Letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: April 29, 2021 | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
I HAVE just received an email from my sister concerning my mother and father back home in Shandon.
We live in North Carolina in the USA and obviously rely solely on internet and telephone as the only means for contact with our family and parents elsewhere. Like most people during the pandemic, Zooming and FaceTiming have become the norm and we are in regular contact.
Due to Covid I have not seen my family since our annual trip in 2019, and I was looking forward to talking to my mum and dad tonight before they go to bed.
Unfortunately, my sister’s distraught email described how at the house next door to my parents, which was built in the early 1900s with wonderful grounds and beautiful mature trees, many of those trees have been felled. In the process they have downed the phone lines and internet and my elderly parents now are without internet and phone service which they so heavily rely on.
I cannot think of a more ignorant action to take in these difficult times, without once thinking of the repercussions, both human and environmental.
I am distraught by the lack of understanding and oversight of anybody who lives in a rural environment who cannot grasp the responsibility which comes with living there.
READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: April 22, 2021
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(Copy of a letter to Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara)
I READ with some interest that the SNP are going to provide free bikes for all children of school age who cannot afford them.
This is a fantastic initiative and I welcome very much the SNP’s aim to get our children on their bikes to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise.
It is all very well saying the SNP will give free bikes to our children but what are you going to do in order to give them safe passage to not only cycle but walk to school? This is something you are failing to address and I fear this initiative along with many others will not come to fruition.
I have just come into my kitchen having sat outside to enjoy a little of the April sun. I have a line of parked cars outside my home – essential due to building works – which has resulted in our road becoming a single lane. But that is not stopping dangerous drivers speeding along my street, a street with virtually no paths, only grass verges.
My street is a 30mph zone, going into a 20 zone and returning again to 30 over a couple of hundred metres, if that. Drivers are exiting and entering this ‘zone’ over 30mph and I have spent five years reporting this along with the fact that we have had three crashes outside our home.
‘Destination Helensburgh’ is the current tagline to encourage visitors to our wonderful town. Enjoy our waterfront, come see the blossom in bloom, and visit our new and improved parks.
READ MORE: Local candidates discuss Scotland’s constitutional future ahead of May poll
Helensburgh is a joy to live in and the added attraction being dangerous driving. The council has signed off on a new housing development and the Advertiser asked the community if it will have an adverse affect on Sinclair Street and surrounding area if they install essential traffic lights or crossing facilities.
Of course it will. The essential installation of lights at Victoria Halls has had a direct effect on the quantity of drivers using Queen Street, Millig and Stafford as shortcuts and at speed. They even use Stafford [a one way, single lane with no paths] in the opposite direction.
The town has had drivers involved in crashes whereby one vehicle has ended up on its roof. Only this morning while walking towards Kidston Park I witnessed a council refuse vehicle driver having to reduce his/her speed considerably due to a police vehicle in the cafe car park. We do not need to be reminded what carnage a runaway refuse truck can do.
Free and greener travel is what the SNP is offering. How about giving everyone in this town and our beautiful country safer passage?
Whether we choose to walk or cycle. Unless this key issue is addressed then cars will continue to rule, and children will continue to be at risk of being injured or killed on our roads on a regular basis.
READ MORE: Candidates set out how they’d tackle climate emergency
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LARGELY due to growing inequality, the concentration of wealth amongst the few and a great sense that the interests and needs of the many (us) are not a priority for our governments who’d rather cosy up to the rich and powerful, a war has and is being waged in developed democracies between those that need to divide us to stay in/attain power and those who actually seek to solve the problems our society faces: inequality, climate and the environment, healthcare, education, job creation, housing, opportunities for youth, and on and on.
Scotland is no different. The Conservatives and SNP are leading the divisive, poisonous and dishonest union v separatist agenda that is unfortunately dominating both Scottish politics and life. Both claim that their solution is the key to transforming Scotland.
Rubbish. Neither are solutions to our troubles and problems. We need parties and politicians who engage with the issues, are smart enough to decipher them, are honest in their assessments and plans of what is possible and by when, not concerned with looking good and do everything in their power to leverage the talents around them to deliver what they promise for the people of Scotland.
Here, I see the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Labour at least wrestling with these issues and seeking to solve the problems that actually matter. I only wish they had more support from the people they really want to serve!
READ MORE: Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie talks to the Advertiser
For me a great example of the dangerous path that is being forged by the SNP and giving the Scottish Conservatives more political oxygen than they warrant, is the issue of rejoining Europe if independence was to happen. From a fiscal point of view, the European Union is looking for prospective new member countries to have a budget deficit which is no higher than an annual 3 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
Pre-Covid Scotland’s deficit was 8.6 per cent of GDP, whereas the UK’s was around 2.6 per cent of GDP. Scotland’s is now running at 26-28 per cent of GDP!
To bring even our pre-Covid deficit down to acceptable levels for the EU we’d either have to have huge cuts to spending, or huge tax increases – or both. Which of those options are going to enable solving the big problems and challenges that Scotland faces today and desperately needs action on?
We need to leave behind the divisive political parties and support the parties that actually want to solve the problems that really matter. They will forge an optimistic path and be much more likely to deliver it for Scotland.
Darleith House, Cardross
READ MORE: Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross talks to the Helensburgh Advertiser
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I WAS thrilled to learn from our SNP candidate Toni Giugliano that we are living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Just as I was getting excited at the prospect, I looked out of the window and a pig flew past.
What could that mean?
READ MORE: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon talks to the Helensburgh Advertiser
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I COULD scarcely believe my ears when I heard our First Minister say that it was possible I would have to show my passport when I wish to visit my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in England.
My other son would be similarly disadvantaged because he would have to do the same to visit his in-laws. Because that would be a consequence of being an independent country.
There is very shortsighted reasoning behind this rush for division. So many of our population are intermarried with the other countries of the UK. We want to be free to visit our relations in these areas and spend holidays with them without the expense of new passports for all. Never mind the mountain of paper work which will be required by our food and drink companies and manufacturers to be able to sell to their biggest customers in England.
How can many of those living in Scotland afford the higher taxes and increased cost of living to cover the cost of the ill-advised plan for an independent Scotland?
The SNP has been in charge of this country for 14 years. They have failed in education, mental health treatment, drug deaths (which are the worst in Europe), ferry and shipbuilding. It’s time for a change.
READ MORE: Helensburgh and Lomond candidates have their say on health
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I MIGHT not always agree with Jackie Baillie but I know she stands up for our local area and is a staunch defender of the Vale of Leven Hospital, irrespective of whatever party is in charge at Holyrood.
I would rather have that than someone from the SNP who will simply toe the party line and be an apologist for the health board and the government.
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