Letters to The Buteman: July 25, 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.

The pick of your letters to the July 25 issue of The Buteman includes thoughts on Mount Stuart, the West Church and community power generation, to name a few.

To have

To have your say in our print edition on any issue of local importance, email your views to news@buteman.com (you can click on the email address at the top of this article) by 5pm on Monday at the latest. Please be as brief and to-the-point as you can, and remember to include your postal address and a daytime contact telephone number.


Mount Stuart’s staff deserve better

I understand that adults working at Mount Stuart are paid £6.20 an hour less tax and those under age a shade over £4 an hour.

These low rates are the more insidious because very few hours are worked, a few hours on a few days a week. So the pay really is peanuts.

Also, the time travelling there and back and the amount of things to be remembered make this a job not everyone could do.

Clearly, the owner of Mount Stuart has no care for his work force. When he has been sitting on assets approaching £200 million - £160 million before the sale of Dumfries House for £50 million, including the furniture - and is now resident in Switzerland for tax purposes, is it necessary to treat in this manner locals who take the job on because they enjoy the extra structure in their lives during retirement?

Has he not a duty to treat them with consideration? Noblesse oblige? Or has that too disappeared with so many other fine aspects of this world? His ancestors, I suggest, are looking down on him with dismay.

His father would never have condoned this. He was far too fine a man, he cared passionately about this island and its people, and he would never have removed to Switzerland for a mountain of money.

William Scott, 23 Argyle Place, Rothesay

‘Laisssez-faire’ attitude won’t help Rothesay

The recently mooted (and out of the blue) demolition of the West Church should not be allowed to happen.

It is an important marker on the Rothesay skyline that both provides visual symmetry with the Trinity Church to the east and a high quality reminder of Rothesay’s heritage. Demolition would be both short-sighted and counter-productive to attempts to regenerate Rothesay.

The Townscape Heritage Initiative funding – so important to Rothesay’s revival – is predicated on the outstanding – and largely intact – Victorian architectural heritage.

The public sector investment in the Pavilion seeks to retain a prominent building on the seafront whilst reinvigorating its facilities and usage.

Allowing the West Church to lapse into a state where demolition is the only option starts to undermine these investments, and others designed to retain and enhance Rothesay’s townscape assets.

As someone involved in economic development for 17 years, I would implore Argyll and Bute Council to desist from any demolition of the West Church. Once gone, it cannot be re-created.

Relatively modest funding would secure the church and complement other investments the council and public sector partners are making in regenerating Rothesay.

The town needs all the help it can get in retaining and increasing its appeal to visitors, and a ‘laissez faire’ attitude to one of its greatest townscape assets does not serve the town well.

Richard Whitcomb, 40 Mountpleasant Road, Rothesay

Community power is a first class idea

A community power generation scheme on Bute (The Buteman, July 18), is a first class idea.

Many years ago Rothesay had a thriving industry of cotton mills, using water power. Things moved on, and more efficient steam power took over on the mainland.

It seems in our present scenario we are polluting the atmosphere and must rectify this.

The infrastructure to drive these mills, designed by the eminent engineer Thom is still there. With the Cuts, the Kirk Dam, the Loch Fad Causeway and the Lade, I think this is worth looking into.

Jim McKellar, 41 East Princes Street, Rothesay

Keep your pet safe in hot weather

In the current hot weather, we should remember that animals suffer and die when temperatures rise. Dogs die very quickly in hot cars and they should not be left inside them even for very short periods. Opening a window a few inches is not sufficient.

Other animals suffer, too. Rabbits must not be left in a hutch in the glaring sun or inside a sweltering garage or shed. They need a cool, shady place where the air circulates and where they can move freely.

A hot rabbit can be kept cool by applying cold water gently to his ears. Should your rabbit become listless, start breathing hard through an open mouth, or go limp, get him to a vet immediately. Rabbits must also be checked daily in summer for signs of flystrike.

Hamsters, rats and gerbils can be kept cool by opening windows and closing curtains, using a fan (but not pointing it directly at them), refreshing water and providing a frozen water bottle, wrapped in a towel so that it cannot be chewed.

Kate Fowler (Animal Aid), The Old Chapel, Tonbridge, Kent