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Slate charity night success
Sir, – I’d like to thank everyone who made the recent charity night for the Slate Charity such a success – The Very Rev. Andrew Swift and the Vestry of St Paul’s, the Bute Ukulele Band, all the storytellers and those who donated raffle gifts which allowed us to raise the sum of £327, which was a terrific bonus to what was a very enjoyable evening.
Here’s to next year! – Yours, etc.,
Argyle Place, Rothesay
OAP’s fine effort painting railing
Sir, – Could I, as a resident of Battery Place, congratulate Iain Gillespie for the work he is doing on our promenade.
He is no youngster, yet he has taken on the large project of painting the promenade railings on his own.
The council has paid for the paint – oh, very well done to them – but he is doing the work on a voluntary basis.
Looking at the state of the railings and various other areas, if it wasn’t for people like Iain the town would disintegrate.
I can only draw the conclusion that Argyll and Bute
District Council are quite happy to see our town fall apart and depend on people like
Ian to keep it looking respectable.
We can spend untold millions on the Pavilion, which is seldom used, yet cannot invest money on the infrastructure of the town.
The sea side railings are a safety structure and should be maintained, I hope the council looks on in shame at the sight of a pensioner doing their work. – Yours, etc.,
Battery Place, Rothesay
BCP’s flippant statement
Sir, – £80,000 of hard-earned taxpayer money will have to be written off, in a flippant statement, by the three Musketeers, of Bute Community Power.
Just like that – £80,000 – no full scale apology, that we three got it all wrong.
No thought about the amount of work effort that the hard- pressed taxpayers put in to accumulate this huge amount of money, wasted, on a grandiose scheme that was bound to fail.
And to pass the buck back to Bute Estates...
Surely the directors of BCP shouldhave checked who holds the mineral right to the site.
That would have been basic research. But here we are, £80,000 later.
The directors say valuable lessons have been learned, and they have 126 members, and now wish to move on to new community ownership projects to generate our own shared wealth, and transforming the fortunes of the Bute community.
BCP has certainly transferred the fortunes of the Bute community – £80.000 lost from this crazy attempt at grandstanding to be a generator of clean energy; £80,000 that the Bute community does not have, unless the 126 members put the hat round.
We first had the shambles of the Rhubodach Forest buyout, costing the taxpayer lots of money, then BCF ended up selling a huge chunk back to Bute Estates at a knock-down price.
What a mess!
Taxpayers’ money is hard- earned by the citizens of the UK and should not be used in the flippant manner.
What a waste!
That £80,000 would have made a fantastic boost to the Kidney Dialysis Appeal. – Yours, etc.,
Roulette played with economy
Sir, – The Tory Government has played a dangerous game of roulette with Scotland’s economy. Despite Scotland voting emphatically to Remain, the impact of the UK decision to leave the EU could be long and painful for the Scottish economy, unless we move quickly to secure our place in the EU and retain access to the single market.
It is abundantly clear Westminster had no plan in place and as political panic runs through the establishment, the UK and Scottish economies are suffering. The morning after the Brexit vote, £137bn was wiped off UK blue chip stocks within minutes of markets opening. By Monday, the pound had dropped to a 30-year low of only $1.32 and the £:€ to €1.20. The UK lost its AAA credit-rating and changed from a ‘stable’ to a ‘negative’ outlook. We have seen major firms lose orders, graduates have job offers withdrawn, and major banks indicating they will relocate from London to the continent.
European Union membership has been and is good for Scotland. It has supported over 300,000 Scottish jobs directly and indirectly and provides access to £58bn of research and innovation funding.
The EU is the top destination for Scottish exports (42 per cent), worth around £11.6bn in 2014. The whisky industry was unanimous in its desire to see Scotland remain inside the EU. Scotland’s farmers and those involved in tourism were in no doubt that being part of the EU was good for business. Scotland is the most attractive part of the UK for Foreign Direct Investment in the UK with 72 per cent of investors citing access to the internal market as an important factor. Yet despite voting overwhelming to Remain, Scotland faces being taken out of the EU against our will.
In 2015, there were over 2310 foreign-owned companies in Scotland, employing around 314,000, with a combined turnover of £90bn. Around 42 per cent of these companies were ultimately owned by firms based in the EU.
The value of being part of the EU trading bloc cannot be overestimated as the economic bargaining power of 28 sovereign nations allows formidable safeguards in procuring public services and maintaining safety standards.
It is becoming clearer by the day that Brexit was a slogan, not a plan. We now have a UK government that is in disarray and a Labour Party opposition who would rather exploit the chaos to settle personal quarrels and tear itself apart in the process. By its actions, this Tory government has played a dangerous game of roulette with Scotland’s economy.
Thankfully our First Minister has, uniquely among British politicians, seized the initiative and shown stable leadership, with Scotland’s best interests her priority.
As the FM said, the single market is crucial for Scotland’s trade, exports, innovation and productivity. The SNP at Westminster and Holyrood have committed to explore all options to secure Scotland’s place in the EU. As I said to the PM on Monday, being forced to leave the EU against our will, is a “democratic outrage”.
We have called on the UK Government to take urgent action to provide the reassurance needed by the markets and to produce a comprehensive strategy to rebalance the economy.
The ramifications of Brexit, which Scotland did not want and did not vote for continue to unfold before us. – Yours, etc.,
MP for Argyll and Bute