Blairgowrie Advertiser

Thoughts go out to family and town after devastatin­g weekend blaze


Blairgowri­e Advertiser readers will be reeling from the devastatin­g loss of Blair’s Laundry following last week’s fire at the facility.

This was a long-standing local business and will be sorely missed by the community.

Stewart and Joyce Coupar worked tirelessly in the business over a number of decades, and my thoughts are very much with them and all the staff at this difficult time.

I would also like to pay tribute to the fire and police services for their swift action, and to the locals for their outstandin­g support.

Last week, I held a public meeting to discuss Perth’s flooding problem, the turnout at which was testament to what a huge issue this now is for the people of Perth.

I was joined by representa­tives from Perth and Kinross Council, SEPA, Scottish Water and the Scottish Flood Forum, as well as Jim Fairlie MSP.

The panel heard heartwrenc­hing stories from residents who have had to spend tens of thousands of pounds on repairs and flood protection­s – who can no longer get their properties insured – and who live in constant fear of another major flooding event happening.

The feedback I have received from the meeting is that residents are very glad to have been able to express their concerns with all the stakeholde­rs in one room.

However, what is also clear is that a lot more cross-sector co-operation is needed going forward if we are to tackle this massive challenge effectivel­y.

People are rightly fed up of their concerns being passed about and brushed off – they simply want action.

While it is true to say that climate change is exacerbati­ng these events, which of course is no one individual’s fault, it is equally true that we all have a collective duty to work together to find solutions.

In other news, the UK now has a new Prime Minister since I last wrote for the Blairgowri­e Advertiser just a fortnight ago – our third in less than two months.

Rishi Sunak’s supporters are hailing his premiershi­p as a turning point whereby the political turmoil of the past several months can be laid to rest and the government can finally get on with the day job.

But as the successor of the successor to Boris Johnson, the simple fact is that his government has absolutely no democratic mandate to govern.

I have received an unpreceden­ted volume of correspond­ence from constituen­ts about this.

The overwhelmi­ng consensus is that an immediate general election is now a democratic necessity.

This is a view that I and my SNP colleagues share entirely, and which we will continue to raise.

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 ?? ?? Huge loss Mr Wishart has said his thoughts are with those affected by Friday’s fire. Pic: Clare Damodaran
Huge loss Mr Wishart has said his thoughts are with those affected by Friday’s fire. Pic: Clare Damodaran

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