Letters to the Editor – Thursday August 26

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A pleasant return

Accompanied by my nephew Douglas, a nostalgic trip to Oban after several years away was a pleasant return.

We were in time to attend the Old Parish Church morning service, where we were welcomed at the door by old friend Helen Jackson.

We were also given a kind welcome from the lectern by the minister, the Reverend Dugald Cameron.

Over the next day or two we met up with old friends from the Hunter, Lang, Preston and Tolmie families. Especially gratifying was meeting up with the King of Pulpit Hill, Ian Campbell.

It was remarkable to see Oban as busy as I remember it. It is clear the town is bouncing and that its future is secure.

Kind greetings to many friends and colleagues thriving in the lovely town. It was a great pleasure to return.

W Raymond Shaw, Glasgow.

Protect your right to protest

Not many people are talking about the government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

But if it passes parliament, it will have an impact on all our lives.

The bill gives unprecedented powers to the police to ban peaceful demonstrations outright and to ban ‘noisy’ protests. The definition of a noisy protest includes a protest involving noise made by just one person.

It’s been revealed the Police Federation was not consulted on this huge extension of police powers. Furthermore, a respected group of former police officers has expressed concerns.

In a letter to the Home Secretary they said: ‘Echoing the concerns voiced by the National Police Chiefs Council and other professional bodies, we believe this Bill has dangerous and harmful implications for the ability of police officers to enforce the law and for the health of our democracy as a whole.’

If the next time a group of residents, or even a single resident, wants to protest against a housing development or a council decision, the police could just say ‘no’.

If any other readers are worried at the prospect of their right to protest being curtailed, I would encourage them to write to their MP and ask them to oppose this repressive legislation. Or they could support organisations like Unlock Democracy which are campaigning against the Bill.

Anni McArthur, by email.

 

Sir,

Nicola Sturgeon, at every opportunity, monotonously attacks the UK government.

This time she decries plans to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Afghans saying this number was not nearly enough.

Is this the same Nicola Sturgeon who said she would take a Syrian refugee family into her home then did nothing?

The UK has already experienced unprecedented demographic change since 2001 with nearly seven million out of the total eight million population rise driven by the massive and uncontrolled influx from all parts of the world. There is already a housing crisis and the loss of green space. Our NHS is not the world NHS.

We should only allow in more refugees/asylum seekers/economic migrants if politicians and those demanding unlimited immigration agree to personally finance, house, feed, clothe, educate and pay their medical bills. This should not be down to the taxpayer.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Messages amass over ragwort danger

I have been getting many messages about the amount of ragwort growing in the area, especially on roadside verges.

Our hard-working and at times hard-pressed farmers and crofters are particularly worried about its recent spread in many areas of Kintyre and the islands.

Ragwort is a toxic plant and has gained significant media coverage in the past about its hazardous capabilities to livestock.

Ragwort poses a risk to animal health, with potentially fatal consequences if it is ingested by horses or livestock, either in its green or dried state.

All sensible measures must be taken to ensure ragwort does not spread, particularly to grazing areas or land which is used to produce conserved forage.

The National Farmers Union has been highlighting the problems with ragwort on a national level.

Food security is an essential part of our economy and reducing the presence of harmful plants is a key part of that.

I have been in touch with the Argyll and Bute Council roads department and will continue to press for more action on dealing with ragwort.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and the Islands ward.