At Ran­dom

The Oban Times - - DISTRICTS - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­times.co.uk

Rub­bish ser­vice

YET again the is­sue of refuse col­lec­tion has reared its ugly head.

And yet again it is the good peo­ple of Soroba who are up in arms at the ap­palling lack of ser­vice pro­vided for them.

The con­cern was raised last week when we were con­tacted by a lady who asked to re­main anony­mous. The woman, who lives in Soroba, com­plained about rub­bish pil­ing up on the streets be­cause the three-weekly col­lec­tion sys­tem sim­ply can­not cope.

When we posted a bit about the prob­lem on our Face­book page, we were del­uged by com­ments from fu­ri­ous res­i­dents of the area vent­ing their spleens. Some of those com­ments are pub­lished on our let­ters page.

Ad­mit­tedly, one or two read­ers said that part of the prob­lem is down to the area’s res­i­dents not em­brac­ing re­cy­cling prop­erly, but that sug­ges­tion was scoffed at by the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple.

One reader, Alis­tair Reid, posted a pho­to­graph he took of bags and bags of rub­bish piled up be­side the bins in Shuna Ter­race.

I’m told that the bin men are not al­lowed to pick up the bags but are only able to empty the com­mu­nal wheelie bins.

Now, I don’t in any way crit­i­cise the bin men, who, af­ter all, are work­ing hard to do their best but are ef­fec­tively shack­led by health and safety reg­u­la­tions.

The prob­lem is that the is­sue is a never-end­ing cy­cle: there are not enough bins and the col­lec­tion is too in­fre­quent so peo­ple pile up their rub­bish bags be­side the bins. The bin men can’t take away the rub­bish bags so the bins are al­most im­me­di­ately filled again, so peo­ple pile up their rub­bish bags be­side ... you get the point.

I’ve been a fierce critic of the three-weekly col­lec­tion sys­tem as it sim­ply has not worked in some ar­eas, par­tic­u­larly Soroba and other places where there are high-rise flats and mul­ti­ple oc­cu­pan­cies.

Surely it is not be­yond the wit of the coun­cil to find a so­lu­tion to this per­sis­tent prob­lem.

Fas­ci­nat­ing story

I WAS in­trigued to read the fea­ture on the fac­ing page spec­u­lat­ing on whether Adolf Hitler vis­ited Tober­mory in 1936 to at­tend a wed­ding.

I have to con­fess that I had never heard this ru­mour pre­vi­ously but it il­lus­trates per­fectly the fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory of this part of the world.

Writ­ten by the ever eru­dite Iain Thorn­ber, the story chron­i­cles the life and times of the Mit­ford fam­ily, ar­dent fol­low­ers of the fas­cist move­ment in the 1930s and later.

Iain an­swers the crit­ics who ques­tion how Hitler could have trav­elled to the is­land of Inch Ken­neth with the rea­son­able sug­ges­tion that he could have been brought by U-boat.

But I won’t re­peat it here. Read the page op­po­site.

Wor­ry­ing is­sue

AS WE re­port this week, al­le­ga­tions have been made about a cul­ture of sex­ual ha­rass­ment among male coun­cil­lors in Ar­gyll and Bute.

Coun­cil­lor Julie McKen­zie has said in an open let­ter that she has been on the re­ceiv­ing end of ‘low-level’ in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions and has knowl­edge of fe­male coun­cil staff mem­bers who have sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences.

Ms McKen­zie raises a very im­por­tant and top­i­cal is­sue. She de­clines to name the men in­volved but they know who they are.

And they should be thor­oughly ashamed of them­selves.

Ms McKen­zie’s let­ter was ad­dressed to the coun­cil’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Cle­land Sned­don and elected leader, Aileen Mor­ton. They must act ur­gently to stop this type of be­hav­iour.

What do you think?

WRITE to me at mlaing@oban­times.co.uk or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB.

Alis­tair Reid’s pic­ture shows the prob­lem of the bins in Soroba.

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