Letters to the editor – 30.7.20

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Not the time to buy estate

I refer to the report in the Lochaber Times of 16 July (‘Scottish Land Fund supports buy’) in respect of Killundine estate which has not yet been advertised for sale. The offer of £1million pounds by the Scottish Land Fund is not only premature but is at odds with Holyrood legislation. So far the group does not yet have a mandate from the local community to proceed, nor has it shown it has the experience to manage and operate a 6,000 acre estate – although of course that could be bought in at a high price from outside ‘experts’.

The group’s chairperson suggests untold benefits will come to the area should they succeed. Never in its recorded history has the Morvern peninsula been so prosperous. There is no unemployment, which is hardly surprising given the number of businesses there are. These include: sheep and cattle farming, a distillery, a silica sand mine, the largest granite quarry in Europe, a CalMac ferry, an hotel, two cafes, three dive boats, two dive lodges, a plumber, electrician, a resident GP, a new school, a surgery which is second to none, numerous high quality B&Bs, a caravan park, state and private timber producers, six sporting estates and a lucrative cottage-letting industry. All providing permanent local jobs and generating wealth.

The acquisition of Killundine using public money will contribute to Scotland’s rising debt and bring an increase in taxes for the foreseeable future. Now is not the time to indulge in make-believe and to dwell in marble halls.
Iain Thornber, Morvern

Take your litter home

Last week I cleared up a large amount of rubbish left at the layby as you leave Connel heading towards Glasgow. It was left on July 18 and included receipts, dated the same day.

The rubbish consisted of food packaging and several drinks reciprocal, receipts, and also a disposable mask, disposable gloves and an empty packet of paracetamol.
It is bad enough that this litter should occur and even worse that the cans could have been recycled, but in this unprecedented time to just discard protective equipment and medicine in such a thoughtless manner is beyond belief.

However the worse part was discovering, hidden under a fish and chips package, another type of ‘deposit’ – right next to the road! And this is the second time I have found such a deposit at this site.

Whoever is responsible for this, please desist. Take your litter home with you – it doesn’t take much effort to have a bag in your vehicle and just place it in that – and if you do need to answer a call of nature could you please find somewhere a bit more secluded.
Lynn Ashforth, Connel

Concern over human waste

I wrote to your paper over a year ago drawing attention to the issue of human waste being occasionaly dumped into ditches and water catchment areas by unscrupulous camper van/caravan visitors. The main point of my letter was that untreated human waste getting into water courses may harbour the very nasty parasite Giardia. Now human waste is on the increase massively across the countryside.

At the time of my original letter I was concerned about the lack of public toilets and shower/washing facilities for holiday visitors across Scotland. I suggested one only needs to look at Germany and how it caters for campervan visitors – often free parking close to town centres where toilets and showers are common place, and visitors welcome in a healthy environment.

Now we are all seeing what happens when a viral pandemic arrives in our midst.
The dumping of human waste is no longer an occasional/isolated problem.

As an 80-year-old, I watch with growing alarm the road taken by the UK government in its easing restrictions/opening up/back to school/back to the office philosophy. Sadly the Scottish Government appears to be bending to the same ‘economic’ rules – Nicola Sturgeon’s original caution was proven to be much more sensible – which may well prove disasterous for the Highlands and rural elderly, and the vulnerable of all ages.
Andrew Graham Noble, Kinlocheil

Overpricing due to lack of competition?

I was shocked to hear the Regent Hotel has closed as well as the Great Western. With the two large hotels closing this reduces the competition and so overpricing is evident, as I found when I was recently trying to book a trip to Oban.

People wanting to visit Oban may be very unwilling to pay around £100 per night and so not bother coming.
Jim McIntosh, Sent in by email