Letters to the editor – 12.5.22

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Police on the beat

I noted with interest Oban Community Council’s criticism of the police presence in Oban and the focus on visibility.

I must be living in a different community. This week on my return from Glasgow where I was attending a football match, I observed traffic police on the A85 at Taynuilt and I have seen police on the back road to Connel, where I live, three times this week.

In the town itself I saw two police officers this morning on Soroba Road and a police vehicle was behind me when I came to work.

The random selections I have highlighted are fairly typical from my perspective.
George Berry describes the roads as being a ‘free for all’. I saw police moving a driver on in Tweedale Street this week as their vehicle was causing a disruption, again just a random observation.

With respect to police cars being parked up in Albany Street, that is not a surprise because that is where the police operate from. This fixation about police on the beat defies credible logic in what we should be expecting them to do.

I would rather police spent their time, covertly or otherwise, doing the legwork to catch the ‘bad boys and girls’ who are dealing drugs in our community rather than standing on a street corner eating ice cream talking to Mrs McGlumpher.

In my day job working for Argyll Community Housing Association, we have positive engagement with the police on a variety of fronts, from dealing with anti-social behaviour to more serious matters involving drugs in our communities.

It is the easiest thing in the world to sit and criticise based on the stereotype that community policing is at its most effective when two ‘Bobbies’ wander up and down the street all day waiting for a criminal to pop out in front of them. The real world is a bit different.
Alastair MacGregor, Chief Executive, Argyll Community Housing Association.

With thanks

I would like to give my thanks to everyone who voted for me in the recent local elections.

Also thanks to those who helped me out with my campaign and those who contributed to my crowdfunder. Although I was not successful in getting re-elected as an independent candidate, the result could not have been any closer.

With your continued support, I am confident of success when I run again in five years time.

I would like to congratulate all of the councillors who won across Argyll and Bute, and give my commiserations to those who were not successful this time.

Representing the Kintyre and Islands ward has been an honour and a privilege, and I will continue to remain active in local politics going forward.
Alastair Redman, Port Charlotte, Islay.

Councillor bows out

Many thanks to all who have supported me over the past 15 years when I decided to put something back into Lochaber which had been really good to myself, Sandra and our family.

It has certainly been an interesting time as local authorities finances became more competitive while costs of building and replacement of schools, or road repairs, rose astronomically.

There have been highs and lows along the councillor roadway as one would expect, but the relationships and friends made along that journey will never be forgotten by me.
However, despite all the difficulties we do live in a beautiful part of the world with many strong business sectors and while a low wage economy Lochaber has a strong employment record.

It has been my privilege to represent you all, working with a great team at Highland Council and superb unpaid volunteers all striving to make Lochaber and the Highlands an even better place to live in.

Good luck to all the new councillors.
Allan Henderson.

Church closures

Irene Harvey (Letters, May 5) laments pending rural church closures in Islay but what other choice is there for the Church of Scotland?

Mainstream protestant churches have been in terminal decline on account of a range of chronic poor leadership decisions.

We have vilified minorities and weaponised sexuality, while failing to be a prophetic voice for millions of unborn children being aborted in the UK. A national housing crisis has destroyed countless relationships and families, but churches have often retained assets or buildings which are no longer used very much.

Churches have been concerned about shortfalls in their own pension schemes, but I have no recollection of ever seeing clerics agitate for state pension age to be retained at 65 years for other workers.

The modern Church has often embraced ‘woke’ lunacy of every kind, while many UK citizens live and die without understanding the importance of Our Lord’s) life, or how this life amazingly, and specifically, fulfils the short ancient prophecy of Isaiah 53.
J T Hardy, by email.

Start helping your dog now

Bonfire Night might seem a long way away, but now is the perfect time to start preparing your dog to deal with the bangs and flashes of November 5.
We know the devastating effect fireworks can have on our pets. In the UK, 70 per cent of owners report their pets being affected, some being physically sick and too frightened to leave the house for days after the fireworks have stopped.

Blue Cross’s animal behaviour team has put together a step-by-step guide and video you can use to work with your dog over the next few months to help prepare them for fireworks season. It also provides information on how to get more help if needed for your pet ahead of November. Visit www.bluecross.org.uk/advice/dog/how-to-prepare-your-dog-for-fireworks
Claire Stallard, animal behaviourist, Blue Cross, Oxon.