Letters to the Editor – 17.12.20

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MSP failed to mention Brexit

This week a glossy publication from Donald Cameron MSP arrived through my letterbox extolling the virtues of being a Conservative candidate in next May’s Scottish elections.

Mr Cameron listed six subjects of concern he had been involved in recently. All important, yes, but why did he fail to mention the two sectors that face the challenge to their survival caused by Brexit: farming and fishing? Both sectors face severe financial ruin.

On fishing, west coast fishermen rely on rapid transit to get their catches of prawns, langoustines, crabs, lobsters etc to Europe within 24 hours of landing. These vital exports will, due to Brexit, be subject to senseless bureaucracy of red tape before they reach their destination.

Warnings from the fishing businesses all along the west coast of Scotland have been ignored by the UK Government. Coupled with this delay are tariffs set as Britain will no longer be an EEC member.

Next to farming. Everything points to constant financial hardship. Lamb exports vital for every sheep farmer in Scotland face EEC levies of 40 per cent of the value of these animals.

For example prime lambs currently worth £95 to export will near be worth £58. These levels of return will make sheep production unviable. All exports of world famous Scotch beef will be levied, as well as Scotch food and drink exports currently worth millions to the Scottish economy.

In the 2016 EEC referendum Scotland voted 62 per cent to 38 per cent to remain in the EEC. As everyone in the UK surveys the last minute shambles of ‘No deal or Bad deal’, they must be amazed at the absolute mess we are in.

Our chance of salvation or rescue comes next May when Scotland has a chance to let Mr Cameron realise the folly of his party’s ways.

Robert MacIntyre, Rothesay.

Fine irresponsible hosts

I’d like to commend Ellis Butcher’s article (December 3) in respect of there being far too many tourists in Oban.

As an Airbnb property owner myself, I have been screening all of my guests, to ensure that they are eligible to travel in order to keep the area safe. This has been at a huge financial loss to myself, and is particularly galling when other properties, just a short distance from mine, are still welcoming guests from higher tiers than Argyll and Bute.

There is largely no defence for this practice, as Airbnb hosts can check where their guests live. However, I would say that I have experienced guests that lie and/or attempt to conceal they are travelling from a high tier area/England in Lockdown Two, but it just takes a few careful questions to unravel the truth.

Airbnb hosts are by no means alone as culprits for welcoming such guests. We’re aware of visitors to Seil from Glasgow recently, who had used an Isle of Man address to book with a ‘cottage’ booking firm. To add insult to injury, just yesterday I followed a Swiss car with a roof luggage box, that diligently followed its satnav all the way to Balvicar, Seil. Switzerland, at the time of writing, is a high risk/high infection country.

Irresponsible hosts should be fined, similarly to those holding parties.

Name and address supplied.

Short and cheap option for Rest and Be Thankful

The Rest and Be Thankful is better known to the people of Argyll as the ‘Dripping Roast’ meaning good money after bad and going nowhere.

I have studied all the different proposals many of which could no doubt work at great cost, though I feel my proposal would be the shortest and the cheapest option.

Why not enter the A83 to the Old Military Road (lower) and keep down to the bottom of the valley and erect a steel structure on pillars, high enough for a rock slide – which, in my life, has never been seen as far down as the burn – to go underneath.

Any cattle grazing would be protected in the shelter of pilings from a landslide and sheltered from the structure.

A viaduct or similar construction that joins the A83 around about the Lochgoilhead road in a graduated manner is within the capabilities of graders and other equipment to reduce the angle of the slope at the upper end of the road.

I do recall that they once landed a man on the moon so surely this simple and effective solution is possible.

Bobby Martin, Davaar Avenue, Campbeltown, formerly of Martin Maintenance, HGV repairs and heavy vehicle recovery.