Letters to The Buteman: December 26, 2014

Email your opinions to news@buteman.com, with the subject line 'Letter to the Editor'.
Email your opinions to news@buteman.com, with the subject line 'Letter to the Editor'.

The pick of your letters to the December 26 issue of The Buteman includes thank you messages to supporters of Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Mount Stuart’s Christmas fair as well as thoughts on the living wage and ‘joined up government’.

To see your views in print in a future issue of The Buteman, email news@buteman.com or click on the email address at the top of this story.

Please keep your letters as short and to-the-point as you can, and remember to include both your name and postal address for publication, as well as a daytime phone number in case we need to contact you at short notice to check any details (though the latter will not be published).

The deadline for submissions to our print edition is Monday at 5pm - though please note that due to the New Year holiday period, the deadline for our January 2 issue is Monday, December 29 at 12 noon.

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Thanks to Macmillan event backers

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends and neighbours from Bute for their generous donations and support for our Macmillan Festive Afternoon, held at our home on Thursday, December 4.

Money was made from the sale of donated Christmas items, mince pies, mulled wine and an incredible effort made by Elizabeth Willcock selling raffle tickets at Rothesay Golf Club for items kindly given by Diane’s Hair and Beauty, family and friends.

A big thank you also has to go to the captain of Rothesay Golf Club, Stan Gaston, for allowing us to sell raffle tickets for donated prizes at the club, and to the steward of the club for letting us finish selling the tickets at their annual children’s party and for allowing us to draw the raffle there.

A massive total of £300 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, and we are now looking forward to our next ‘open house’ at Easter 2015 for coffee and hot cross buns!

Brian and Michaela Nicholson, 14 High Road, Port Bannatyne

Cancer charity whist drive raises £445

On behalf of the local committee of Cancer Research UK, I would like to thank everyone who contributed towards the success of our recent whist drive.

We are hugely indebted to our ever-efficient cardmaster, Robert McKirdy, to those who contributed prizes for the winners and the raffle, to all who provided the lovely food, and most of all to everyone who came to play.

Thanks to them, the wonderful sum of £445 was raised on the night.

The main prizewinners were Brian MacKillop (first gent), Nan Reynolds (second gent), Lorna Price (third gent), Betty Morrow (first lady), Susan Lyon (second lady) and Jean McIntosh (third lady).

The following donations have also recently been received by the committee:

Remembering Lyndsey (£20); Someone who is remembered never dies - Helen and Georgia (£20).

Fiona Martin (Donations secretary, CRUK Bute branch), 4 Caledonia Walk, Rothesay

Mount Stuart event success was team effort

On behalf of the Mount Stuart Trust, I would like to thank everyone who supported this year’s Christmas Fair at Mount Stuart on Sunday, December 14.

I have had some very kind comments from the community and I was very impressed with the number of visitors that chose to brave the weather and join us.

Firstly may I thank all the exhibitors that took the time to bring their stalls to the event. It was great to see such a wide variety of products on display.

Thank you to Calum’s Cabin for another successful Santa Dash.

A big thank you to all the entertainers that created a spectacular atmosphere in the Marble Hall; Beth Swan, the Bute Schools Community Choir, Tony Spencer and the Ballianlay Choir.

Thanks also to Ed Clark for playing the role of Father Christmas.

Thank you to The Kingarth Hotel for providing fantastic food and drink for everyone, to both Rothesay Pavilion and the Bute Shinty Club for kindly lending their tables, and to Bute Tiddlers for very kindly lending us their soft play.

Finally I would like to thank all the staff at Mount Stuart for their support in the organising and running of the Christmas Fair.

So much work goes into an event of this size and without such a great team this would be impossible.

Ricky Harrison, events co-ordinator, Mount Stuart

Mobile phone found - thanks to CalMac

On Wednesday, December 17, I was returning on the 5.30pm ferry from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay when, unbeknown to me, my mobile phone dropped out of my pocket.

Blissfully unaware this had happened, I arrived at my friends’ home, where they had been looking after my Molly-Collie in my absence, to find that they had had a call from Caledonian MacBrayne to tell them it had been found and was safe.

Cleverly, whoever found it looked at my phone log and called the last person I’d rung!

So this is just to say a huge thank you to the honest and conscientious CalMac staff member who found my mobile and handed it in.

I’m so very grateful that even today, when we are bombarded continually with negative news and behaviours, there are such wonderful people in the world - and especially in our part of the world. Precious indeed!

Jude Dallas, 2/4, 10 The Terrace, Ardbeg

A knight in shining armour

Can I thank, through The Buteman, ‘Gingy’, who came to my assistance on the morning of Friday, December 19.

My car was parked in Guildford Square, and another vehicle had parked so close to me I could not get into my car.

The only way in was through the passenger side. Fortunately, George Hanson’s men are working in the square, and ‘Gingy’ came to my rescue. What a true knight in shining armour.

Mary Carroll, Sy Lodge, Millbank, Ascog

More than £1,800 raised for Matthew

May I, through The Buteman, thank all those who helped raise funds to assist the family of Matthew McCabe with the expenses surrounding his trip to hospital for life-saving treatment.

A grand total of £1,827.74 was raised from the following sources:

£792,03 from people pledging online on the ‘Yimby’ page; £771.71 from bag packing at the Co-operative supermarket; £200 from Bute Youth Football Coaching; and £64 from people who didn’t have access to a computer to donate.

The money raised will help Matthew’s stay in Birmingham and Glasgow Sick Children’s Hospital a little easier.

Janey Jardine, 1 Kames Terrace, Port Bannatyne

Living wage: a ‘systems thinking’ view

Hugh Moodie’s account [My Tuppence Worth, The Buteman December 19] of the indirect advantages to small and medium enterprises, the UK Treasury and others of paying the living wage is an excellent illustration of a ‘systems thinking’ analysis.

Systems thinking solutions take account of wider and indirect effects. An example in the Scottish Government’s independence White Paper was the proposal to ‘invest” in early years education and nutrition with a subsequent pay-back in many ways, including less crime and better health 20 and 50 years on.

Our previous Argyll and Bute MSP, Jim Mather, is the principal advocate for ‘systems thinking’ in Scotland.

Those of us who have had to implement ill considered ‘dangerous dog’ legislation with adverse unintended consequences have often deplored the lack of a ‘systems thinking’ approach - or ‘joined up government’, as it is usually called.

Similarly to road equivalent tariff (RET), which is also a ‘systems’ solution, as things stand all the costs of raising the minimum wage to the Living Wage would fall on the Scottish Parliament, but the additional tax income or reduction in welfare costs would accrue to the UK exchequer.

It is possible that changes following the Smith Commission will resolve this problem.

John B. Dick, Glendaruel, Ardencraig Rd, Rothesay

A festive donation to cancer charity

Everyone at CRUK wishes to thank Mr & Mrs Robertson of Croc-an-Raer for their kind donation of £30. They would like to wish all their friends and family a very happy Christmas.

Anna Harrison (CRUK shop manager), 101 Montague St, Rothesay