Letters to the editor 30.05.19

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Lochaber Cinema Group has now been dissolved

Lochaber Cinema Group has now completed the wind up process to OSCR and has been dissolved. This process took a few months to complete from our motion to end in January this year.

We transferred our assets of a screen and projector to an arts and drama group called Dramafish in Kinlochleven.

We would again like to extend thanks to the community who interacted with us on Facebook and at screenings and events we held and also supported our vision of a community-run cinema.

It is very difficult for any community-run project seeking funding and in the end justifying our project to different funders was difficult, time-consuming and full of red tape.

We would like to see more support and funding in the Highlands towards arts and drama groups. We knew a cinema would be a good addition to the town and all the benefits it brings, not only to a community but to businesses surrounding it.

Also I would like to thank people locally that advised us: Don Michie, Arthur Cowie and the Lochaber Disability Access Panel, Stephen Fair of Fair Planning and Design, Paul Taylor of Eden Court Cinema and Voluntary Action Lochaber, Stephen Kennedy of McIntyre and Company Solicitors, Callum Macraild at Logo Positive. Thanks also to former LCG members and trustees and board members: you made a vision possible and allowed us to grow.

Thank you to the groups we have worked with to bring screenings to the community: Lochaber Foodbank, Lochaber Environmental Group, Greenpeace Fort William, the Wildcat, Caol Youth Centre, Kilmallie Hall, Caol Community Centre, Duncansburgh Church, the Leven Centre, Kinlochleven, Nevis Radio, the Lochaber Times and Fort Con.

A special thank you to all the schools we have screened in: Caol Primary, St Columba’s, Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar, Lundavra Primary, Kinlochleven Primary and Mallaig Primary. Also helpers in Kinlochleven, Gayle and IIona.

We would also like to extend a good luck to the cinema project happening in Cameron Square.

Marie Macpherson,

Former LCG chairwoman, Glenlochy Distillery, Fort William.

Problems with private water supplies are becoming worse

At a recent conference to mark World Water Day, the particular problems of private water supplies in Scotland were highlighted by Citizens Advice Scotland. In Scotland, four per cent of households get their water from a borehole, well or spring rather from the mains.

This means approximately 28,350 people in Argyll and 32,900 in Highland region are using private water supplies each day. If you have mains water, Scottish Water will ensure that you have access to a bowser, stand pipe, or bottled water if your supply is interrupted or contaminated but for a private supply responsibility lies solely with the user.

Privately supplied houses are running out of water again this year, after another dry spell but the situation is particularly serious on Lismore, which has no mains water.

Even in a year of normal rainfall, the old springs and wells that were adequate in the days of an outside pump or a tin bath by the fire, struggle to cope with modern demands for washing machines and flushing toilets.

For the past month, many residents have been relying on family and friends for water and many have been nervously watching the sky and the well level. The residents of Achnacroish are holding regular meetings to address problems with their water system.

Businesses are suffering too. One crofter is using his valuable time and diesel driving up and down the island with a bowser to supply his sheep with drinking water.

During the last drought on the island one holiday cottage displayed a notice asking visitors not to use the shower, which can’t be good for return business.

Even among the laidback population of this normally tranquil island tempers are starting to fray and people are starting to look for someone to blame. A resident who didn’t wish to be named expressed his opinion that the planning department are not looking at water supply when they approve outline planning. What happens is the application has the ‘connect to mains water’ box ticked so no one looks into it. They just nod it through without realising there isn’t any mains on the island. When the plot is sold, it is up to the new owner to look for some water. There is only so much under the ground and more and more boreholes sucking at it.

Another local pointed out that there are two big weddings coming up on the island with an influx of guests and returning family, who presumably all need a wash and brush-up for the big events.

No doubt the rain will come soon to refill the wells and cool the tempers but as new houses continue to be built, this looks set to be a regular spring problem for the residents of Lismore and the wider region.

James Wilson, by email.