Letters to the editor week 45

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EU should be paying the UK to leave the union

Regarding the request for comments about the First World War, I would like to make some comments about this subject.

I am a nephew of three uncles who served in the 1914-18 war, and also my mother, 23 years old, worked in an ammunition factory in Glasgow. Two of my uncles survived from the Lovat Scouts and also my mother. The other uncle died in the Royal Navy. Many thousands of men and women died, or were wounded in body or mind.

It makes myself and many others wild to hear the extraordinary discussions on the media about Brexit, which has no roots or foliage.

The two world wars were fought to keep the UK under its own power and control.

The government of the day 40-odd years ago gave the EU permission on a plate to rule the UK. This has kept on expanding over the past 40 years, and £150 million a week is a lot of money to give the EU along with the power to decide how this is spent.

My answer to the EU would be: the people of the UK voted to leave the EU and all the £350 million sums that were paid out since the referendum should be returned to the UK and not the other way around.

UK government, wake up!

D Cameron,

Arivegaig, Acharacle.

How many people benefit from Ulva investment?

You report a grant of £275,000 for a building at Ulva Ferry.

Over the past couple of years, it seems that the small community on Ulva and at Ulva Ferry have been provided with funds for new housing, a new pontoon facility, a grant of more than £4 million to purchase the island of Ulva, and now further funding for this new building.

When is this largesse going to end? Can those involved please tell us in total how many people have benefited from it and what financial contribution have they made personally?

It is difficult to see the justification for all of this funding and what will actually be achieved.

Colin Davidson, Ardfern.

Over The Top – No More

Young and innocent boys
Died to save us, at home
But, also by same token,
Christ the Saviour also died
And not for one but for all
Giving his salvation for free.
Yes, the lads were brave
And went over the top
So that we don’t have to.
By our feeble efforts
And our worldly offerings
As we only need to know
And remember, in our hearts
Simple words and RIP.
The rest is over the top. Amen.,

Aonghas Eoghainn Mhoir,

Uibhist, a Deas.

Rural growth deal is a step in the right direction

The rural growth deal that will hopefully be coming to Argyll and Bute will not only be very welcome but will go to address at least some of the past unfairness my local area has had to put up with.

With the support of my Conservative group, I have played a key role in making sure the Argyll and Bute Council administration understands all the issues facing the Kintyre and Islands ward and to see that we are given rightful prominence in Argyll and Bute’s rural growth deal proposals.

I also have given strong advice to all of my colleagues on the administration about the challenges we face across the area.

From Islay and Jura, vast tax contributions have flooded into the coffers of central governments of every political stripe for decades as our infrastructure has sadly disintegrated.

Our need to improve local infrastructure, job opportunities, housing stock, broadband and electric grid capacity must all be acknowledged and not left on the back burner.

While nothing is guaranteed and the rural growth deal will not address all of Argyll and Bute’s many problems, this is a step in the right direction.

What is guaranteed is that I will lobby and fight for my constituents in the Kintyre and the Islands ward and do all I can to see we are not sidelined as we have been in the past.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Islay.

Continuing discrimination by Highland health board

I have previously complained to the Highland health board about its contempt for disabled people. Evidence of this is shown by, for example, the absence of automatic doors at the Lorn Medical Centre in Oban, preventing mobility impaired people to enter the building independently.

This is contrary to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2010.

These statutes require all organisations to make ‘reasonable adaptations’ to their premises, procedures and practices to pre-empt discrimination.

Having automatic doors would also help parents with pushchairs.

The board continues to waste hundreds of thousands of pounds a year by using paper letters to advise patients of outpatient appointments. The board is permitted by NHS Scotland to introduce cost-saving measures so why is it so committed to money wasting?

Using email for 50 per cent of outpatient appointments would also enable visually impaired patients such as me to be notified of appointments. It would also comply with the 1995, 2005 and 2010 Acts mentioned above.

Given this culture at NHS Highland, it not surprising that it discriminates against more disadvantaged minorities. I acknowledge the difficulty some trans people have and the problems self-definition can cause, but I wholly support that LGBT people must be treated with the same dignity and respect accorded to the mainstream population. So why, therefore, does the new online prescription ordering system at the Lorn Medical Centre in Oban insist on a purely binary definition of gender? Many people define themselves as non-binary when it comes to their gender so what were the reasons for specifying the new IT system at the Oban GP surgery should be so prejudiced?

Mike Foster,

Crannaig a Mhinister, Oban.