Community hubs, independence and bins – Letters to the Editor for July 24, 2013

Bishopbriggs Library

Bishopbriggs Library

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Concern over Hubs

COMING events cast their shadow.

This expression is perhaps a little dramatic to use regarding the council leader’s intentions for a ‘Hub’ within Bishopbriggs Library, but library users in the area should note Councillor Anne McNair’s perceptive comments (Herald, July 3) regarding the proposal, take heed of her concerns and be warned regarding what is going to be inflicted on their library.

It is refreshing that at last an elected representative is making a stand on the subject of another Hub. She is right to be concerned about what will undoubtedly befall the library, which are changes which will ruin the current spacious and well-stocked lending facility.

Councillor McNair will probably be aware of the William Patrick Library in a ‘before’ and ‘after’ context.

What has happened there after the imposition of a Hub is a much-reduced stock of books, particularly crime fiction and general fiction.

There is noticeably less available shelving than before and there is an air of congestion within parts of a library which is a shadow of its former self, in terms of staff, area and stock.

It might be an idea for community council members to get along to Bishopbriggs Library rather sharpish and try to ascertain the current yardage of book shelving in existence which may allow a rough calculation of stock on a particular day as a sort of snapshot.

At least after alterations this might allow book loss to be calculated.

The current crime/general fiction area there is large and I would anticipate that a large part of it will be for the chop, along with other spaces – such as the area for children and young people.

Councillor Geekie, the council leader, was quoted as saying that: “Planned improvements will provide a comfortable waiting area, a customer service desk and an accessible private area...”

At the William Patrick, the waiting area is vast and the customer service desk area is larger than the library desk.

As for the private areas there, these take up a lot of space too, all now existing where book shelves stood before.

It would be of great interest if Councillor Geekie or a council spokesperson could provide a response to previous concerns regarding the large loss of stock, probably 800-900 books, from William Patrick Library – i.e. elaborate on the numbers lost, their disposal or current location and the value of these books.

Nobody from the council has ever explained the loss of stock and no doubt the same people will not account for a future loss from Bishopbriggs.

Bishopbriggs Library, a fine Victorian building, spacious and welcoming, currently has a tremendous stock of books and other items for borrowing and a friendly, knowledgeable staff, second to none in my experience.

But then, so had William Patrick Library before “improvements “ in the form of a Hub. Let’s hope that the curse of the Hub does not strike again.

Bob Stobie,

Millersneuk Avenue, Lenzie.

Independence issue

FIRSTLY, I am disappointed that the Herald referenced two anti-independence comments to one pro-independence comment in the article ‘Independence debate sparks finance row’ (July 10).

Secondly it is most disingenuous of Jo Swinson MP to say that £600 is being put back into the pockets of hard-working people with the rise in taxable pay threshold. That is most certainly NOT what that does and I would expect more from someone who attended the London School of Economics – however, perhaps she didn’t actually study economics while there.

The increase in tax threshold means you don’t pay tax on the extra £1,335 Personal Allowance Threshold for this financial year and £560 extra next year – saving a 20 per cent taxpayer £266 per year, or £22 per monthly pay packet this year, and £112 next year, which would be £9 per month.

While I am of the opinion it’s better off in your pocket than theirs – it is hardly comparable to the millions sucked out of the Scottish economy by the Bedroom Tax and Universal Benefit which Ms Swinson voted for.

As for Gregg McClymont MP’s comments – which I can only describe as ‘bizarre’ – I really don’t know what he means by comments made in private? By whom? When? Who witnessed these secretive mutterings other than yourself? All I know is that the SNP have made a cast-iron guarantee to abolish the Bedroom Tax in an independent Scotland, while Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, has promised to keep it if elected Prime Minister in the next Westminster election. There is no contest – I would rather live in a fairer independent Scotland any day.

Gillian Renwick,

Kirkintilloch.

Editor’s note: The Herald strives for accuracy and balance in all stories. The letters page is available to anyone who feels we have not lived up to our own high standards.

Design of new bins

WE have now had some weeks to assess the usage of the new recycling bins.

The designer of the small waste indoor bins presumably was not a woman – who would have tried them out! The small bin should have had a ring round the rim to hold the bag in place, as when the waste is put inside, the bag collapses down inside, causing a mess.

I wondered if I was doing something wrong until speaking to a neighbour who has found the same problem.

We don’t want people to be put off the principle of recycling as the other bins work well.

Is there a simple answer using something like a heavy duty rubber ring which might hold the bag in place?

Kath Monroe,

Poplar Drive,

Lenzie.

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