Western Isles Carers, Users & Supporters Network (WICUSN) wish once again to appeal through your paper to the general public to please desist from parking in any designated disabled parking bay.
Every time someone does so it could prevent a disabled person from being able to disembark from their vehicle and thus deprive them of the freedom, that we able bodied people take for granted, of going shopping or just getting on with his/her life.
A Blue Badge belongs to a disabled person and should only be used if the disabled person is using the vehicle; it is not for use by anyone else.
Over the years some disabled people have stopped going to town as on several occasions they could not access a disabled bay nor find anywhere suitable for them to disembark from their vehicle.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has increased the number of designated disabled bays and improved access to the street in that area but that all goes for nothing if fit people continue to use them.
Close by the designated disabled bays there are ordinary parking bays which are just as near to the shops.
Dismay over care
It is not disbelief or dismay but frustration and anger that I feel when I hear of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar squandering £10,000 defending their actions towards an old Connamara Grey Mare.
This is the Council who fail to provide a carer for an 83 year old residing in sheltered accommodation who can only stand up, let alone walk, with the aid of a zimmer frame.
I am writing about someone who is dependent on the kindness and compassion of other elderly neighbours residing within that sheltered housing, for an evening cup of tea and washing dishes etc.
As well as being visited three times a day by his 79 year old sister making a two mile round trip each time to care for his domestic needs, chores and safety.
The best offer from the social services was to request a weekly visit from the Red Cross to do his shopping, a task that was already attended to. So much for free personal care! Meaningless twaddle, especially when not on offer despite obvious need.
This Council seems to be going from crisis to crisis ever since the BCCI debacle. Now we have a further squandering debacle which has occurred due to an administrative error, at a time when the Scottish Government has cut local authority funding by freezing the Council Tax for the last eight years, and sitting on a £444million underspend, deliberately held back at the time of the referendum for political purposes by blaming Westminster for the cuts.
This is the Council, whose Chief Executive, openly supports the Party of Government at Holyrood, that deprives this and other authorities of sufficient funding to provide those and other services, such as Education, Transport, Social, and Environmental.
I have no doubt that Messrs Harper and Wilson will respond to this letter as usual, under instructions from their political mentors. Before they do so, let me remind them that everything mentioned in this letter is fact. The person mentioned in the second paragraph, I wonder how many others are like him, throughout the Western Isles?
I voted, and with that vote I agreed to abide by whomever won. I was listening to find out what SNP stand for, Ms. Sturgeon said on Radio 4, SNP were The Opposition. It seems to me that this doesn’t make sense.
Are SNP policies really in Opposition to the Tories?
Both have core policies that want to leave bigger Institutions, the UK/EU. Meanwhile, these Institutions built up over time, by millions of people, were made to end dispute, develop options and give people voices, rather than ‘choose’ the loudest voice or the most violent.
They were made, so that groups of minorities can be minorities and don’t have to change culture to the common denominator, where minority is majority through being in a group of minorities, and that is what most majorities are.
The SNP Referendum was about a yes or no vote to leave the majority group, the UK, where the Conservatives also want a Referendum with a yes or no vote, to leave the majority group, the EU. So in this core policy strategy, SNP are the same as the Conservative Party, and not, In Opposition. SNP voters should define the mandate they voted for.
Surely a Party with ‘Scottish’ in the name excludes everyone but the 5.5 million people in Scotland, who are the only ones who could ever belong to it. This is similar to the closed input criteria that people argue is demonstrated by Westminster, via population from the same schools/social group/Conservative/Capitalist ideology, which is what the SNP don’t like.
Yet, the SNP promote a closed group criteria, ie ‘Scottish’, as ideological allegiance. How are these a basic policy Opposition. Perhaps SNP voters could define what they voted for?
How can one twelfth of the population, limited by their core policy of Scottish Nationalism from any further growth be ‘In Opposition’.
Surely for a party to be considered as ‘In Opposition’ it requires a party that represents the UK population of 64 million. So far the only growth options/policy development possible for SNP is to get the other three Scottish seats or develop Nationalism amongst other non-Scottish groups, as this is perceived as reducing Westminster power, while it actually builds Nationalism. If this is the mandate that Scotland voted for.
Nationalism at most basic is justification to exclude and eradicate. Nationalism was used by war leaders in Europe 80 years ago, when they said it was The Others Fault, and that all the problems would be solved, if the others no longer existed.
Did Scotland vote for war when they voted for Nationalism? What is the Mandate? What is the expectation for Policy Development?
Traditional Opposition to Conservative holds communities together rather than limits who is in them through exclusion zoning systems or through leaving long term working institutional arrangements which often regulate excess of power. The SNP need to Develop Policy.
Now that the dramatic events of the Westminster elections have passed it’s time to get back to the many issues that affect the lives of people in Scotland every day.
One of those most pressing is the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 4,600 women and men every year experience the shock of a diagnosis and this figure has been increasing year on year.
And whilst we are getting so much better at treating the disease when it is first diagnosed we are still unable to stop women dying from it when it returns and spreads.
I’ve spoken to too many women for whom this is a reality. And a reality for their husbands, children, wider family and friends.
Just this month we learnt that Rio Ferdinand’s wife, Rebecca, was yet another women who died too soon from secondary breast cancer.
So we must stop this disease taking away those we love. And the new charity formed from the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer will aim to do just that. We’re already spending over £2.5m in Scotland to help make world-leading scientists make real progress.
And we’re working hard to make sure the best new medicines are available to everyone who needs them right across Scotland.
We know more than ever before about this devastating disease. And our commitment to ending it is unwavering. There’s never been a better time to join forces.
But we can’t do this without you. The research we fund is supported by people just like you.
We bring together everyone that is affected by breast cancer and those who dedicate themselves to stopping the disease.
Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer are here to make progress happen until the day we end breast cancer, once and for all.
Breast Cancer Campaign
and Breakthrough Breast Cancer
Adoption and Fostering
When I first saw a photograph of the little girl who was to become my daughter, she leapt straight in to my heart.
This is why, on the 19th June, I am supporting ‘Big Heart Day’. The campaign is run by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) who works tirelessly for the many thousands of children in care across the UK who need to be found a loving family.
Children are at the heart of what BAAF does. You too can do something to show your ‘big heart’ and help the charity ensure that no child waits longer than necessary for a loving and secure family whether through adoption or fostering.
There are lots of fun things you can do to help raise much needed funds – perhaps you can get your employers and colleagues to take part and show your big hearts together.
There are lots of ideas and more information at: http://www.baaf.org.uk/join-our-big-heart-day . So please join me and support BAAF’s ‘Big Heart Day’ Campaign on Friday 19th June.
Clare Grogan, BAAF Patron and adoptive mum
British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF)
6-10 Kirby Street
London EC1N 8TS