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AN EXASPERATED Crianlarich charity says BT ‘should be ashamed’ for taking five months to install telephone and internet across the road to their new office.
Strathfillan Community Development Trust (SCDT), a small charity which has raised £600,000 over 19 years for community projects in Tyndrum, Crianlarich and Inverarnan, ordered the line installation from British Telecom in April, in time for its move to a new office in Crianlarich Village Hall in July.
But last week SCDT development officer Kelly Clapperton-Bates told The Oban Times: ‘This date, and many others, have come and gone, and no telephone line has been installed.’
As a result, the launch of a major health initiative was postponed. Kelly added: ‘Ironically, the initiative is a showcase event to demonstrate how new technologies, including remote access and tele-conferencing, could benefit patients in isolated rural areas, such as Strathfillan.’
After many hours on the phone, SCDT chairwoman Isla Craig said: ‘The trust has been fobbed off time and again, “escalated to the highest level” more times than can be remembered, the number of updates informing of more updates is ridiculous, and even an official complaint has changed nothing.
‘The location of the new telephone line is not down difficult and challenging back roads. It is into Crianlarich Village Hall, in the centre of Crianlarich and less than 20m from the BT telephone exchange in Crianlarich.
‘By leaving SCDT, a charity run by volunteers that aims to boost local development, unable to fully function, access essential funding and grants, or manage their assets properly, it is potentially damaging a whole community. It is a terrible state of affairs, and BT should be ashamed of itself.’
Since being contacted by The Oban Times, BT has apologised for its ‘poor service’, and promised to start work at the weekend.