Argyll and Bute Council, the SNP and the campaign for a Yes vote all find themselves under attack in the letters page of The Buteman’s July 18 edition.
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No sign of a plan for maintenance
The distinction between capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure seems to be unknown to Argyll and Bute Council.
Our masters in Lochgilphead can organise one-off expenditure for some projects, but the maintenance of those projects, which requires regular expenditure, seems to be beyond their level of expertise.
Consider the decline of the Pavilion, the bus shelters in Guildford Square and elsewhere or the inability to replace the damaged lamp-post opposite the Coffee Stop in the High Street.
Perhaps Argyll and Bute Council is simply not yet aware that its responsibilities extend beyond the boundaries of Argyllshire?
Hamish Kirk, 1/1, 17 Russell Street, Rothesay
MP hits back at claims over bedroom tax
I was shocked to read in Councillor Strong’s letter last week her claim that disabled people on Bute are having to pay the bedroom tax.
I voted against the bedroom tax and was able to get extra money from the Government for Argyll and Bute Council to help people pay their bedroom tax. The council was given enough money to pay the bedroom tax on behalf of every affected tenant.
Instead of writing to a newspaper making political capital out of disabled people paying bedroom tax, Councillor Strong should be arranging for the council to pay their bedroom tax. This what the extra money I got for the council is for.
Councillor Strong also expresses outrage at benefit claimants being sanctioned. Sanctions are a necessary part of any benefit system. For example, people receiving Jobseekers’ Allowance have a duty to do their best to find work.
However, if anyone on Bute has been sanctioned unfairly I would be happy to take their case up with the JobCentre.
If Councillor Strong would advise the people whom she believes have been unfairly sanctioned to contact my office, I’ll raise their case with the JobCentre.
In their independence campaign the SNP are trying to convince people that benefit payments would be higher in an independent Scotland. However, they have given no indication how they would pay for this.
Alan Reid MP (Liberal Democrat, Argyll and Bute), 95 Alexandra Parade, Dunoon
Careplus staff made a dream come true
May I, through your columns, express my heartfelt thanks to local care firm Careplus, who arranged a grand tour of Ibrox Stadium for Alex on Wednesday, July 9?
It was a day out to remember, and it made a wee dream come true.
I would like to say many, many thanks to Ian Culley of Careplus who made the memorable trip possible, to Frank and Charlene for all their help and assistance on the day, and to all the office and personal care staff of Careplus who carry out all Alex’s daily care in such a friendly, caring and professional way.
Care plus has made such a positive difference to both our lives in so many ways. You are all ‘Simply the Best’.
Margaret Sinclair, Rosemount, 31 Ardbeg Road, Rothesay
Questioning Yes view is not unpatriotic
I should like to respond to Jim Mitchell’s recent letter on the independence debate.
First of all I have made no mention of independence being a failure, just that the cost and the risks outweigh the benefits, particularly as all the main opposition parties have offered something similar to the ‘Devo-Max’ option, which I agree with Jim should not have been withdrawn.
I know Jim is never one to let facts get in the way of a strongly held opinion, but facts he does not like are not ‘scare -stories’.
It is a fact that Scots wil bel worse off through loss of UK beneficial funding.
Westminster and the Bank of England have said an independent Scotland can’t keep the pound, and the latest announcement from Mr Swinney illustrates why.
The current UK government inherited a massive national overdraft, and has cut expenditure to reduce costs. They have said, if re-elected, they will continue the policy because we are still spending more as a nation than we earn.
Mr Swinney has announced that an SNP-run independent
Scotland will borrow £2.4 billion (£450/head) to boost the economy, in direct conflict to current UK policy.
This means that an independent Scotland must find an alternative currency base.
I have the benefit of input from two sons who work in the London money markets.
The general view is that interest rates for this new currency will be one per cent higher because of the smaller economic base and greater uncertainty.
Jim refers to EU membership. What happens if it takes four or five years to negotiate entry for an independent Scotland, and if that means joining the Euro? No-one on the Yes side is answering the questions.
The list of major businesses that have said investment decisions will be delayed until this is sorted is formidable.
Trident and Faslane are a key part of the NATO defence force.
The SNP wants to join NATO so it can share the collective strength and protection of probably the most successful defence alliance in history.
The SNP wants the benefit, but wants NATO, including Scotland, to foot the bill of many billions of pounds to re-locate the nuclear submarine fleet.
It seems to me hypocritical to seek the ultimate protection whilst at the same time sending thousands of highly skilled and well paid jobs out of Sctland.
As ‘scaremongering’ goes, suggesting that current nuclear subs have ‘leaky’ power plants is nonsense. I’m a bit surprised Chernobyl didn’t get mentioned.
Scotland is an independent country, with a great past and lots of potential.
The concern is that the understandable nationalist emotion is blinding people to the true cost.
It is not unpatriotic to point out to the majority of people outside the ‘indepenance at any price’ brigade that there
is massive evidence of a real cost and risk to our standard of living from a Yes vote, for very little real gain.
It is irresponsible to label facts and soundly based evidence as
“the usual list of scares and doomsaying”.
It would be much more convincing if the issues and concerns raised were actually answered.
Peter Vincent, Ardencraig House, High Craigmore, Rothesay