Letters to the editor

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Take a look at some of the views shared through our ‘Letter to the Editor’ page this week.

Environment

Fly tipping will increase

Sir, – Those that throw litter on our streets and countryside could be described as “contemptible”. There are those that complain about it, let us call them “whingers”.

Every road leading out of Forfar is strewn with litter, with particular reference to the A926 all the way from Forfar to Kirremuir. If you go onto any side road they are as bad, if not worse.

In March 2016 I decided to do an experiment for one year and collect all the rubbish on one stretch of road, approximately 0.7 miles long. Over two days, at the beginning of my experiment, I managed to fill 14, 80 litre black bin bags (these were all put into a skip). The rubbish was as you would expect, television sets, large boxes, for example a new hoover box, plastic bottles, tin cans, paper coffee cups, empty cigarette packets, food cartons, and the unexpected, glass bottles fill with urine, sanitary towels and worse.

From March 2016 to February 2017, on a weekly basis, I have collected the litter and have filled between three and five plastic bags, so on average say four, making a total of approximately 200 for the year.

Angus Council, in their wisdom, are planning to close, at great cost, Forfar and Kirriemuir recycling centres. This decision will only exacerbate fly tipping and litter on our verges. I will continue to try and keep a very small area of Angus tidy. It would be good if the council attempted to do the same and we had less of the “contemptible” in Angus. – Yours, etc.,

R W H Hudson

Forfar

Cancer campaign

Bringing out the best in people

Sir, – My letter today to you is in two parts and is regarding cancer. Firstly to introduce myself, Geraldine Williams is my wife and it is through Marie Church and Linda Cook at Grum’d Hair salon where we recently held our 24 hour ‘HairCutAthon’ in Brechin. The event raised over £3000 at the event and the money is still coming in.

When the four of us counted the amount at noon on Sunday the emotion and tears flowed at the sheer total that had been donated to our three causes.

So where do I begin with my thanks. There is just so many people. Of course, there is Marie and Linda. The local businesses who supplied raffle prizes and donations. The bakeries who supplied cakes and buns and friends who brought in food, and porridge and coffees through the night to keep us going. Brechin City Football Club, the Brechin Advertiser, The Courier and P & J for wonderful coverage. Paul and Joyce Reid, Jeff and Andrew at City Press. All the brilliant musicians that played through the night. The list goes on.

And, of course, my ultimate thanks go to yourselves. The wonderful and generous people of Brechin and the surrounding areas of the county and further afield. Without you overwhelming generosity, kindness and community spirit we could not have dreamed to make the huge amount of money that we did. I give my humble and eternal thanks to you all.

And I guess the second part deals with the cancer itself. It is a terrible disease. From the initial findings, the GP appointment, the referrals. The biopsies and the diagnoses. Then the surgery. Then there is the brutal chemotherapy. Maybe radiotherapy and possible complications along the way with treatment.

When Geraldine got her diagnoses of breast cancer it is something you cannot possibly prepare for. It is devastating. How would we tell our three young children? How would we word it all? And for me I could only empathize. How could I know what she was going through emotionally and physically except just be there and to listen give my love and support and be with her for every appointment and step of the way.

And that’s where you find you are not alone. So many people are touched and affected by cancer and we have spoken to many people that have had cancer themselves or going through treatment and there families who are supporting loved ones. Husbands, wives, partners, mums and dads, brothers and sisters and friends.

And what you find and comes across is the strength and the resilience and courage that people have. It solidifies and stiffens resolve. It can bring people closer. Even in those darkest and saddest of times there is someone to talk to and try and make sense of it all. And it bring things into perspective in regards to issues that maybe seemed stressful and important actually are not in the grand scheme.

In my job as a paramedic we are just a small cog in the scheme of cancer treatment but we do get acute medical cases pre-hospital where you can have patients with early stage diagnoses to complications with chemo treatment to the devastating end stages with palliative care and also where people will not be coming home. It is heart breaking.

That’s where we come to cancer care itself.

Every member of staff from the cancer nurses, the doctors, the oncologists, the consultants and surgeons and plastic surgeons. Ward 32 Chemo Day Unit and admissions unit next door. Maggies and ‘Look Good Feel Better’ charity.

They are so good at what they do. They are top professionals but go much further. They are kind considerate and caring. They helped make the unbearable bearable at very dark times.

They are so good and supportive and I will be so thank full for there care and treatment for Geraldine and there support for me and the boys and the support they give everyone out there affected by cancer.

This is why we are collecting for these three charities below with our fundraising events. Maggies, ‘Look Good Feel Better’ and Ninewells Ward 32 Chemo Day Unit. Every penny will go to these causes. We are covering all our own expenses with the events we are doing this year. There is a ‘JustGiving’ page set up as well.

So it brings me back to my first line about my letter being in two parts.

Yes, cancer is a disease and is a devastating illness, but it also brings out the support, love, fight and courage in people to try our best to cope with what is in front of us. It is a long road but we will get there. Thank you again. – Yours, etc.,

Edward Ripley Williams

Brechin

Politics

The electoral system has failed

Sir, – A new budget to ensure a Scottish tax haven for masochists or those desperate to donate to government charity i.e. SNP.

It seems ironic that a government so desperate to hold referendum every week narrowly avoids a general election in Scotland with the support of a Green Party. I refer, of course, to Scotland’s budget which if not approved by Holyrood could have forced a general election thereby giving the whole electorate an opportunity to comment on a decade of incompetence.

As a party holding the balance within a minority government the Greens were given a taste of power, without accountability, and supported the Nationalists. Even although their spokesperson was appointed by the party to sit in Holyrood, and not elected by the people the spokesperson led them to victory alongside their allies, regardless of the hypocrisy towards the environment.

I refer, of course, to the constant complaints about Faslane and nuclear submarines, which should be located in Britain (but not near us) while demanding to be defended by the nuclear NATO force. In addition, criticising fracking while paying to import fracked gas and ultimately having to accept fracking in Scotland along with the possibility of coal in order to provide future power for the Nation.

It was indeed sad that Scotland tried to change the electoral system in order to make it fairer, and failed. – Yours, etc.,

Alan Bell

Roods, Kirriemuir

Bankhead steps

Terrible lack of council foresight

Sir, – The Forfar Community Campus opens on February 16.

One of the busiest pedestrian routes to the campus is the Bankhead Steps. What do the Angus Council do???? Close the steps for three weeks to do refurbishment work.

You could not make this up.

The work could be done during the Easter or Summer school holidays.

Who ever made this decision should be remembered in the next round of Angus Council redundancies programme. – Yours, etc.,

Brian

(Full name and address supplied)

Environment

Action needed at loch culvert

Sir, – Efforts must be made soon to avoid losing more trees in the waterlogged area to the south of Forfar Loch. Clearing the eastmost culvert (blocked for several years) would make all the difference. – Yours, etc.,

John Crichton

Forfar

Indyref2

Immediate call for referendum

Sir, – We in RADICAL INDEPENDENCE (Angus & Mearns) declare we are eager for a new independence referendum; and enthusiastic about the campaigning this will involve. We are confident the “NO” side will be neither eager nor enthusiastic.

We in Radical Independence Angus & Mearns are very happy to co-operate, in referendum campaigning, with anybody who says Yes to independence; but what we will NOT do is follow any party line, or obey orders from any politician.

Radical Independence Angus & Mearns calls for a new referendum on independence to be announced, and held, without delay.

We ask our Radical Independence Campaign colleagues throughout Scotland, and, indeed, people in general, throughout Scotland, regardless of their politics, to support this demand for a referendum. (As agreed at our meeting held on Monday, February 13.) – Yours, etc.,

Dave Coull

Edzell

Environment

Decision not the greenest option

Re the proposed reduction of weekday opening hours at Brechin Recycling Centre to four hours two days a week:

The centre has closed early to my knowledge on at least two occasions recently when the skips have been full, with people being turned away at times when they expected to be able to unload their car or trailer loaded with waste.

We can expect this to happen more often with reduced opening hours and an increase in the ever present problem of fly tipping (recently cleared by Brechin people rather than Angus Council) is inevitable.

Queues already form along Commerce Street restricting access to all traffic including the emergency services.

The cynic in me suggests that having identified a potential health and safety issue would give Angus Council the excuse they would like to completely close the Brechin facility.

Both the above are likely to lead to Brechin people being forced to travel to the facilities at Montrose costing them time and money and contributing to the global warming crisis which the recycling centres are supposed to be helping.

Can I ask why once again Brechin councillors have voted against Brechin’s interests – councillors in Kirrie, Arbroath, Forfar and Montrose don’t appear to do this as their facilities are being upgraded and maintained as Brechin once again loses out?

On the wider issue of the efficiency of recycling it would be nice to see Angus Council investigating options other than sending recycling bin contents to Wales! Is this really our greenest option?

George Garden

(via email)

Brexit

Put our own interests first

Sir, – The Prime Minister should stop worrying about upsetting rest of EU on leaving. We taxpayers have paid over the odds for 44 years to their benefit, so in leaving in order to even the score we should to put our own interests first. – Yours, etc.,

Eric R S Davidson

(Address supplied)