At Ran­dom

The Oban Times - - Dis­tricts - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­

Vi­tal to equip and train po­lice of­fi­cers

TER­ROR­IST atroc­i­ties have shocked the coun­try in re­cent weeks and have hit home in this area with such dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect.

The three at­tacks on in­no­cent peo­ple re­cently may have taken place in Lon­don and Manch­ester but there is no know­ing when or where any fur­ther in­ci­dents may hap­pen.

While it might be dif­fi­cult to con­sider the like­li­hood of any­one bring­ing this kind of hor­ror to re­mote Argyll, there can be no room for com­pla­cency.

We all rely ab­so­lutely on our emer­gency ser­vices to keep us safe – and they dis­play great courage at times to do so.

But to pro­tect us ad­e­quately, the po­lice re­quire to be prop­erly staffed and equipped. And that means hav­ing of­fi­cers avail­able who are fully-trained in the use of firearms and tasers.

We hope, of course, that they will never be needed but it is essen­tial that we have them to deal with such ex­treme sit­u­a­tions.

We saw all too graph­i­cally in the most re­cent Lon­don at­tack the speed with which armed of­fi­cers dealt with the ji­hadis – it took just eight min­utes from the first call for all three ter­ror­ists to be shot – thereby sav­ing an un­know­able num­ber of lives.

It is cru­cial that Po­lice Scot­land re­as­sures us that even here in the Oban area, we have the re­sources to keep us all safe.

He­roes de­serve great praise

TALK­ING of emer­gency ser­vices, our lo­cal fire ser­vice re­sponded swiftly and with great pro­fes­sion­al­ism last week to a blaze above Nories chip shop in Ge­orge Street.

How­ever, the fire­fight­ers weren’t alone. In what was a se­ri­ous in­ci­dent, two lo­cal men, Alas­dair McBurnie and Tom Mackay, ran into the smoke-filled build­ing to wake up sleep­ing night shift work­ers and help them to safety.

Thank­fully, no-one was in­jured but that was due in large mea­sure to the self­less ac­tions of Mr McBurnie and Mr Mackay, who de­serve great credit, as do the fire­fight­ers who tack­led the blaze and ex­tin­guished it.

Bril­liant Oban is still buzzing

AF­TER the bril­liant Oban Live, Oban Mòd and Ro­tary Am-Am week­end, you could have been for­given for think­ing ev­ery­thing was about to set­tle down.

Not a bit of it. Oban Char­i­ties Day on Satur­day was fol­lowed by the Ma­caulay Sixes shinty tour­na­ment on Sun­day at Moss­field Sta­dium in the town.

The weather may not have been what we would have wished, but that couldn’t be helped.

Nev­er­the­less, events such as char­i­ties day keep Oban on the map and pro­vide great en­ter­tain­ment for res­i­dents and vis­i­tors. And the shinty com­pe­ti­tion for ju­niors is a great way to hook chil­dren into sport, which is al­ways to be en­cour­aged.

As ever, these events take a good deal of plan­ning and or­gan­is­ing, so well done to all in­volved.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to MP Bren­dan

WHO­EVER you voted for – and shame on you if you did not vote at all – we must con­grat­u­late Bren­dan O’Hara for hold­ing the Argyll and Bute seat in the gen­eral elec­tion last week.

Mr O’Hara again has the very great priv­i­lege of rep­re­sent­ing the good peo­ple of this area in the House of Com­mons. In what will un­doubt­edly be a tur­bu­lent time given the seis­mic events that will un­fold over the months and years ahead of us, we will watch with in­ter­est to see how he per­forms.

It is in­evitable that Mr O’Hara will obey his party whip but he should re­mem­ber that he was sent to the Palace of West­min­ster as an emis­sary of the whole elec­torate in Argyll and the Isles.

What do you think?

Write to me at The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB, or by email to mlaing@ oban­

Oban Char­i­ties Day had a great re­sponse from the pub­lic.

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