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YOUR VIEWS: Highland Council's community-led initiative fund and more homes planned for the Inverness area

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Highland Council's community-led initiative fund has prompted a reader to respond.
Highland Council's community-led initiative fund has prompted a reader to respond.

More ideas and opinions from readers.

Community can’t do it alone

I am writing in response to the Highland Council’s community led initiative fund.

I am sincerely disappointed that the lesson that our leaders have taken from the pandemic is that, when faced with inaction from our council, and in the face of adversity, the community will rally together and provide their own solutions.

Having been involved in community food activities during the pandemic I am also aware that the criteria of this fund does not in fact make many of these groups eligible for funding, as these groups were for the most part just caring people that took action when our leaders did not.

They did not find the time to incorporate as a charity or social enterprise.

I believe that this fund attempts to shift the responsibility for our most vulnerable from our leaders to our citizens.

And while I am one of those many people who cares and have been thinking about what I can do to help despite knowing I would not be eligible for this grant, I do not intend to allow our elected leaders to simply wash their hands of this responsibility.

Perhaps some of you agree with me and may also sign this petition.

Andrew Barnett

Vulnerable left without a hall

I THINK Councillor David Fraser is missing the point somewhat when he advises people to “stay warm in their own homes” (Courier, 18/10/22) as it is the fact that they cannot afford to heat their homes that is preventing them from doing so. May I remind him that we are all living in very different times to the early part of Covid, in that we are all now vaccinated, and in general do not require the same levels of shielding from the disease.

One group of people who will not be able to meet as a small local group are the elderly and disabled residents of St Mary’s Avenue in Dalneigh and surrounding homes in the area.

The hall where residents could meet socially before the pandemic has never reopened.

It was used as a storeroom for furniture and as a result of being bashed about, now allegedly needs a refurb and it has been decided to turn it into offices instead.

This decision appears to have been taken without any consultation with the residents or indeed anyone else.

The hall would provide an ideal warm hub, as well as being a social space for the residents.

If we wish to keep the elderly living at home in the community, this type of service is not only essential, but also cost saving in the long run.

I hope that the council are shamed into reopening the hall as soon as possible after the devious tactics used to get rid of it.

Heather Hodge

Speak out about horror in Ethiopia

Through the promise of a daily meal at school, Mary’s Meals has been a beacon of hope for so many hungry children living through unimaginable horrors in Tigray, northern Ethiopia.

Following the relative peace of recent months, I was shocked and saddened by a letter from our long-standing partner in the region detailing yet more horror and suffering as violence has once again broken out.

The resumption of fighting is making it almost impossible for our partner to get aid to those in need, but we must not make the mistake of thinking there is nothing we can do.

Mary’s Meals has been serving meals in Tigray since 2017 and, before the outbreak of war in November 2020, we were feeding 24,320 hungry children every school day.

I cannot ignore the pleas from our colleagues in Ethiopia to pray for them, speak up for them, and advocate on their behalf and I am asking your readers to please join me.

Let’s make the situation in Tigray a topic of conversation and make sure people know what is going on because it cannot be allowed to continue.

And tell anyone with the power to influence exactly what our partner is telling us; we must show how humanity can prevail over injustice and cruelty.

I hope we do not look back in years to come with a heavy feeling of shame and regret because we failed to stand up for our brothers and sisters in their time of need.

For more information on how we are helping to provide hope to children in Ethiopia during these desperate times of need, please visit www.marysmeals.org.uk

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Founder of Mary’s Meals


More homes planned for city

Springfield Properties has been granted permission to build up to 130 homes in Cradlehall, developing a six-hectare site at what is currently Easterfield Farm.

“More farm land lost to the money grabbing builders who don’t care about the people already living near these houses. We have the same firm taking 30 acres [of] farming land at Tore and have new houses being built as you come into Rosemarkie over the road from our street. The main road is going to be a death trap.” – Sandy Mackenzie, Rosemarkie

What is to blame for A9 deaths?

Columnist Charles Bannerman wrote about the horrendous death toll on the A9, suggesting there may be various reasons for it, among them the Scottish Government’s “alarming slowness” on dualling the route.

“As the FAI conclusions for these events are generally not yet known, it is trite, bombastic, and a complete waste of time to arrive at the conclusions Bannerman has... I drive long distances, daily, in the Highlands, and I can attest to the utter madness of ‘Hamish Driver’. Blaming the government for that may have some validity. But I’d suggest police activity is far more culpable in its deficiency. Not a single day passed this summer when I did not see a tourist try to kill me, themselves, or others.” – Chas MacDonald, Easter Ross

Letters should be emailed to newsdesk@hnmedia.co.uk. Please include your address and a daytime telephone number. You can also tweet us: @InvCourier or comment on Facebook @invernesscourier

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