Letters to the editor 24.10.19

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George Street noise is like being in a war zone

Regarding Martin Laing’s comments about a noise nuisance from a loose manhole cover in George Street (At random, October 17), I have reported this terrible noise and so have local shops, to BEAR Scotland and the local council.

The anseer I got from BEAR Scotland is that it could not carry out repairs until the first week of November. Argyll and Bute Council never bothered to reply to my complaint.

I have a friend who is up from Glasgow working in the flats above Cuan Mor who cannot sleep because of this noise.

I also feel sorry for the staff who work in the shops all day serving tourists who bring money to the town and are constantly hearing this noise. They would as well have been in Afghanistan listening to two rounds being fired every two seconds.

Brian McMahon, by email.

Much enjoyment from family’s fascinating history

I much enjoyed the recent excellent Morvern Lines article about my great-great-granduncle John Sinclair, whose sister married my great-great-grandfather, John Macfarlane, who was a fulling Miller and Dyer at Bunlusragan, Connel.

According to family and other folklore, John was, indeed, a benevolent, kindly man who used his wealth liberally on behalf of others. He did, however, have a great sense of family and was prepared to be ruthless on their behalf, if required.

His sister, Margaret, had married the Campbell Tacksman of Caolas in Coll. She became pregnant but Campbell accused her of adultery and threatened her with possible lethal bodily harm.

On hearing this, her brother John, who was also a JP and Deputy Lieutenant, is said to have collected together a band of ‘heavies’ from his Tobermory Distillery and sailed to Coll where he rescued her, presumably arranged a divorce and obtained a lifelong alimony for her. She was the Margaret Campbell who, with her brother’s beloved housekeeper, Belle, presided over the beautiful Loch Aline House at Savary.

The reference to the Free Church established by John is interesting. John’s nephew, my great-grandfather Malcolm Macfarlane, was allegedly run out of Morvern by the local established church minister, presumably for disagreements before the Disruption. He did return from exile in Skye where he had been regarded as one of the men who were gifted preachers and theologists. He became a Catechist in the Free Church and lived at Knock, Morvern.

He died of pneumonia at Jarvisfield, Gruline, as a result of a chilly drenching while crossing the Sound in an open boat to a conventicle or other service near Salen, Mull. He is buried in Kiel cemetery Morvern, but in an unmarked grave – unlike his uncle John, who is at rest in an ornate enclosure.

John Macfarlane, Taynuilt.

Imposition of whisky tariff is tit-for-tat action

Kate Forbes MSP should not try to blur the truth and bring Brexit into why the Americans want to impose a 25 per cent tariff on Scottish malt whisky.

America has an ongoing war of words with the WTO over the subsidies that the EU has been giving to Airbus and the WTO’s  response to allow the EU to impose  tariffs on America because of their subsidies to Boeing. It should be noted that there is an ongoing tit for tat tariff war in which, in 2018,  saw the EU impose a 25 per cent tariff on American goods which included American whisky.

Cyril Bonnett, Maccoll Terrace, Ballachulish.

Chopping down of trees was wanton destruction

Regarding your front page news ‘Appeal to save trees as council defends plans’, Lochaber Times, October 10),  I was part of the group in the photograph.

We made a cry for nature and what did the Highland Council do? The trees were chopped down the very next day.

It is very easy for the council to dismiss trees as ‘poor quality’ or ‘low condition’. This just seems to me to be an excuse to wantonly destroy mature trees that should have been incorporated  in the site.

The trees were part of an ecosystem and part of a natural life cycle of growth, maturing and dying and putting goodness back into the earth. Many of the trees would be around 40 years old and had many years ahead of them.

The comment by the council is so dismissive – just a lot of old, useless trees but these trees were a habitat for many insects, birds and mammals. Any new trees that are put in by the developers will take years to mature and form an ecosystem and I am afraid if we keep on destroying nature we will not see them mature.

Highland Council, you did declare a climate emergency: when are you going to do the right thing and stop the destruction?

Janet Hickman, Fort William.

Cuts are being forced on councils by the SNP

The proposed cuts to Argyll and Bute Council services would see many jobs lost and would have a terrible impact on those who benefit from these services.

No councillor wants to make these cuts but, unless the SNP government changes its policies, these awful cuts will be forced on the Argyll and Bute. The year on year cuts the SNP and its Green Party allies have forced on councils must be stopped.

I call on the SNP government to change course and give councils enough money to avoid further cuts.

Councillor Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll and Bute.