern about what is happening in certain areas. The government guidance for this covers both where short-term lets be allowed and how the licenses for these short-term lets should be administered.

The consultation issued by Argyll and Bute Council last week covers how licenses should be administered but not where or when they should be approved.

The council appears not to have developed a policy regarding how and where short-term lets should be encouraged. They have not addressed the need for there to be any control areas, for example short-term lets in properties within tenement blocks.

What is needed is not consultation on how the licensing process should operate but on the detailed policy of the scheme itself – what it is intended to achieve in Argyll and Bute – including the application of additional licencing conditions.

As the Government’s guidance says: ‘Each licensing authority should have regard to their planning authority’s objectives and policies, including:

  • the local development plan;
  • other relevant planning policies; and
  • any intended or designated control areas.

I look forward to the significant consultation on the real issues!
Alison Rennie, Oban.

Sharing God’s word does not need a church building

‘Judgement day for Kirks’ made a dramatic front page headline in the Oban Times last week (July 21).

It would be great if some of the fine old Church of Scotland buildings under threat can find a new use or be retained for worship.

But the true and living Church, if we pay attention to the Bible, exists anywhere two or three believers meet for prayer and fellowship.

Effective evangelism also happens spontaneously, such as when Philip met the Ethiopian official on the desert road. The Ethiopian professed faith and was immediately baptised where water was available: no baptism font or building needed. A reduction in the number of Argyll Church buildings matters not one jot to the solid truth claims contained in the Bible.
JT Hardy, Belfast.

Charity appeals for volunteer drivers for vital appointments

Mid Argyll Transport Volunteers (Scottish Charity SC026106) is a group of volunteer drivers who take elderly, disabled and isolated people to hospital, doctor, dentist and optician appointments where they cannot rely on, or have difficulty using public transport.

These appointments are mostly to Lochgilphead Hospital, but we also take clients on longer journeys to Glasgow, Paisley, Inverclyde and Oban.

We are (always) short of volunteers drivers, especially at the moment. With Covid restrictions reduced and more people requiring our help, we are currently unable to take everyone who contacts us.

With that in mind, we wondering if any of your readers might consider becoming a volunteer drivers.

Anyone interested and wanting to find out more can visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MidargyllTransportvolunteers or call 01546 603564.
Malcolm MacDonald, chairperson, Mid Argyll Transport Volunteers.

Open day at Rockfield to have your say on BID4Oban reballot

The Oban Business Improvement District is due to reballot this year and we are looking for your views in order to kick-off our campaign.

You will have plenty of opportunity to send in your views and to shape our business plan going forward for the next five-year term.

Initially, we are asking you to look over our main aims and decide if they are still relevant for the town:

  • Making the best first impression
  • Let’s shout about what’s happening in Oban
  • Making Oban the place to stay, explore and spend
  • Working together for a more prosperous future
  • Extend the season
  • Making our town easier to visit

Do you think there’s anything missing from here and also what are your overall views about the BID? Please let us know by emailing admin@bid4oban.co.uk.
Our first face to face drop-in sessions will be held week commencing 1st August in The

Rockfield Centre. Please come in for a chat any time during the sessions below:
Monday August 1 – 1pm-4pm
Tuesday August 2 – 9am-12pm
Wednesday August 3 – 5pm-8pm
Thursday August 4 – 1pm-4pm
Friday August 5 – 9am-12pm

We would welcome any views or ideas from levy payers in order to enhance the BID service for the good of our town and community. We also realise that there may be new levy payers to the town that have not worked with a Business Improvement District before, please do come and see us or contact us for further information.
Andrew Spence, BID4Oban Chief Executive.

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