Letters to The Buteman: August 15, 2014

Write to: Letters to the Editor, The Buteman, 5 Victoria Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 0AJ. You can also email your letters to news@buteman.com.
Write to: Letters to the Editor, The Buteman, 5 Victoria Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 0AJ. You can also email your letters to news@buteman.com.

This week’s selection of your letters to The Buteman covers an eclectic range of subjects, including tourism, independence, cycling on pavements and wind turbines.

To have your say on any subject of importance to Bute, send an email to news@buteman.com (or click on the address at the top of this article) with ‘Letter to the Editor’ in the subject line. Please keep your submissions as brief and to the point as you can, and include your postal address for publication.

The deadline for letters to our print edition is 5pm on Monday, although the sooner we receive your letter, the better are its chances of going in!

Cycling on pavements is an offence

Can I assure Steve Thornton (Letters, August 8) that the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, Section 129, does make it an offence to cycle on the footpath.

Some years ago I had to remind the officer in charge of Rothesay police regarding this fact after similar correspondence to The Buteman.

On Bute, and in the rest of Scotland, the police have failed to act on this law.

Could I suggest that Bute Community Council and the rest of us ask why they choose to ignore this problem?

Alan Barlow, 22 Aboyne Drive, Paisley

Bute needs to speak with one voice

I am lucky enough to visit Bute three to four times a year from my home in Hong Kong, and I would count myself as somewhat of an ambassador for the island, extolling its virtues whenever the opportunity arises.

A couple of weeks ago however I spent a week with family and friends on your sister island, the Isle of Arran. By the end of my stay I was struck by the difference in personality that Arran presents to the world in comparison with Bute.

Quite simply, Arran speaks with one voice.

Its community, its businesses, the local authority and even its visitors never miss opportunity to use the word Arran. The promotion of even the smallest business seems to be in step with the thinking of the tourist authority’s marketing strategy. There is considerable island-wide pride in brand “Arran”, and clear evidence that business owners believe in its potential and ability to open tourist’s wallets.

Bute, you have much to offer, but you’re sending very mixed messages. Any marketing professional will tell you that to be understood you must make all of your communication clear and concise. Business and government in a small community like Bute need to work in unison. Come together, collaborate, and stop looking at your neighbours as competition. The reality is that it’s the island across the water that’s stealing your business.., not the guy across the street.

Mark Cumming, Stanley, Hong Kong

Trident jobs argument is disingenuous

If there are sound reasons for replacing Trident, the ‘jobs’ argument promoted by Alan Reid (Letters, August 8) is certainly not one of them.

It is essentially the same as the disingenuous argument used by business interests in opposition to legislation preventing children being sent down mines and up chimneys.

There would be no additional cost to the taxpayer if the Trident workforce were paid their full salaries till retiral and occupied on trivial or useless work.

The capital cost saved could many times over buy each of them a four-bedroom villa with private pool in Spain or Greece, where bargains can be had just now. Of course public opinion would baulk at such generosity, and a less costly compensation scheme would be accepted by all.

To put forward the discredited ‘jobs’ argument betrays a prioritisation of debating gamesmanship and point scoring in the traditions of the Westminster parliament, packed as it is with alumni of English public school and university debating societies.

Mr Reid should be focusing on achieving a good deal for his constituents, rather than bringing down the quality of the argument over Trident to the level of Prime Minister’s Questions.

Perhaps he could tell us instead the circumstances in which he envisages Trident might be used, or even provide a list the few countries that could be targeted without causing casualties to our allies in the EU and the Commonwealth.

John B. Dick, Glendaruel, Ardencraig Road, Rothesay

No windmills on Bute, please

I have to applaud Tony Burns’ letter of August 8, onjecting to the siting of the windmill(s) on Bute.
He is right to point out it will not benefit us but detract from the area both scenically and environmentally.

The meglomaniac company who is proposing this development, Bute Community Power, has already obtained a loan from the Scottish Government to finance their feasibility study of the proposed wind turbine.
Who is going to pay back this loan? No doubt it will be the mugs who get involved in this errant scheme.
The company behind the turbines is a company which supplies electricity to households and has offices in England and Scotland, so they might be looking for a foothold on the island.
Why farmer Sandy of Auchintirrie Farm is getting involved in a such a ludicrous and badly-thought out scheme is beyond any understanding.
Let’s hope it’s not just for monetary gain, because he might find that in the future the electricity company Loco (and how well-named are they) charges him for the use of their turbines on his land.

Catherine McLean B.A., 24 Castle Street, Rothesay