This week’s selection of your letters to The Buteman includes a defence of the SNP’s approach to managing the NHS, notification of a memorial to Bute’s second WW1 victim and ‘thank you’ messages to those who have supported Cancer Research UK’s fund-raising efforts on Bute.
If you’d like to see your views on any local issue published in our print edition, email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org (or click on the email address at the top of this story) by Monday at 5pm.
Please keep your contributions as short and to-the-point as you can, and remember to include details of your address for publication.
We also need a daytime phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.
Who should Scotland trust with our NHS?
Like U.J. Craig, in her letter of October 31, I too feel passionate about the NHS in Scotland, but unlike her, I see an improvement in services year on year here in Scotland, certainly in comparison to services in the England and Wales.
Yes the NHS in Scotland has stated that they have been asked to make cuts, but what they are calling ‘cuts’ is part of efficiency targets set for health boards. Such efficencies are made by health boards year on year to focus precious NHS resources on frontline care.
Crucially, though, efficiency savings like those being talked about are all then re-invested in full, directly into front-line healthcare in Scotland. This is, of course, the only way to protect vital care within the constraints of Westminster austerity.
The reality is that the current Scottish Government has prioritised and increased the NHS frontline budget year on year, taking it to more than £12 billion for the first time in 2015/16 – that’s despite Tory cuts which has seen George Osborne slash Scotland’s cash by more than seven per cent in real terms.
We need full control of our finances so we can we properly protect the health service budget.
She highlights a Lib Dem policy regards the NHS, but I would be very sceptical given their record in England.
Nick Clegg and his party backed David Cameron’s top-down NHS reorganisation from the start. It was passed thanks to Lib Dem votes, and they share responsibility for wasting £3 billion on a top-down NHS reorganisation while more people wait longer in A&E departments and more than five thousand nurses are cut.
Those are cuts that have put the NHS there in crisis, with nurses, doctors, and other professions out on the picket line.
Even in Wales, the NHS is in crisis, thanks to a Labour administration that has capacity in Welsh hospitals being stretched to breaking point by a lack of funding, and the pressure being placed on a reduced workforce which is creating serious issues throughout the health service in Wales.
The BMA has now called for a similar inquiry to that of Mid Staffords, into the Welsh NHS, but sadly for Wales, Labour continues to resist.
Scotland has received universal free prescriptions since 2011, in contrast to England where prescriptions cost £8.05.
The NHS was formed to provide a completely free health service for everyone. The British Medical Association has long called for a fundamental review, describing prescription charges as ‘outdated and iniquitous’ and calling on the government to ‘abolish prescription charges in England altogether’.
In whom should we place our trust in our NHS here in Scotland? Politicians who have the same policies and minifestos of those who are failing in their administrations down south, or the SNP, who, here in Scotland, manage to increase frontline spending in the NHS year on year, and are able to keep within those budgets year on year?
Perhaps we should be placing our time and energies trying to put pay to the waste of Scotland’s finances being spent on Trident, London-centric transport (HS2, Crossrail) and the Westminster system, including the unelected House of Lords, and instead focus on Scotland’s needs.
We must ensure that the NHS is never again under threat from Tory-led Westminster’s agenda of austerity, privatisation and patient charging, backed fully by the Lib Dems.
Hugh Moodie, 12 Bryce Avenue, Rothesay
Bute’s Stand Up To Cancer supporters
I would like to express both my personal thanks and the thanks of my team and everyone at Cancer ResearchUK for the most wonderful Stand Up To Cancer campaign on Bute through the month of October.
There are so many people who supported in different ways, not least the general public, who I so often list last in my letters of thanks but who donate so kindly and wholeheartedly time and again.
To those who did, I can only say that all our wonderful and crazy fundraising ideas would be pointless without their continued generosity.
And then there are those who gave their time and energy. Thanks must go to the following people and organisations:
* The Co-op and my volunteers and extra helpers who kicked off the campaign with a bag pack which raised our first £1,000;
* Pupils and staff at Rothesay Joint Campus who held their own charity day raising over £600; * To those who generously donated raffle prizes, raising almost £200;
* All the brave souls who faced the Gunge Bath on Montague street on October 4, which brought in another £450 - also to John Murray plumbers for the bath, and Appletree Nursery and Kingarth Hotel for its grisly contents!
* Alex, Sandy and all the staff and customers at Ettrick Bay tearooms who embraced the campaign completely, running a ‘Stand Up Pudding Initiative’ throughout the school holidays which boosted our funds by over £680;
* The Army cadets and firefighters who worked tirelessly washing cars for a day to collect another £500;
* The courageous six who abseiled from a church spire in Paisley, raising £1,014;
* Laura Mulholland and Shona Edwards for their fantastic face painting, and everyone who stirred, whipped and baked for our Halloween fun day which raised over £250;
* All who had whip-rounds in work, pyjama days, private sponsored events, collection cans and 20p collection boxes;
* To Radio Bute and Bute FM, Craig, Karen and all at The Buteman, and all those who bought merchandise and wore their T-shirts and wristbands proudly, helping us spread our hopeful message;
* Finally, our world record breakers. You helped raise an astounding £2,106 in just under an hour in our giant ceilidh in Guildford Square on October 18.
Thank you so much to everyone present, and in particular to Murray Mulholland for the cherry picker, Zak Harrison for his wonderful footage and photos throughout the campaign, Ross Hunter for piping everyone to attention, and of course Ricky Harrison for supplying the record-breaking tunes and pulling the event together!
Stand Up To Cancer 2014 has exceeded all expectations both nationally and locally. This year Rothesay will be contributing an astounding £7 317.51 (and counting!).
This Saturday, November 15, it will be time to hand over our proceeds to the very best scientists in the world, and let them put an end to cancer once and for all.
Anna Harrison (CRUK Rothesay shop manager), 101 Montague St, Rothesay
Latest Bute donations to CRUK
I am very grateful to the following for their recent kind donations to Cancer Research UK and would like to thank them most sincerely.
Remembering Bobby, always with love - Flora (£30);
Customers of the Co-operative, Bridge Street (£37.48), Rothesay Golf Club’s clubhouse (£46.36), Ardbeg Mini-Market (£24.32), Kingarth Hotel (£61.39), Electric Bakery (£31.98), High Spirit Co. (£17.91), Janine’s (£25.63), Dil’s Newsagent (£12.49) and Londis (23.51);
Saved Pennies (£2).
Fiona Martin (donations secretary, CRUK Bute branch), 4 Caledonia Walk, Rothesay
Remembering Bute’s fallen
Trays of turf have been placed at the town’s main war memorial for those wishing to place crosses of remembrance.
A cross was planted on Tuesday, November 4, in memory of Captain Claude Gray Buchanan who was killed exactly 100 years ago on this day in the Great War, the second soldier from Bute to die in this conflict.
Tom Muir (president, Isle of Bute branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland), Deanhood Place, Rothesay
Pavilion poems success
All of us involved in producing the ‘Poems for The Pavilion’ book, would like to thank everyone who has bought the book or given us donations for the Pavilion charity.
We have passed on £500 to the charity’s treasurer. A great result!
Print Point and The Castle Gallery still have a few copies for sale and we would like to thank them, For Bute, Ardbeg Stores and Ardbeg Post Office for taking copies to sell.
Eleanor Black, 4 St Andrews Walk, Rothesay