Your letters to The Buteman: January 29, 2016

What do you think? Contact us with your views on this article by emailing
What do you think? Contact us with your views on this article by emailing

Included in this week’s selection of readers’ letters are a thank you message from the local Alcoholics Anonymous group and thoughts on the future of Inverclyde Royal Hospital, the Scottish Government’s funding of Amazon and the recent passing of weel-kent Bute jazz fan Jenny Brown.

Letters to the editor should be submitted with the correspondent’s name and address (and a telephone number, not for publication), to by 5pm on Monday at the latest.

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AA group thanks Rothesay church

This week we of Alcoholics Anonymous, Rothesay Chapter Five Group, celebrate our Silver Anniversary.

In reaching this milestone, we wish to express our sincere thanks to Trinity Church of Scotland for hosting our meetings throughout this time.

In late January, 1991, our great friend the Reverend Hilda Smith was instrumental in securing a base for us in church premises. She was also unstinting in her support, both practical and spiritual, for our fledgling group. Since then, Trinity Church has provided sanctuary for us.

We are self-supporting through our own contributions, but as we have a small core membership we are invariably unable to generate healthy funds.

Many mainland AA groups, much larger than ours , struggle to meet hall rental charges, and are sometimes evicted.

This is simply not an issue for Trinity Church, who never pressure us financially. On the contrary, in fact: on the rare occasions on which the hall has been unavailable to us, the hall committee is always at pains to ensure that alternative, suitable accommodation is at our disposal, with monetary considerations waived.

Our donations are irregular and woefully insufficient, but are accepted unconditionally.

For the last twenty five years, Rothesay Trinity Church has treated us with generosity, consideration and, most importantly to us, with discretion.

They have made certain that we recovering alcoholics are able to meet in a safe, central, and comfortable environment.

Furthermore, they recognise and understand our primary purpose as an AA group, ignore our limitations and foibles, and accommodate our needs. And for this, we are truly grateful!

Name and address supplied

Future of IRH under threat

As your readers may be aware, on a recent visit to Inverclyde, Nicola Sturgeon MSP stated that there were no plans to remove any services from Inverclyde Royal Hospital and that if there were, a full public consultation would be held into any such proposal.

It has now been revealed that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board is considering ending the existing community maternity service at the IRH.

As an active member of the ‘Save the Rankin’ campaign throughout its duration, I

regard the willingness of the former NHS Argyll and Clyde to employ duplicitous tactics in order to justify a decision which, patently obviously, it intended to implement from the outset, rendering the purported consultation process a total sham, as a demonstration of the contempt in which the people of Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Cowal and Bute were held by the board. This strategy was endorsed by the then Scottish Executive when, in 2003, it ratified the board’s recommendation to remove the Rankin’s consultant-led maternity provision.

Given NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s threat to the maternity provision at IRH, the conduct of the Argyll and Clyde Health Board during the above- mentioned ‘consultation’ and the ambiguity of Ms Sturgeon’s comments, it is clear that the IRH facilities currently available to mothers and fathers-to-be within the catchment areas may, sooner or later, be terminated.

Duncan Macintyre, 2 Fort Matilda Terrace, Greenock

Lasting tribute to Jenny
It was with great sadness I heard of Jenny Brown’s recent passing.
She epitomised what, as I have said previously in The Buteman, makes Rothesay.
She showed great kindness to my granddaughter and family on our recent visit to the Bute Highland Games last August.

People talk of icons and legends - Jenny was up there with them all.
Would it not be a nice gesture of the Rothesay authorities to erect a small statue in the foyer of the new Pavilion when it opens, to show their appreciation?
Our condolences go to her family.

Jimmy Falloon, 641 Carnlough Road, Cabra West, Dublin

Greater risk in staying in EU

It is true some Tory MPs claim that there is a slight risk to our economic wellbeing if we leave the EU.

There is a risk in crossing a road.

What they are ignoring is the greater risks not only to our economic wellbeing but our whole society as the EU continues its path to a fully fledged nation state run by bureaucrats for the benefit of those bureaucrats.

People all over the world are fighting for the very freedoms we are giving up to be an insignificant part of a failed political experiment that always ignores the human element while pushing to gain total control over us from the centre.

Eric R.S. Davidson, Bruce Street, Macduff, Banffshire

Supporting Fyne Futures

I write in support of Fyne Futures. They do a great job recycling and reusing materials on Bute.

The SNP government have instructed Argyll and Bute Council to implement savage cuts, but it would be a mistake for the council to take the Fyne Futures recycling work in-house.

This would cost the council money, not save any, and sending more material to landfill would be harmful to our environment.

I wish Fyne Futures all the best.

Alan Reid (Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll and Bute), 136 Fairhaven, Dunoon

Government’s Amazon help

Why did the Scottish Government give Amazon a massive hand out of £1 million in taxpayers’ money in 2015?

This notoriously low wage company boasts that it pays a wage of £7.20 an hour, i.e. below the living wage. Amazon also pays minimal amount of tax despite having two large depots in Scotland in Gourock and Dunfermline.

The company’s depot in Dunfermline is the largest in the UK and covers an area of 14 football pitches. It received funding from the Scottish Government to the tune of almost £9 million.

The Scottish Government only gives a quarter of a million to the Poverty Alliance Group, which is the agency which tries to oversee companies and encourages them to pay at least the living wage.

It seems to me that Scottish taxpayers are being short changed in this topsy turvey method of handouts to large companies which rip off their employees.

I am quite sure Argyll and Bute Council would be delighted to receive at least £1 million towards its services which employ staff at more than the living wage.

Margaret Horrell, 222 West Princes Street, Helensburgh