Your letters: August 11 edition

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Some of your letters to The Buteman this week...

Thanks to Bute in Bloom brigade

Sir, – Now that the judging for the Keep Scotland Beautiful Campaign in which, under the Bute in Bloom banner, we represented our town and island, may I take the opportunity of thanking many of the individuals, groups and organisations who supported us.

The council gardeners, who, under the leadership of Allan MacDonald and Joe McCabe –and despite “the cuts” in funding, manpower and the bad weather – put on a magnificent presentation.

The displays at the Ladies Garden and, of course, Ardencraig, more than justified the “WOW” factor requested and advised by the Royal Horticultural Society, as a start and finish to the judge’s tour.

To all our individual presenters who carried out their duties so eloquently and interestingly.

To the local media, The Buteman and Bute Island Radio, for supporting us throughout the year.

And to the local individuals, businesses and organisations who sponsored us so generously and to members of public for showing an interest in all our endeavours.

May I also thank the following: Marlene Hill and Johanna Scofield for, not only making the tea and coffee for the end of the tour, but they actually located an embroidered table cloth and china tea cups 
with pictures on them (pure decadence) plus a very welcome array of chocolate biscuits and “goodies”; and to Reeni Kennedy Boyle for 
not only providing the transport but for making a magnificent job of editing and producing our portfolio for the judges.

This is a very important, but unseen, part of the competition, as it has to inform and, backed by photographic evidence, display what our community is all about.

Finally, and please don’t accuse me of nepotism, is my brother Gordon. I could not have managed this years competition without him.

He not only planted the flowers in the green display planters throughout the town, but committed himself, three days a week, to going out to water, deadhead and feed them.

He was also responsible for the very colourful floral presentation along the Mill Street area and also helped out by deadheading the plants on the putting greens.

We now await on the results announced on September 7. – Yours, etc.,

Iain Gillespie


Bute in Bloom

Time the SNP govt heeded warnings

Sir, – After projections recently showed the number of pensioners is set to increase by 28 per cent, it’s high time the SNP started listening to warnings about an ageing population,

The National Records of Scotland has estimated the hike over the next 25 years, which would unfortunately bring with it a rise in conditions like dementia.

Hospitals across the country are already struggling to cope with increasing numbers of patients, particularly those with diseases linked to living longer.

Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said the NHS was already struggling as a result of the SNP’s failure to plan for an ageing population, and he said the problems would only worsen as that demographic increased. Scotland’s elderly population has rocketed in the last 10 years and the growth is even larger in rural constituencies like here in 
Argyll and Bute.

In fact by 2039, the number of over 75s will have gone from 430,000 to a massive 800,000.

In contrast, the population of 0- to 15-year-olds will rise by only one per cent.

The Scottish government must act now or the problems for hospital staff and patients are only going to get worse as the years go on.

There is going to be a heavily increasing elderly population north of the border, who risk being served by an NHS which sadly won’t be remotely equipped to provide the help they need and is being centralized to near breaking point by the separatists.

Perhaps if the Scottish government dropped its obsession with both another independence referendum and centralizing everything in sight, they could concentrate on steering clear of this iceberg. – Yours, etc.,

Cllr Alastair Redman


Dismissive and rude response

Sir, – I recently emailed Councillor Len Scoullar to ask him to sign a petition to allow the use of live broadcasts of all council and committee meetings in Argyll and Bute.

The other two Bute councillors have indicated their support for this initiative.

Imagine my shock when I received the following reply from Cllr Scoullar:

“Hello, This is becoming boring responding to all the enquiries about this.

The council are presently investigating this matter and I personally will decide when the details are available ... to all.


This is a highly rude and dismissive response from Cllr Scoullar who is also Provost of Argyll and Bute. Is this any way to treat constituents who make genuine representation to elected councillors?

The Argyll and Bute Council area is the second largest in Scotland.

The distances and expense involved for members of the public to attend council meetings create a barrier that could be removed by the implementation of such a system.

Introducing the option for people to be able to use the live broadcast system would help with transparency in the Argyll and Bute area and allow members of the public greater access to an open and visible decision-making process.

If you agree that live broadcasting of council meetings is a step in the right direction for Argyll and Bute Council ,I would urge you to contact your elected Councillors and ask them to support this initiative if they have not already done so. – Yours, etc.,

Margaret Spear

(by email)

The green dream is at an end

Sir, – The Digest of UK Energy Statistics covering 2016 has just been released and it’s been a poor year for renewables. Wind generation fell by 7.3 per cent even though the number of wind turbines rose by 13 per cent. Hydro generation fell by 14 per cent even though the number of small hydro schemes rose by 20 per cent.

Solar in the UK is a joke because while it theoretically had 33 per cent of total renewable capacity it generated just 12 per cent. Wave power generated nothing after tens of millions of public money has been wasted on it. Luckily gas power rose from 29 per cent of total generation to 42 per cent to fill any gap.

The green dream of falling electrical demand due to “efficiency” has come to a halt and indeed has been in reverse for two years running. This all proves that renewables can’t be relied on. – Yours, etc.,

Geoff Moore

(by email)