Letters to the editor

Day Centre

Thanks for Gazette’s help

Thank you for the coverage you have given to the money problems facing the Riverside Day Centre. The board of directors is 
grateful for the sympa-thetic reporting of the 
situation and for your 
editorial support.

The situation is much more serious than simply the withdrawal of £25,000 by the Joint Board.

The council stopped applying the yearly cost of living increase (3%) from April last year. That is equivalent to about £2500 this past year, and we have to find that from somewhere, then £5000 next year, then £7500 the year after and so on.

About this time last year the cost of operating the community bus to pick up our clients in the outlying areas went up from £5 a day (£1250 per year) to 84p per mile (£6900 per year).

In April the mileage goes up to £1 per mile ( £8200).We have to find that from somewhere.

The last straw, so far, was the news that, after 12 years of having the dustbins collected free, the centre now has to pay for dustbin collection. That is another nearly £400 we have to find.

I am very grateful for the wholehearted and determined support we have had from Councillor Alistair Geddes. Every elected member of D&G Council should support him because all the day centres in the region are in the same position as the Riverside.

However, having served as a councillor in the former Lothian Region in the 1990s, I know how reluctant councils are at reversing any decision that has been made, especially in matters financial.

The position of the Riverside’s board has to be to start raising the money it needs now, because when we tender for the contract in October we have to be confident that the funds are in place or, at the very least, promised.

The only alternative would be to tender for a Horseburger and Baked Beans Lunch Club for those who can get there under their own steam. That is not what I signed up for.

Dr W F Stuart,

Chairman, 
Riverside Day Centre Board.

housing

We don’t need new homes

Why would anyone con­sider building 50 new houses in Port William? Just driving into the village, with all the “For Sale” signs tells a story. There are no jobs, so what are these people going to do?

The bus service is still going at the moment to Stranraer and Newton Stewart but the state of the roads is going to make the expense of maintaining the buses a consideration for the future.

It would seem far more sensible to build these homes in the larger towns where there might be the chance for employment.

E A Robinson

litter

Keep country beautiful

I write to ask your readers to help resolve Scotland’s litter problem. Scotland is beautiful and we all must do what we can to prevent its beauty being blighted by litter and eyesores such as flytipping.

By using public recycling and litter bins – or taking your waste home to dispose of – you can make a real difference. There are also some excellent initiatives you can get involved with, such as People Against Litter (http://www.peopleagainstlitter.org and Clean Up Scotland (http://www.cleanupscotland.com, where you can sign a pledge or join a local clean-up event.

The Scottish government is committed to taking measures to prevent littering. A national strategy is being developed – the first since devolution – and a summit will be held this year to work with stakeholders to coordinate action. Thanks to almost £1.8 million invested last year alone by our delivery partner, Zero Waste Scotland, more recycling bins are now installed in some of Scotland’s busiest public places and local communities have received support to tackle litter and flytipping problems.

As well as protecting wildlife and the environment, there are economic benefits to gain by cracking down on this anti-social behaviour. Items such as plastic bottles and cans – those commonly discarded as litter – are valuable materials when recycled.

This year Scotland celebrates the Year of Natural Scotland, and in 2014 we will host the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, as well as cultural events as part of the Year of Homecoming. It’s time to take action to get Scotland looking its best when the eyes of the world will be watching us.

Together we can really make a difference and show the world how beautiful Scotland is.

Richard Lochhead

Cabinet Secretary for Rural 
Affairs and the Environment

Appeal

Trying to trace history of farm

I am tracing my family tree and am trying to collect information about Orchardton Farm near Garlieston. My father, Thomas McWalter Scott, worked there between 1920 and 1940. There was also a John McKie at the farm during that time. If anyone has any informaton about the history of the farm or of any Scotts who worked there, I would be very grateful.

Walter Scott,

21 Pembroke Close, 
Ipswich, IP2 8PE.

health

Antibiotics pose a threat

The UK government’s chief medical officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has warned that serious action must be taken to prevent antibiotic resistance in bacteria becoming a “catastrophic” threat to public health.

Incredibly, more antibiotics worldwide are fed to animals than to people, according to Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Ogranisation (March 14, 2012). This provides huge potential for drug resistant diseases to develop in farmed animals and for them to jump species to humans.

Throughout much of the world, it is common practice to give farmed animals sub-therapeutic doses of anti­biotics because this has a growth-promoting effect. The practice was banned in the European Union in 1999. However, many EU farmers are still using huge quantities of antibiotics, via a legal loophole that permits the use of drugs prescribed by vets.

In October 2011, the Environment Committee of the Euro­pean Parliament said that “despite the ban of the use of antibiotics as growth promoters, there seems to be no significant decrease in the consumption of antibiotics in the veterinary sector, which continue to be used systematically for ‘prophylactic’ purposes due to unsustainable agricultural practices”.

This was a reference to the crowded and squalid conditions in which pigs, chickens, cows and other animals are being increasingly kept. These intensive regimes provide the perfect breeding grounds for numerous diseases and result in the administration of huge quantities of antibiotics to ensure animals survive long enough to make it to slaughter.

Ben Martin,

Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge.

Renewables

Misinformation on wind energy

Regarding large-scale wind generation in the UK, I guess the most senseless claim is that no matter how much it hurts, if the UK cuts its emissions (all 2% of them) then the rest of the world will follow and cut its 98%.

What deluded nonsense, and no doubt countries such as China, India, Brazil and the US must be laughing all the way to the bank at our proposed economic suicide.

No doubt Hans Christian Anderson, if he were alive today, would have been more than amused at such human credulity, and no doubt Lewis Carroll must have had parliament in mind when he dreamt up The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Dave Haskell,

Newchapel Road, 
Boncath, Pembs.