At Random with Martin Laing – Thursday October 21

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Criminal negligence

I have banged on here before about the extremely high regard I have for all our emergency services – including the RNLI – and the superb work they carry out, often in very difficult circumstances.

So it was with some considerable dismay that I read the report last week that absolutely nothing has been done to fix or replace Oban’s crumbling police station. I am sure we all recall that it was dubbed the worst police station in the entire country by the Scottish Police Federation and was, indeed, judged to be unfit for human habitation.

Furthermore, we were told that a feasibility study was being done into the provision of a new police station and would be published in the spring of this year. No such report has yet been published, and there is no information about when new premises might be ready.

This is a disgrace.

Oban’s officers work in a complex environment of urban, rural and island communities and very many different kinds of criminal activity. Their role is demanding and sometimes dangerous, yet we are told that officer accommodation in Oban is ‘similar to that supplied by slum landlords’.

This is an urgent problem which must be addressed with the highest priority. Our police officers deserve no less.

Back with a bang

I was fair chuffed to hear that the Oban fireworks display is to take place again on November 5 after a two-year hiatus.

It is, after all, one of the high spots in the town’s calendar and a brilliant event to look forward to as autumn descends on us with the promise of dark and chillier times ahead.

Credit must go to Andy Spence and his team at BID4Oban, the town’s business group, for organising the return of the fireworks. As reported last week, it is being held at the Northern Lighthouse Board pier and blasts off at 7.30pm.

I’m really looking forward to it and hope all goes well. Enjoy!

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