Seagulls and the NHS continue to provide plenty of food for thought on Bute - at least if the letters pages of The Buteman are any guide.
If you’d like to comment on any of the topics raised, or any subject of interest to Bute, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Monday at the latest - though as always, the sooner we hear from you, the better are your chances of seeing your views in print.
Please keep your letters as brief as you can, and remember to include your name and address for publication. We also need a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be printed.
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Action must be taken to deal with menace
On the subject of seagulls in Rothesay, I’ve been prompted to write to you by the comments of one of the readers on your Facebook page, who stated that “...occasionally, very occasionally they can cause people a bit of discomfort - get over it!”.
Well,occasionally, here in Bridge Park, my car and washing doesn’t get covered in seagull mess. Occasionally I don’t get attacked going to and from my house, and occasionally I get a sound sleep without a constant racket through the night.
However, most of the time, the total opposite is true, and something needs to be done. Having been a fish farm employee, I know exactly what should be done, but suspect it might upset the sensibilities of some readers.
Action must be taken to stop people feeding seagulls, or to stopgiving the gulls the opportunity to scavenge. Inverness has signs on all town centre bins regarding seagulls; why not Rothesay?
This situation is not only when the gulls are breeding, it is all year round, as anyone who lives in the vicinity of Hillhouse Road and Ferfadd Court can verify.
Anyway, I’m off to do a washing, cover my car and put ear plugs in...
Allan Smith, 21 Bridge Park, Rothesay
Make sure your name is on the voters’ roll
The Tories are changing the system of electoral registration. This means that people who are still living at the same address as last year will no longer be automatically kept on the electoral register.
That could mean losing your vote for next year’s Scottish Parliament election and the EU referendum.
To be certain of keeping your vote, ensure that someone in your household returns the form which will have been sent to your house by the Electoral Registration Office or register on-line at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
As a former MP, I know that, at every election, there are some people who only find out too late that they are not on the register.
With the changes the Tories are making, this could easily happen to more people, so don’t forget. Register now!
Alan Reid, 136 Fairhaven, Kirn, Dunoon
Many reasons to praise NHS in Scotland
There has been much criticism of NHS Scotland in recent months, with particular focus on waiting times, staff sickness, costs and so on. Yet there has been very little mention of the positives.
Positives such as the key waiting times target for Scotland’s accident and emergency (A&E) departments being met yet again, free prescriptions and free hospital parking.
Figures recently released showed 95.2 per cent of patients were seen and then admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.
Just this past week, having had a new baby enter the world, I was struck again at the standard of care received - not just locally here on Bute, but at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where the centralised Special Care Baby Unit has the ability to provide expert care for newborns who need it.
Yes, it would have been great to have had our baby here on Bute, but the specialist care that was required to be on standby was not available and was not worth the risk.
One big factor that I didn’t have to worry about was paying for parking at the hospital - I dread to think of the cost under a Labour/Tory led Scottish Government.
Many policies taken up by the SNP in recent years have been to the benefit of patients, such as free prescriptions, saving patients with cardiovascular conditions £4.6 million, mental health patients £4.8 million, and those with asthma or chronic pulmonary disease £2.6 million. The list goes on.
Labour and the Tories propose the introduction of a tax on sickness in total contrast to the SNP who will remain committed to free prescriptions for all in Scotland.
On behalf of me, my family and my new baby in particular, thank you NHS Scotland.
Hugh Moodie, 12 Bryce Avenue, Rothesay
Thanks for donations to CRUK on Bute
I am extremely grateful to the following for their recent donations to Cancer Research UK.
For Morland, much loved husband, dad and papa - always in our thoughts (£50);
In loving memory of Ninian Reynolds, from Carolanne (£20);
20p tubes (£10.60);
Customers of Londis (£32.20), Jessmay’s (£23.57), R.H. McIntyre (£41.32), Electric Bakery (£25.82), Kingarth Hotel (£44.77), Co-operative, Bridge Street (£48.58), Cellar No. 1 (£18.08) and Zavaroni’s cafe (£41.13).
Fiona Martin (donations secretary, Bute branch of Cancer Research UK), 4 Caledonia Walk, Rothesay
Thanks to all Bute in Bloom’s supporters
Rothesay had its annual visit on Thursday, August 5 from the judges from the Beautiful Scotland competition.
On behalf of the Bute in Bloom campaign, the organisers of the Rothesay competition entry, I would like to thank the following for lending their support by giving presentations to the judges:
Lorna Pearce from the Townscape Heritage Initiative; Marlene Hill of For Bute; Alan and Georgina Denholm at the Chapelhill rockery; Jessmay and Brian Large in Academy Road; Peter McDonald at Rothesay Pavilion; Sandra MacMillan of Beachwatch Bute; Mark McCormack at the Grow Bute allotments; Bute Brew Co; John McGuigan from the HELP Project; Reeni Kennedy-Boyle at Bute Produce; and Joe McCabe from Argyll and Bute Council’s amenity services department.
Thanks also to Jimmy Lilley at Ardencraig Gardens and to Linda McLaughlan and Sam Tweedlie from Argyll College for the welcome the judges received at Ardencraig, the final stop on their tour.
This year we had hanging baskets reinstated on Rothesay’s lamp-posts, which made a well noticed and appreciated impact on the frontage of the town. Our thanks to Joe McCabe and his gardeners for this.
The reinstated area opposite Rothesay Library was also appreciated, and received positive comments from the judges; thanks also, therefore, to the clients of the HELP Project.
Albert Place and Guildford Square were greatly enhanced by the displays of new planters, and our thanks to Jim and David from Ardencraig Nursery for making up most of the planters - and also to two of our main, and most generous, donors, Willie McFie of Bute Tools , who donated all the compost, and Craig Laird of Bute Pet Supplies who donated a very large number of the plants.
Our thanks also to the traders of the town who allowed us the space in front of the premises and who undertook the task of watering and tending to the plants. Hopefully next year we can improve further on this display. One outstanding display that is particularly eye-catching and is much appreciated is of the hanging baskets outside the Castle Gallery at the bottom of the High Street.
If I have failed to thank anyone involved in this year’s Bute in Bloom competition entry, please accept my apologies.
Iain Gillespie (secretary, Bute in Bloom), 37 East Princes Street, Rothesay
In praise of Bute Island Radio
It wouldn’t be hard to write a letter every week in praise of the many, many wonderful community projects to be found around our island.
However, I would like to focus on one in particular - namely our local radio station.
As all who can remember back to its early days will know, it has experienced many ups and downs since its first programmes were broadcast in 2009.
But I believe that this, as in all walks of life, more often than not turns out to be a beneficial learning curve and can produce a stronger base from which to grow.
I do not need to wear rose-coloured glasses to see how blessed I am to live in such a wondrous place, and our radio station is such a bonus.
While being associated with music, it also provides an essential source of community information.
Over its time in existence I have come to realise the extent of the time and dedication put in by its team of volunteers.
The presenters are from all age groups and experiences and cover a wide range of music and community activities. It would be a sad loss if it did not exist for us all to enjoy.
The transmission reaches out worldwide, so is a big plus when it comes to promotion of the island.
If you are reading this and have never tuned in, might I suggest you give it a whirl, either on 96.5FM or on the internet.
Be mindful of the iconic words of the poet John Lydgate: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
Jeff Worrall, Springtide, 8 Battery Place, Rothesay
Still buzzing after Rothesay raft race
On behalf of the Isle of Bute Sailing Club, can I say a massive thank you to everyone who took part in the 2015 Rothesay Bay Raft Race on Sunday. The whole place was buzzing!
Well done to the makers and crew of the nine rafts who took part, representing the Hydro Electric Board, R.H. McIntyre, Mount Stuart, ButeFest, Carolyns Crew, Bute Cricket Club, the Young Farmers, Cancer Research Dragon, and the Rainbow Warriors. You were all fabulous.
Thank you also to the wonderful team of volunteers at the Isle of Bute Sailing Club and to everyone who turned up to support the event.
Thank you also to the crew of the RNLI’s Largs inshore lifeboat for popping by - a donation is on its way - and to Craig and Zak for the superb pictures of the event. Thank you to Chris Kinloch for the musical backdrop to the event, to Light Up Bute for the entertainment provided at the sailing club for those who gathered to enjoy the climax and aftermath of the race, and to Crazy Chris for all his balloons.
The success of the day just underlines what a wonderful community we have on Bute. I’m still buzzing!
Lorna Campbell (secretary, Isle of Bute Sailing Club), Sunnyside, 12 Argyle Place, Rothesay