Letters to the Editor – 17.10.19

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More needs to be done to challenge poverty

Last week was Challenge Poverty Week across Scotland.

New research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows poverty is increasing in Scotland again from a low 20 years ago. Shocking, but perhaps not surprising given that our wages aren’t keeping pace with increases in the cost of living.

In Westminster, our MP Brendan O’Hara, has highlighted how Universal Credit – a cruel policy introduced by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition – has pushed millions of people further into poverty.

He is not wrong but his party, the SNP, forms the Scottish Government and has the power to be doing much more. With a quarter of us living in poverty, it needs to.

Where is the action to ensure secure employment on a real living wage? Why has the SNP frozen the Scottish Welfare Fund since 2013? Why isn’t it doing more to tackle the cuts in council services we see every year?

Reducing poverty cannot be done in a week. We need our governments, at every level, to make this a priority every day – and with action, not words.

Polly Jones

Macmillan thank you

This year our World’s Biggest Coffee morning fundraiser entered its 29th year.

In community centres, schools and workplaces, thousands of coffee mornings were held across Scotland to raise money and help us support people affected by cancer.

I would like to offer a huge and heartfelt thanks to every single one of your readers who held or attended a coffee morning – your energy and generosity never ceases to amaze us.

Whether it’s specialist cancer nurses, support workers or benefit advisors, we can only offer the support that people with cancer need thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of our supporters.

The number of people who need our help is growing, and we want to offer support to everyone who needs it. We are almost entirely funded by the public, so every coffee morning held – every cup of coffee bought – makes a difference.

And please remember, if you need information, support or a chat with Macmillan you can call us free on 0808 808 0000.

If you’d like to support Macmillan and do something amazing today, you can also visit macmillan.org.uk/getinvolved.

Thank you all so very much.

Janice Preston, head of services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland.

Clear advice needed on recycling

Further to Julian Overnell’s letter ‘More specific details requested on recycling’ (OT 3/10/19), I wonder if Councillor Kieron Green, the council or the recycling companies could give us clearer advice on glass recycling.

Last week in Tesco’s car park I witnessed all the glass recycling containers, green, brown and white (clear) being emptied into the same compartment of the collection truck.

If there is no longer a need to separate the colours, then let this be known as this could save the operatives the unnecessary arduous task of picking up all the excess green bottles on the ground which could have been deposited in the half empty white and brown containers.

John Hay,

Smacking ban is good move

Having personally witnessed a small seven- to eight-year-old smacked, crying girl being ejected from her flat in Oban, being shaken and then being told to sit in a cold hallway one winters morning in tears and sobbing, I welcome therefore, hopefully the ending of such abuses with the introduction of this new law banning smacking.

I have also overheard the saying that ‘you can beat the devil into a child’, and my brother -in -law always stated that ‘sin binning’ a child to stand in the corner of a room, to face only an empty corner wall for 15 minutes or more if a tantrum ensued, was punishment enough. It worked on my niece, as years later she stated that she hated that corner ordeal, but never her parents.

Therefore I believe this new law will be seen to become the best progressive law this wonderful country will ever deliver to the protection of its children and I am in no doubt that the rest of the United Kingdom will follow and emulate this great Scottish lead.

Stephen Jones

Vote against smacking bill was right move

The Scottish Conservatives have rightfully voted against a recent bill that could see loving parents wrongly criminalised. No-one wants to see violence against children but the smacking bill is not the answer.

It makes the law less clear and increases the chance that normal parents are wrongly accused of harming their child.

We in the Scottish Conservatives would rather help and support families than bring in bad law that could turn children against their parents.

This is yet another case of the separatist’s Orwellian overreaching and their constant imposing on everyday family life, just like their failed Named Person policy.

Councillor Alastair Redman – Kintyre and Islands ward

Same band, higher costs

For the year 2019-2000 the band D council tax in Conservative-run Westminster Council (population: 244,796) is £753.85.

In neighbouring Conservative-run Wandsworth Council (population: 323,257) the band D council tax is £793.99.

The Highland Council (population: 235,180) band D council tax for this year is £1,270.83.

Only Conservative councils run efficient services at effective costs!

Leslie Mutch, 

I’m a TV producer working on a new quiz show called Very Hard Questions and we’re looking for teams of three of the sharpest quiz brains in the country to do battle with another trio for the chance to win thousands of pounds.

We would love a team from the north west of Scotland to take part.

Filming will take place in London in December 2019 and applicants must be aged 18 years of age or over.

Applications are open now at bit.ly/veryhardquestions

Deadline for applications is Saturday November 16, 2019 at 11.55pm.

Andrew David Mallon
TV producer