Gazette Letters 9.7.15

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Need to be heard

After the recent General Election most of Scotland rejoiced at the result of sending 56 SNP MPs to Westminster. By now most of them will have settled in, but not too well I hope.

They have to understand that Scotland has great faith in their activities to be heard.

They should not spend too much time considering the ethics, proprietaries or customs of Westminster, we expect them to be heard proudly as a group protesting against the austerity which is being forced on us.

Joan M Stewart

Inverness IV35PQ

Can you help us to put feet first?

Good foot care is essential for people living with diabetes. As part of Diabetes UK’s Putting Feet First campaign we are looking for people who want to help us spread the word about the importance of annual foot checks and how to avoid developing foot problems. I hope your readers may be able to help us in our search.

Perhaps they have experienced foot problems as a result of their diabetes, or know someone who has?

By sharing personal experiences and stories, people can help us highlight the seriousness of this issue as we work to improve foot care for everyone living with diabetes. Unfortunately, in the worst case scenarios, foot complications can result in amputation and every week in the UK more than 100 toe, foot or leg amputations are carried out on people with diabetes.

However, up to 80 per cent of these could potentially have been prevented through better care and awareness.

This is why, as well as supporting people to understand their risk of foot problems and how to care for their feet, Diabetes Scotland campaigns to ensure the NHS provides people living with diabetes with high-quality annual foot checks.

We also want people with diabetes to have better access to good-quality foot care locally, across primary, community and specialist services.

We would really like to hear from people with diabetes about their own experiences of foot care in Scotland.

People who are interested in supporting our campaign and are happy to share their stories are invited to send a brief summary of their experience to Diabetes Scotland via email: or call 0141 245 6380.

Ryan McFadden

Diabetes Scotland

Great British Sunday Lunch

Starting on Friday (10th July) and continuing throughout the summer, people across the country will be marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

As we recall those fateful days and celebrate the bravery of the airmen involved, we also remember our enduring debt of gratitude to all who serve or have served. The RAF Benevolent Fund believes it is important for the country to share in the memory of that battle, which played out in the summer skies overhead and saw the heroism of The Few save Britain from invasion. We want to invite people across the UK to join us in showing their thanks for The Few and celebrating a defining moment in our nation’s history.

That is why we are launching the RAF Benevolent Fund’s inaugural Great British Sunday Lunch – a chance for families, friends, and communities to gather together on Sunday 13th September to host their own lunch, whether it be around the dining table or on a picnic rug in the late summer sun. We hope your readers will join us in honouring The Few and helping us raise vital funds so we can continue to support RAF veterans, serving personnel and their families. Your readers can find more information and sign up at

Air Marshal

Christopher Nickols

RAF Benevolent Fund

Brave the shave

This August at Macmillan, we’re asking people up and down the country to stand proudly alongside men and women with cancer, by grabbing the clippers and shaving their hair off.

At home or down the barbers, thousands of people will Brave the Shave to raise vital funds for Macmillan so that we can give people with cancer the specialised support they need.

Now is the time. Join the thousands of people courageous enough to Brave the Shave and help change the lives of people with cancer. It’s fun, it’s bold, and it’s for a really important cause. So don’t mullet over.

We’re determined to make sure that everyone with cancer and their loved ones get the support they need. But we can’t do it without people like you.

We’ll send each Brave Shaver a specially designed bundle of goodies to help with their shave.

We can’t wait to see your new look soon on our website.

Show you’re a cut above and join the Brave the Shave.

Macmillan Cancer Support

EDITORIAL - Benefits of superfast broadband to Islands

Good news for residents and businesses in Stornoway this week following the news that super fast broadband is now available to more than 3,500 premises.

There are also plans in place to roll out the new service to other further parts of the Western Isles over the next year.

A presentation on Tuesday explained that street cabinets have been upgraded across the town area as far as Tong and so customers can get access to much faster download speeds up to 80mbps.

The news is certainly welcome, particularly for businesses in the area, the access to fast, reliable broadband is certainly seen as a way to boost the islands’ fragile economy.

The promises of what could be delivered are impressive with information that by the end of this planned roll out the network will reach at least 70 per cent of premises across the islands. And the speeds of that network up to 80mbps, with some homes only receiving a paltry 1 to 7mbps at some points of the day at the moment, this would be a fantastic surge forward in connectivity.

The islands are a beautiful place to live, but making a decent living here is another question, however accessible and fast connectivity is seen as one of the solutions to that problem.

Let’s hope these promises will be delivered, as too often we hear about great speeds but in reality only a fraction of this can be attained. It is also important that outlying areas of the islands will be able to attain access.

Pictured above is a shot by Richard Barrett from Harris, which he describes as the early camper securing the best spot.

If you would like to submit an image to our Beautiful Islands feature email us at:

Pictures should be jpeg format and around 1MB size. Tell us your name, where you are from, where the picture was taken and what inspired you to take the image.