Letters to The Buteman

Send your letters to The Buteman to news@buteman.com. Deadline is on Monday at 5pm.
Send your letters to The Buteman to news@buteman.com. Deadline is on Monday at 5pm.

Included in this week’s letters to The Buteman are thanks from the organiser of the island’s jazz festival, and an appeal for support from the Bute in Bloom team.

Cash squeeze taking its toll

Sir, – Anger, disbelief, dismay …. feelings not usually inspired by lamp posts.

These feelings, however, were there in abundance when I saw last week what was being done to our town lamp posts. From the Glenburn Road to the Pavilion they have stood proud and handsome for the last 15 years and more, bearing the town crest at their base and the whorled top adorned by the town castle.

The beautifully-proportioned tear drop glass bulbs and reflectors are being ripped off and we are now left with the coiled top ending in a stunted plug going nowhere and two feet below this there has been stuck on what can only be described as an illuminated frying pan or a mini-operating theatre light.

The once well-proportioned

and well-balanced lamp post is now totally destroyed and looks exactly as is reflected in Argyll and Bute Council’s attitude... cut costs no matter how the end result looks.

A reliable source informs me that they were rusting and becoming dangerous. Why were they rusting? Because of the lack of any form of maintenance over the years.

Anything will rust and become dangerous if totally neglected for a long period.

A glance at the seafront railings along Battery Place and bus stop posts shows what happens when there is no maintenance.

Rust is replaced by corrosion and then there has to be replacement rather than a coat of paint.

Another excuse was that the fittings were no longer available.

A quick trawl via Google reveals there are plenty of very similar fittings available so that is no excuse.

No, alas, some pen pusher in Kilmory has said: “Cut them all off and stick these on, it doesn’t matter how they look ….they’re cheap.”

Do those who are supposed to look after the appearance of our town give the slightest thought to such matters?

Do our local councilors have no say as to what happens to their town?

It would appear not.

Our combined aim is surely to attract more visitors to admire and enjoy Rothesay and Bute. The aim of the powers-that-be appears to be ‘if it’s cheap, it’ll do’.

Why is the appearance of the town being allowed to disintegrate in this manner?

Shortage of money is the quick and easy excuse and I accept all councils are feeling the pinch due, in part, to the vote catching cry of “We will freeze council tax for the next five, 10, 15 years” at election time.

Do governments not realise that if money coming in stays the same and money going out keeps going up the pot will empty?

And finally, the town centre and many other areas of Rothesay are designated as conservation areas.

Are those in Environment Scotland aware of what is being done to the appearance of this Royal Burgh? – Yours, etc.,

Donald Kinnear

The Bungalow, 1 Grosvenor Road, Rothesay

Sincere thanks from organiser

Sir, – Another Jazz Festival is consigned to history and it’s time to thank those who helped the event to run smoothly, together with the bands and individual artistes who provided such a magnificent musical feast for our customers in conjunction with our sound engineers, Sonovie.

Firstly our appreciation to our sponsors who provide invaluable help in grants and in kind, namely Argyll and Bute Council, CalMac the Mount Stuart Trust, ScotRail and The Co-operative.

Also to Bute businesses who support the Festival in many ways including buying space in our souvenir programme, and to the Friends of the Festival who provide financial support over and above the purchase of tickets, a vital income stream.

We would also like to thank local organisations including the Rotary Club, Bute County Cricket Club and Port Bannatyne Golf Club who supplied volunteers together with a number of other local people who answered our plea for ticket checkers and staff at the ticket office.

Our gratitude too to Dan Edgar, who not only served as a ticket checker but said some very kind words towards the end of the sell-out Monday Lunchtime Farewell Concert, and not least to all of you who supported us by buying tickets and attending events.

Tim Saul

Chairman of Isle of Bute Jazz Festival Ltd

Do you have any spare shrubs?

Sir, – Around this time last year, I appealed for any readers who had spare, or unwanted, plants to donate them towards the improvements to the square opposite the library.

The reaction was excellent and many bedding plants and shrubs were donated.

Every single plant was used, although two died off, and the action from the public was gratefully appreciated.

Once again, I am appealing for any extra, or unwanted shrubs who would like a caring home, to make their way towards the square.

If I am not on site then the shrubs can be left behind the rabbit and will be collected and used.

We have, at present, enough bedding plants for this area and with the shrubs being mainly planted in the two side rockery areas, this will, hopefully, lead to a low maintenance area for future years. – Yours, etc.,

Iain Gillespie

Secretary, Bute in Bloom