Arran Banner letters – week 29

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Heartfelt thanks

Sir,

It is not only with a heavy heart but a mind full of thoughts and overwhelming emotion that I write this letter.

Regardless of all our joint efforts I have been placed on unwanted and duly unnecessary crossroads and am currently dealing with the prospect of having left my much loved home of Arran. I leave behind my husband, soulmate, life partner, friends, loving community and business to submit a new out of country spouse visa application in the hopes to regain my immigration status and return as soon as possible.

It has been a very trying time not only for John and me but all involved in taking on board a cause reflecting the greatest compassion and understanding to individual circumstances. We would not have had the strength to get through this had it not been for the overwhelming support and encouragement from not only close friends but the Arran community and all involved either through signing the petition, writing to various members of parliament, social media and media alike. A special thanks to Patricia Gibson MP, who has dealt with my case from the onslaught and has worked tirelessly far and beyond the realm of duty pushing for a favourable outcome.

The volume of support received is a true indication of the spirit of heart within a society that welcomes people from all walks of life, cultures and background, given the opportunity to not only integrate in a community but become part of and loved.

I ask that this not be the end but the beginning of a struggle to grant not only myself but people in similar circumstances equal rights to live a life where they so wish and are welcomed with such loving arms as I have experienced on Arran. Let us all through solidarity keep writing to respective MPs continue signing the petition and stand together in a righteous cause that is unjustly putting countless people through undue hardship, pain and suffering.

Together we can and will make a difference to individual lives in future by building the foundation of a society where one can be free, integrate and contribute towards strengthening and uniting a country and its diverse people. My heartfelt thanks to you all.

Yours,

Lizanne Zietsman,

Corrie.

Arbitrary figure

Sir,

Is someone who earns about £15,000 a year necessarily a lesser person, or a less worthy citizen, than someone who earns about £50,000 a year? What kind of government enforces the separation of a couple who earn enough to pay their way but not enough to meet some arbitrary figure? The government should reverse its decision to deport Lizanne Zietsman as soon as is humanly possible.

Yours,

Tony Baboolal,

Lochranza.

Sound facts

Sir,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 90 people who attended the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) screening of the salmon industry exposé film ‘Artifishal’ on the evening of Tuesday July 9.

Thanks are extended to Patagonia for producing the film and allowing us to host a screening, which provided an insight into the fish farming industry across the world and sparked a lively discussion placing issues raised into context on Arran.

I would particularly like to thank, on behalf of COAST, our guest panelists on the evening, Dr Sally Campbell, Dr Bryce Stewart and Corin Smith, for taking the time to lead the discussion and answer the audience’s questions with sound facts, information and advice.

We hope that attendees gained as much from their input as we did and look forward to working with all interested to tackle the Scottish Salmon Company’s proposal to build a new farm off Millstone Point between Lochranza and Sannox.

Sincerest thanks.

Yours,

Russell Cheshire,

COAST chairman.

CalMac concerns

Sir,

To say I was annoyed at CalMac’s reply to Captain Sinclair is putting it mildly, see last week’s Arran Banner.

How they can have the audacity by innuendo to say a person of Captain Sinclair’s standing  and experience had never approached management with concerns is frankly to me laughable.

The ineptitude of this response can be compared to last week’s humiliating turn round of the decision to cancel the Barra boat which resulted in MPs, councillors and the press getting involved. Suddenly they found an asset to fill the gap, just shows what can be done when the will is there and a wedding is going to be wrecked.

I feel it is time senior managers everywhere stop ‘the door is always open’ excuse and own up when the company gets it wrong or is censured in public by an employee who has not been listened to. After all in CalMac’s case they work for and are paid by us or have they forgotten that?

Yours,

Roderick C McKay,

Moray.