Letters to the editor week 42

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Eminently sensible solution to prevent future flooding

There have been many theories and solutions put forward in the past few days regarding Oban’s flooding – drains not cleared, the Black Lynn not deepened and the pumps not working being just three of them.

None of these can have any effect when the sea in Oban Bay is level with the water in the Black Lynn, or above it, making drainage impossible.

Earlier in the year I attended an afternoon event at the Rockfield Centre. The council and its consultants had organised this event to allow concerned members of the public to express their views on the frequent flooding.

In the considerable time I was there, only two other people came in. One of the consultants told me that the answer would be to hold back more of the Black Lynn floodwater in the Lon Mor, translated from the Gaelic as the ‘big puddle’, opposite the hospital in Glenshellach. This could be achieved by means of a low dam or wall around the lower side of the area. When the time was right – ie, at low tide – water could be gradually released and would flow down the Black Lynn and into the sea without flooding Lochavullin.

To a layman like myself, this appears to be a sensible solution, but unfortunately the Lon Mor is owned by a developer and part of it has already been filled in and built on. We all know about the problems encountered when building on a flood plain and it seems sensible to suggest that any further development on the Lon Mor should be stopped immediately.

Maurice Wilkins,

Laurel Road, Oban.

New homes in Bowmore welcome

I was delighted to attend the new Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) homes opening ceremony on October 4 in Bowmore. It was great to meet the new tenants, the local ACHA team and ACHA’s chief executive Alastair MacGregor.

Ileach and Scottish news and current affairs broadcaster Glenn Campbell cut the ribbon and handed out keys to the new tenants.

I would like to thank the front-line builders and tradesmen for working hard to provide these new homes. Another huge thanks to the event organisers and Bowmore Primary School choir for their tremendous performance.

As a social housing tenant, I know all too well the importance and the need for rental properties that are affordable and in the right areas.

I wish the new tenants all the very best for their future in their new homes.

Councillor Alastair Redman,


Heartfelt thanks to emergency services and NHS staff on Mull

I moved to Mull from London to retire in May this year and have been busy setting up home.

Unfortunately, while I was alone at home, on Saturday September 29 a new, and with first use, DVD player went on fire, and the fire and smoke has caused a lot of damage to my house.

Additionally, I spent two nights in the Mull and Iona Community Hospital with smoke inhalation. The whole experience has been very traumatic butI am improving.

I wondered if you might be able to publish a heartfelt thank you to all the emergency services on Mull who so promptly attended the fire and for their professionalism, care and help.

David Anderson,

Garmony, Mull.

We need to embrace the technical revolution

When travelling to England for a holiday recently, we stopped at a service station off the M74.

In the restaurant, the single seats all had not one but two power points so people could recharge both a phone and laptop at the same time. This was a surprise to me as I had not realised the speed of the technical revolution.

Meeting these fast evolving customer needs is important for CalMac, West Coast Motors and other travel firms. But delivering technology is also important for Oban B&Bs to help tourists stay connected. Hopefully, Holyrood will also begin to roll out ultrafast broadband at affordable prices to help local businesses.

As well as the technology, we need more and better trained IT people.  Scotland in general, and Argyll in particular, is short of thousands of highly skilled people. This requires Holyrood to invest what is termed ‘patient capital’, the long-term money to help business and increase the country and county’s wealth. It would also bring millions of pounds extra in taxes and council tax for our public sector.

Mike Foster,

Sannox, Crannaig a Mhinister, Oban.

Road network around Fort William is wholly inadequate

I was interested to hear Nicola Sturgeon offer to take Jeremy Corbyn to visit the ‘smelter in Fort William’ so that she could show him ‘…how to deliver an active industrial policy’ during her keynote speech to the SNP conference last week.

Might I suggest that should Mr Corbyn take her up on her kind invitation, they should probably plan to arrive by helicopter, since the primary road into Fort William – the A82 – is barely fit for B-road designation?

Having arrived in Fort William, should they manage it, they would be well advised to park at the West End car park and walk to the smelter, since this will be far quicker than trying to drive across town.

As an alternative, could I humbly suggest that a far better plan would be to ask the smelter not to employ another 400 individuals, ask Linnhe Leisure to not upgrade the Nevis Centre to encourage greater use of the facility, to beg NHS Highland to not build a new hospital and Highland Council to not build another 200 homes at Blar Mhor, until she has had time to find the funds required to improve the wholly inadequate road network into and around our town.

Joanne Matheson,


Television coverage of the Mòd should have Gaelic subtitles

In this week when the great and good of Gaeldom and their friends in BBC Alba are all in Dunoon for the Mòd, perhaps they could discuss the simple change that would most help learners and folk who grew up with Gaelic but have lost it, namely: put Gaelic subtitles on all programmes.

Mike Johnston,

Windsor Gardens, Largs.

Many people do not know Lochavullin is prone to flooding

Re the flooding in Oban last week, I know a lot of people will say drivers should have known better than to park at Lochavullin car park in this weather, which is possibly true, but what about tourists and others who do not know the town?

Argyll and Bute Council needs to put up a warning signs at both entrances that the car park is prone to flooding in heavy rain, especially at this time of the year.

Roads are horrendous out of town but surely in this modern era they could be designed to drain of excess water. Drains also need to be checked regularly to prevent blockage.

Wendy MacGillivray, by email.