Letters to the editor – 11.04.19

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Oban Live puts residents’ health and wellbeing at risk

In the 1950s, tobacco firms were promoting cigarettes as beneficial to health. In recent years, Oban Live organisers have been promoting their
product as beneficial to the people of Oban.

At a meeting of health professionals in Oban on July 3, 2019, they agreed that there is a definite link between loud music and deafness. They also agreed that flash photography and strobe lighting causes epileptic fits. These put a great strain on local medical services and, according to the psychiatrist present at the meeting, it also puts a strain on mental health services.

Oban Live have said there would be no concert in Oban in 2020 and they were demanding improvements to Mossfield Stadium before the next concert in 2021.

This is an outrage. Why are Argyll and Bute councillors supporting an event that creates unnecessary disability and ill health? Don’t they know that NHS is already under severe financial strain?

It is time councillors put the needs of local residents ahead of the needs of the tourist industry. Why has there never been any public consultation on whether we want these concerts? Will the Oban Live organisers pay compensation to local residents who suffer deafness as a result of the dreadful noise made by them?

If you are resident in Mossfield area or support the right of residents not to suffer greatly increased risk of ill health and disability, perhaps you would like to help me to form a Mossfield Residents’ Association to make sure that Oban Live never comes back.

David Gallant,

Mossfield, Oban.

Seeking information about air death mystery from readers

I am doing some research into the disappearance of Peter Gibbs following a flight on the Isle of Mull from The Glenforsa Hotel on Christmas Eve in 1975.

The body of Mr Gibbs was discovered some four months later, in April 1976, at Pennygowan Farm, not far from the hotel. His plane was never located and many questions about his disappearance and reappearance continue to remain unanswered.

It was a long time ago, but I’m hoping that some of your readers may recall the incident and may have some first-hand knowledge of specific aspects of the event, or have spoken to people who do.

I am particularly interested in locating the shepherd Donald MacKinnon, who came across the body of Mr Gibbs, and people at The Glenforsa Hotel who saw the plane take off.

Your readers can contact me at michael.baldwin.918@gmail.com

Michael Baldwin,

Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

Who will pick up the bill if GFG cannot pay?

Is this the reason that Kate Forbes MSP was angry?

The SNP has punted more than £500 million on a company, the smelter, that is running at a loss, to save 130 jobs, but has made the company GFG over £1 billion.

Perhaps Ms Forbes thinks she has landed a plum job as Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy or could it be that she has realised that it is indeed a poisoned chalice?

Did the SNP government give the reported half a billion-plus with the knowledge that the UK taxpayer would be landed with a massive bill if GFG couldn’t pay its bills, a bill that underlines the SNP’s finance ministers’ inability to understand what they are doing, talking the talk but without a financial background doesn’t bode well for Scotland’s SNP future.

Cyril Bonnett,

Ballachulish.

Extraction of timber by sea should be improved

The logging operations south of Oban and the work to widen the road between Scammadale and Knipoch are evident to anyone travelling along the A816.

What may not be so obvious is the flawed government policy associated with the extraction of timber in Argyll.

A-roads in the trunk road network are classified as agreed routes by default for timber extraction. However, the A816 was de-trunked in the 1980s, allowing years of subsequent under-investment in its upkeep by the local authority.

Its widening is now required in order to bring it up to standard as a key timber extraction route. The council no doubt welcomes the extra cash
from the Scottish Government to improve a small section of the A816, though timber lorries will still have to pass through Oban to get to Corpach or negotiate the narrow bridges south of Scammadale on their way to Ardrishaig or the central motorway network.

As if that weren’t ironic enough, it is a fascinating insight into the lack of foresight in governement transport policy to note that while one official at Buchanan House in Glasgow allocates funding to upgrade roads for timber lorries another one further down the corridor is allocating funding to the Timberlink programme, specifically aimed at taking timber lorries off the roads in favour of extraction by sea.

As the A816 was being widened last week, and numerous 26-ton load timber lorries made their way along the road, a vessel was extracting 900 tons of timber from the west shore of Loch Feochan.

There a several timber dumps along the A816 accessed by lorries which are only hundreds of metres from the sea. If timber can be extracted from Loch Feochan, it can surely be extracted by vessel at other points along the route. Such a policy would remove thousands of lorry movements from the A816 each year.

Fergus Gillanders,

Craigaol, Kilmelford.