Letters to the editor – 15.8.19

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Devil is in the detail

While your news story on page 13 of last week’s Oban Times (August 1), entitled ‘Contract awarded for Oban flights to Coll, Colonsay and Tiree’, is factually correct, the devil really is in the detail.

Scheduled flights to the islands may have been secured for another four years, but it fails to mention that they have been HALVED: the service is now only running on just one day a week, with scholar flights continuing to run at the weekend.

Although it states council officers have ‘worked hard behind the scenes’ to secure the contract, it fails to state that this was at a greatly-reduced price tag, understood to be in the region of 25 per cent less. With that cut, the service would always be reduced, as no commercial company could feasibly supply the same at the knocked-down rate.

We are small islands with fragile economies and these lifeline flights pay an important part in our survival: the service gives us an opportunity to get away and back in one day for medical treatment (including chemotherapy and emergency dental care) and allows a host of professionals to visit. With winter fast approaching, the plane can provide a viable alternative within the recent unreliability of our ferry service.

Yes, we may be grateful that the service will still be running, but please be honest, it’s been slashed to save money. There has been lots of noise about the Islands’ Bill helping to protect our communities, but patently in this case it has not.

A concerned Islander,
name and address supplied

In search of Oban footballer

My friend Ron Parrott is writing the complete history of Hereford United Football Club. He is trying to put together a brief ‘pen-pic’ of every player that has ever played for Hereford United/Hereford FC.

I am writing to see if your readers could help us trace a player who was born in Oban.

Mick Campbell, born Oban 19th November 1966, he signed for United in the summer of 1988. Mick played on the right-wing and turned out in several pre-season friendlies but only made one first-team appearance, in the first game of the 1988/89 season at Scunthorpe.

All I know about Mick is that he was on a month’s trial after his release from the army but I would dearly love to know what happened to him after he left Edgar Street. I know that he never played in the football league again but did he go non-league, did he go back to Scotland, or did he simply not play football again at any level?

Any help that can be offered would be greatly appreciated. If people would like to email me at the address below, or call 07581 321472.

Matt Healey

matthewhealey@hotmail.com

Argyll is bucking trend on Scottish drug death figures

I recently had an email exchange with the National Records Scotland on the matter of drug-related deaths in Argyll and Bute.

I have no pleasure in writing about the subject but felt I had to write about this as I did last year.

As seen on social media pages a week or so ago the same out of touch “drug politicians” were trying to conflate national drug death figures as local drug death figures and propagating unjustified blame and criticism on our local services.

Once again Argyll is bucking the high numbers of death increases seen elsewhere in Scotland. From last year 2017-2018 we sadly saw a rise of one death. There had been a drop by two deaths in 2016-2017 from 10 to eight deaths. We are still below the level of 2016 by one.

One death is one to many. It shows again that local awareness is the key.

Through due diligence from the likes of Argyll Community Housing Association, which shows no tolerance to drug dealers, and the support from Oban Addiction Support Services (OASIS), working together we can keep the deaths down in Argyll.

It is a war on drugs that is killing thousands each year and Argyll is holding its own.

Angus Files,
Kilmelford

Online learning is not way to learn Gaelic

I am very annoyed and alarmed at the proposal to use Doulingo online to learn Gaelic. This is a joke as it’s only going to teach words parrot fashion and will have absolutely no living culture behind it.

Gaelic has always been spoken built into a culture of daily activities, that part is the  actual heart of the spoken word.

I personally do not want to see my dear language to be used as a play thing or abused in such ways. It looks very much that this trick is same idea as football matches on TV broadcast to non speakers in central Scotland.

Stay well away please from this mockery.

Aonghas Eioghainn Mhoir,
Uibhist a Deas.

Time has arrived to restrict size of families

I think your correspondent Andrew Green (The Oban Times, August 8) is to be congratulated on his comments on child benefit.

We hear a great deal these days about climate change and the effects of carbon dioxide, but few are prepared to address the fact that these problems are directly related to world population.

The larger the world population, the more fuel we will use and the more carbon dioxide will be produced.

Furthermore, the more problems will arise over food production and water shortage.

It is time for those of us alive today to realise that there is a serious need to control population growth by restricting the size of families. Those who fail to do so should ask themselves what sort of world their children and grandchildren are likely to grow up in if this problem is not tackled.

Professor Colin Davidson,

Tigh nan Eilean, Ardfern.

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