This week’s crop of Letters to the Editor includes thoughts on the Liberal Democrats, the Rest and Be Thankful, Ardencraig Gardens, the Bute dialysis unit campaign and more.
As ever, to add your views to the debate on any subject of interest to Bute, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our letters deadline is 5pm on Monday - though as always, the sooner we hear from you, the better are your chances of seeing your views in print.
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‘Lib Dems betrayed us’
Another Thursday, another Buteman and yet another letter from Mr Alan Reid.
I have nothing personal against Mr Reid but he does need reminding that he represents a political party that betrayed the people who voted for them at the 2010 general election.
By forming a coalition government with the Conservatives the Liberal Democrats proved themselves untrustworthy, opportunistic and self-seeking, and are now the proverbial busted flush.
Thankfully the electorate at the 2015 General Election showed exactly what they thought of the Liberal Democrats by voting 86 per cent of their MPs out of office. In Scotland the picture was even more dire and they lost ten of their 11 MPs.
The one Liberal Democrat MP returned was the now infamous Alastair Carmichael. This is the serving MP who feels it is right and proper that he continues to represent Orkney and Shetland despite two serving judges, in an election court, finding that he told “a blatant lie”.
Mr Reid will no doubt continue to write his letters to The Buteman but come the election for the Scottish Parliament in May I trust the people of Scotland will remember that the record of the Liberal Democrats is one of untrustworthy actions and disdain towards the electorate who vote for them.
David Coll, 17 Argyle Place, Rothesay
Permanent solution needed on A83
Alan Reid of course is quite correct in his letter to The Buteman (January 8, 2016, ‘Urgent action needed at Rest and Be Thankful’).
Due to the quite awful record of CalMac’s ferries which are not fit for purpose to Gourock and with their now 85 minutes crossing (and that’s before docking!) the A83 via the Rest and Be Thankful is a secondary artery for Bute travellers to the mainland.
I sincerely hope that our local Bute councillors are united in their support at Kilmory meetings to have once and for all a permanent solution resolved on the A83 which has been ongoing for years.
The answer, however, is quite simple - a viaduct similar to the one constructed in a few months in Norway which solved a long standing problem.
As a motorist using the A83 constantly for more than 60 years - and having observed Stirling Moss racing on the old General Wade Military Road! - I find it appalling that there was a two-day delay before this relief road was opened last week and required a safety inspection.
I sincerely hope therefore that our SNP MP and MSP visited the scene during the closures as they both live in close proximity. I doubt it!
Yes, yet another Argyll amd Bute Council and Scottish SNP Government disaster - I hope they are all hanging their heads in shame.
Kenneth P. Colville, Lorne Lodge, Mount Stuart Road, Rothesay
Ardencraig cuts proposal is ridiculous
I love Bute and get The Buteman sent to me in Oxfordshire, where I live.
I was so upset to read that the council may be considering removing the flowers. Getting rid of them is utterly ridiculous. They are the one thing everyone always talks about when they discuss Rothesay!
I am probably Bute’s longest-visiting and most faithful tourist, since I have come to Rothesay annually for the past 88 years.
I have already booked two more visits this year, and I would hate to arrive and see grass instead!
The glorious display of flowers are a very long-standing tradition on the island and they are a huge part of Rothesay’s heritage. When you think of Rothesay, you think of the joyful flowers. If money is the issue, spend less on the Pavilion and keep the flowers.
Jill Fairbrother, 10 Bailie Close, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Rothesay is famous for its flowers
I have signed the petition against removing the flowers at Ardencraig and the Winter Gardens because we have been coming to Bute for my holidays every year for over fifty years and we all love the flowers in Rothesay. Everyone does!
One of the main reasons we keep coming back to this beautiful island every year is to be ‘wowed’ by the gorgeous flowers. Rothesay is famous for them!
When I think of Rothesay, I think of the kaleidoscopic profusion of dazzling colours and the pleasure they give everyone. It would be heartbreaking if they were grassed over. They are so special - no other place in the world has quite the same charm and personality as Rothesay, and an important part of that is due to the flowers. They are so important.
We spend our holidays in Bute to see these displays. Destroying the flowers would be an act of vandalism that would have a devastating effect on Bute’s economy.
When you consider the frankly obscene amount of money that is being spent on the Pavilion, the cost of the flowers is negligible in comparison.
People come to Rothesay, not for the Pavilion but for the flowers. Destroy the flowers and you destroy tourism.
Alana Dickinson, Holly Tree House, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, Oxfordshire
Full support for dialysis unit on Bute
Your front page article last week rightly highlighted the difficulties faced by kidney dialysis patients who live on Bute. I fully support the campaign to bring a dialysis unit to Bute.
I supported the campaign to bring dialysis units to Argyll and Bute when I was the local MP, and was delighted when the pilot unit was established in Campbeltown. Assuming the Campbeltown pilot is a success, the Scottish Government must establish dialysis units in all local hospitals.
The campaign group in Campbeltown had to raise a great deal of money themselves to get the unit established there. The Scottish Government should not force other communities to raise money, but should provide units free on the NHS.
Alan Reid (Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll & Bute), 136 Fairhaven, Dunoon
Location of post box in Bute picture
I receive four copies of The Buteman every month from a friend, Freda McKellar, who lives at Old Kilpatrick but used to be resident on the island. I saw the ‘Picture of the Week’ in your December 25 issue, and remember passing this post box years ago while walking from Montford to Ascog.
The steps next to the box led to a little shop or post office. We used to come to Bute to stay with family, and had many very happy times.
Jean Breeze, 90 Harris Street, Darlington
Let’s inspire young people
As we look towards the Holyrood elections this May, hundreds of young people across Scotland have been delivering a ‘National Call to Action’ to politicians in their local constituencies, telling their own personal stories about how youth work has made a difference to their life.
YouthLink Scotland would like to thank the MPs and MSPs who have been involved in our ongoing campaign, and for their interest and support for youth work services.
We believe that if the attainment gap is to be closed for those most at risk from under achievement then a partnership between formal education and youth work at local level is essential.
This would ensure that a mix of learning styles and opportunities are available both inside and outside of school.
This requires strategic investment and a greater policy emphasis on the value that youth work activity brings to young people and society.
The youth work sector works with around 380,000 young people each week and has a key and valuable contribution to make.
Youth work needs financial investment. The youth work sector is experiencing a decline in core and project funding, and cycles of short-term funding make it difficult to plan and sustain services.
YouthLink Scotland members tell us regularly that politicians and other professionals must place more value on youth work.
If we are really going to tackle the educational attainment gap then we need to realise that not all young people respond to formal education – they need another path, another approach that engages them and keeps them on their learning journey.
A solid partnership with formal education would ensure that all our young people can learn in a way that inspires them.
Jim Sweeney (chief executive, YouthLink Scotland), Rosebury House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh