Letters to the Editor – Week 31 – 2022

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Seafood fest thanks

Now that we have managed to get everything sorted out and catch our breath, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the Tarbert Seafood Festival.

It was great to be back in true Tarbert style, making the best of the weather and enjoying being together again.

Thank you to Argyll and Bute Council for its financial support, to Tarbert Harbour Board and Tarbert Enterprise Co for help and support, also Tarbert Coop for community funding and supporting all community events.

To our lovely queen and princesses they did us proud.

Too many people to thank individually, so just a massive thanks, you know who you all are.

Onwards and upwards to next year.

Duncan, Kerry and Margaret

Reinvest to avoid housing crisis

Argyll and Bute is in the grip of a housing crisis with average prices rising more sharply than the national average.

Since 2004 they have soared by 137 per cent, while more and more properties are turned over to second and holiday homes.

The dire shortage of properties means key job vacancies in sectors like farm-raised Scottish salmon but also in crucial public services such as the NHS and the police, cannot be filled.

At Salmon Scotland, our members already play a vital role in keeping coastal communities and local businesses alive.

Salmon exports from Argyll and Bute totalled £140 million last year, directly supporting 500 jobs.

We need more people to join us in looking after our world-leading salmon and continue creating wealth for the economy.

We also believe our neighbours, the people who live closest to our salmon farms, should be the ones who benefit the most.

A Norway-style system would mean more of the money our farmers pay in license fees is reinvested in the communities it comes from.

We want £10-million per year – around half of all fees – to be ploughed back into affordable housing.

Like Norway, Scotland should return rents paid to the Crown Estate in Edinburgh to Argyll and Bute and the other areas where they are generated.

Scottish ministers, who often look towards Nordic countries for inspiration, have been commendably clear in supporting the sustainable growth of our sector.

Following Norway’s example would help attract more people to live and work in towns and villages on the brink.

Tavish Scott, Chief Executive, Salmon Scotland

Walk to help the hungry

You don’t have to walk 500 miles to raise funds for Mary’s Meals this summer.

The Proclaimers famously sang about walking 500 miles, and now the musical brothers are asking people in Argyll and Bute to take on their own walking challenge to help Mary’s Meals feed hungry children.

Craig and Charlie Reid are calling for residents to take part in the charity’s Move for Meals campaign, which encourages people to raise sponsorship while getting active.

Mary’s Meals serves nutritious school meals in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The promise of a good meal attracts hungry children to the classroom, giving them the energy to learn and hope for a brighter future.

Today, we face some of our greatest challenges yet in a world devastated by conflict, food insecurity and the cost of living crisis.

It is easy to feel hopeless when faced with so much suffering. But every single thing that people do for our mission makes an enormous difference to the children who eat Mary’s Meals.

To find out more, please visit marysmeals.org.uk/move-for-meals.

Dan McNally, head of grassroots engagement, Mary’s Meals.