Gazette letters 05.12.13

Mirko Vukasovic Morrison sent in this image taken in Mangersta, Uig.
Mirko Vukasovic Morrison sent in this image taken in Mangersta, Uig.

Adequate support needed

I write at the behest of Western Isles Carers, Users & Supporters Network (WICUSN) re the article in the Stornoway Gazette of 28th November about the delayed discharge situation at the Western Isles Hospital.

WICUSN wishes to highlight the fact that one body of care providers have been entirely overlooked, they are the unpaid family carers without whom the whole care scenario would have collapsed long ago.

It is widely recognised that family carers save authorities the equivalent of the total NHS budget.

We hold the view that part of the present situation is due to the lack of timely support and respite for this body of care providers.

Recently we were advised that there were 31 family carers on Crossroads Lewis’s waiting list, in need of four hours respite a week, some waiting for almost a year.

We cannot but wonder how many people have had to give up caring over the years, because of the lack of available respite, adding to the demand on care home beds.

It takes approximately £100 to provide a family carer, caring 24/7, with four hours respite a week, thus enabling them to continue caring, approximately a 1/6th of the weekly cost of a private care home bed, less than a 1/9th of the weekly cost of a Comhairle care home bed and a mere pittance compared to the weekly cost of a hospital bed.

WICUSN asks, ‘When are the authorities going to adequately support the most economical providers of care?

We agree entirely with the view you express in your column that a speedy practical plan needs to be put in place but that plan needs to include appropriate support for family carers, a huge free work force.

Jinty Morrison,


3 Stonefield,


Isle of Lewis, HS2 9EA

Distanced themselves

I see from your report that the folk at Stornoway High have massively distanced themselves from the Kirk’s official line on homosexuality and the ministry (Gazette 21.11.13).

The Stornoway congregation appear to be saying enough is enough, that they’re no longer prepared to back Assembly decisions that year in and year out run contrary to the Word of God, that it’s time to stand and be counted.

I admire them in this, and I contrast their stance with the passive line taken by Lewis Presbytery, who in allowing the party line express at best some vague hope of betterment at some nebulous point in the future.

My reading of this would suggest that Lewis Presbytery is considerably out of step with the views expressed by grass-roots membership, and it will be more than interesting to see how this thing develops. I should say it will attract interest well beyond Stornoway.

Keith Fernie

8 Drakies Avenue,

Inverness, IV2-3RW

Inappropriate behaviour

There was a day when an MP was reprimanded by the Speaker of the House of Commons it became a matter of note and report.

Last week, Mr Speaker had to call our MP Angus Brendan MacNeil to order for his latest instalment of juvenile and inappropriate behaviour.

During Prime Minister’s questions Mr MacNeil was silenced and told that he: “Should not be yapping at the Prime Minister like an overexcited puppy dog. It is unseemly.”

In recent weeks Mr MacNeil has spent more time on his favoured medium - twitter - writing about the traffic cone on the Duke of Wellington’s statue in the centre of Glasgow, than on any issue of relevance to the people he’s meant to represent.

Is it too much to expect that we’ll ever see a transition from “yapping puppy dog” to hard working and conscientious MP?

Matt Bruce

Chair, Western Isles Constituency Labour Party



Isle of Lewis HS2 0PN

Thanks for support

On behalf of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, may I take this opportunity to send sincere thanks to all of the many volunteers and supporters in the Western Isles who have contributed to the work of our charity in 2013.

Chest, heart and stroke illness can affect anyone. Thanks to advances in treatment, and changes in lifestyle, many more people survive heart attacks and strokes than ever before - a real success story for Scotland’s health.

However, this means that many more people, and their families, are living with the long-term impact of these conditions. Right now one in every ten people in Scotland is living with chest, heart or stroke illness.

CHSS is the only charity providing services throughout Scotland for people affected by chest, heart and stroke illness.

During 2013 we were able to help more than 17,000 people through our advice line and patient information, support groups, financial grants, and our wide range of local services, which we provide in communities throughout the Western Isles.

None of this would be possible without the contribution of our volunteers. Their work is absolutely vital in our local support services, charity shops and other activities. We very much appreciate the commitment, enthusiasm and care they bring to the charity and to their local community.

With continuing grateful thanks, and best wishes for 2014.

David H Clark

Chief Executive

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

Edinburgh, EH12 5EZ

Referendum ‘hot air’

As the Scottish referendum gets closer there is no doubt that we will be getting more ‘hot air’ from the unionist press and unionist parties.

It has now been established that experts from the massive Deutssche Bank that a currency union with the UK and Scotland would be in the interests of both countries should Scotland reclaim independence.

This was also concluded by (NIESR) National Institute of Economic and Social Research, who stated that the UK’s debt to GDP would rise considerably with further consequences for its credit rating, while an independent Scotland would have a much lower debt burden than the UK’s in all cases.

This demonstrates, that Scotland is financially much stronger proportionally than the UK as a whole, even without the massive oil revenues from the North Sea.

As the debate continues, Scots will see the benefit of Scots being responsible for ruling over Scots and see that we’ve got what it takes to be an independent country. We owe it to our future generations !

Donald J. Morrison,

20 Haig St. Portknockie.Buckie

AB56 4NT