DUNCAN F MacGillivray’s letter (June 27) makes a damningly accurate statement about the chaos faced by people with disabilities in Scotland. As the parent of a 25-year-old with severe learning difficulties, elsewhere in Scotland, I endorse every point.

Currently, our son lives in a specialised community setting outwith our administrative area. This came about, partly, because of the very situations your letter-writer describes. Additionally, we need to ensure he is well-placed for the time when we are no longer here.

His current provision is superb, and can support him until he is 30. That sounds quite a time away. However, a possibly suitable provision was unable to offer him a waiting list place (for a placement then potentially six years away). 

We have since contacted and visited a number of possible places. As yet, we are unable to secure anything.

Adults with a learning disability have a statutory entitlement to a Social Worker/Care Manager. 
Prior to the pandemic, fewer than one in three such adults had that right met in our authority. That ratio has worsened significantly.

We empathise with the professionals coping with years of chronic underfunding, left figuratively to firefight for those families with multiple additional issues. We are able to phone a ‘duty social worker’ in extremis.

At our son’s last review meeting, the Community’s representative advised us to contact our local authority to access their list of providers. We did. They had no list.

We approached COSLA. Their representative replied, outlining available policy documents, and links to strategies, but missing the point entirely. Who holds this list of potential providers? A list which would allow us to research possibilities.

A simple examination of any local authority’s monthly budgetary codes would reveal the places they currently fund, without compromising confidentiality. 

Indeed, it would be possible to create a Scotland-wide database, which would help people with learning disabilities, their families, the providers (who are calling out for help, in the absence of a cohesive national strategy), and the local authorities themselves. 

The pattern of provision could be transparent, avoiding the current situation where some names exist on several lists, whilst others, with perhaps the greatest need, are unplaced.

I wrote to our First Minister. That communication was passed to the ‘relevant department’.
Last Friday, I received a reply, again with links to those policies, strategies etc, telling me how to contact our local authority for support at home, or the nearby Carer’s Centre. Again, the writer failed to address the central issue.

Increasingly, I fear that people, like my son, and like your letter writer’s son, are part of a now nigh-invisible, unfashionable minority, further marginalised because they have no voting potential to be courted. 

Alasdair Gray implored us to ‘Work as if you were in the early days of a better nation’. Can we vote that way too? A vote is not a mere transaction, nor is it just a self-interested mark.
Who can make real change for the most vulnerable of our people? Please let us know you exist.
Name and address supplied. 

Read more:  Letters: Why Scotland's unpaid carers deserve a better deal

Honour these two Tartan Army Samaritans
YOU have published letters recently (June 26 and 28) from two Germans in praise of the good-natured behaviour of the Tartan Army in Germany.

Both remarked in particular on the two supporters who were pictured sheltering an elderly disabled man from the rain as they escorted him safely across the road – a gesture which I guess has done more for our international relations with Germany than our wee pretendy Embassy in Berlin could ever hope to achieve.

Is it not time for the two good Samaritans to be identified and recognised in some way for setting such a heart-warming humanitarian example to the rest of us? 

At the very least, I hope the football club they support will recognise them on the pitch at the start of the new season. 
Would it be going too far to suggest also that their home city or town marks their exemplary behaviour with some form of good citizen civic recognition?

Hopefully any such recognition and reward would serve to encourage future supporters to follow this example when Scotland qualifies to play again in international football competitions . 
Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop, Ayrshire.

* SINCE 1958 Scotland have qualified for 10 tournaments (6 World Cup and 4 Euros), and played a total of 30 matches. They have won six games out of 30, a 20% hit rate. And yet every time we tell ourselves this time will be different. The Tartan Army may still hope but I know better. As a Hibs fan I know hope always ends in disappointment.
Dr Andy Kelly, Stirling. 

Get the Letter of the Day straight to your inbox.

More disruption on the ferries
PORT Askaig on Islay only has a linkspan berth for mainland Calmac ferries and is now closed until the end of July whilst works are done on the pier.

This work has been timed to dovetail with the “silent season” for distilleries and also for “better weather” – yet last Friday both the Finlaggan and the Hebridean Isles cancelled sailings, giving a litany of excuses about the two available berths at Port Ellen.

In many walks of life there are performance reviews if someone’s work is very different from the standard expected but Calmac management always have the mantra of “the master’s decision is theirs alone to make” with no element of “compare and contrast”. This is something which could and should change.

Campbeltown Harbour has a pilotage requirement unless the master has had specific training (which takes less than one working day), so instead of the Hebridean Isles diverting there she has sailed on round the Mull of Kintyre to berth in Brodick – and thus, whatever the weather does, the lengthy return sailing will cause disruptions for further days.
Jean Knowles, Laphroaig, Islay. 

Will the Subway be open for longer?
YOU report “One last trip for Glasgow’s old subway trains” (June 29) and this is welcome, but I wonder if it will trigger the introduction of new, longer working hours to suit the needs of modern Glaswegians? I have approached the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport in the past about extending the subway’s opening hours and been fobbed off. I’ll not hold my breath.
James Miller, Glasgow.