Letters to the Editor – August 14, 2013

iom Johnston House
iom Johnston House

READERS have their say on the issues which matter...

Council chief speaks out on move to Southbank marina

In response to the letter in last week’s paper (Kirkintilloch Herald, August 7) from Mr MacIntyre, I would like to clarify a number of issues and highlight the financial context that has driven the council’s accommodation changes.

The move from Tom Johnston House to our new council HQ was part of our Strategic Asset Strategy which had a key objective to deliver a more effective and efficient approach to council accommodation. The move delivered a sustainable, fit for purpose HQ with savings of £350,000 per annum.

The council already owned the Southbank Marina property and the move to the marina, which was not built to make profit but to stimulate economic growth, has achieved this aim in this strategic business area.

The majority of the units within Southbank Business Park are now let to local businesses.

Whilst Tom Johnston House had no structural defects it was at a stage in its life cycle that considerable investment, in excess of £1m, would have been required to adapt the building to suit the council’s new smart working practice.

The council’s Asset Strategy also includes the provision of a network of Community Hubs throughout East Dunbartonshire.

Moving the council’s corporate and civic headquarters was carried out in tandem with the development of the first of these, the Kirkintilloch Community Hub based in William Patrick Library, as a ‘one stop shop’ for customer service provision.

The hub enables the public to access a broad range of council services, including general enquiries, making payments, booking services and arranging to meet with council officers.

Our network of community hubs continues to develop with the introduction earlier this year of temporary hubs in Bishopbriggs and Bearsden and the well-publicised development of the Lennoxtown Hub, which is progressing through the design stages and consultation with community on the service provision through the hub will begin in the coming weeks.

Having had to make savings of almost £2m this financial year on top of £20m in the previous four financial years, it is essential that the council ensures that its asset base is fit for purpose.

We remain committed to expanding our community hubs and to achieving the most efficient, effective ways of working.

This approach will enable us to continue to deliver high quality services to our customers whilst also making the substantial savings that local government continues to have to make.

Our accommodation strategy is a key aspect of our ability to improve efficiency and make substantial savings.

Gerry Cornes

Chief Executive

East Dunbartonshire Council

Support floods in for for Shaky’s Plaice

As a supporter of Sainsbury’s I am shocked at the treatment they have meted out to Mr George Hamill, one of the finest fishmongers in the area.

The fish supplied by him is second to none and the service first class.

It makes me wonder the reason for Sainsbury’s withdrawal of the privilege of allowing Mr Hamill to rent this ground.

Is the fresh fish which Mr Hamill sells a competitor to the pre-packed goods which Sainsbury’s offer?

Is it because Mr Hamill’s van needed two punctures repaired for some time and he just hasn’t got round to it because of pressure of work or what?

The law, no doubt, is on Sainsbury’s side, but is there no moral obligation to a man who has served the community for 18 years?

Robert A Penney,

Thistle Court,

Donaldson Street,

Kirkintilloch.

Rob Roy official makes a point

In response to an article in last weeks Kirkintilloch Herald (Sugust 7) , I have to emphasise that Kirkintilloch Rob Roy supporters travel club have no official connection to the football club.

Therefore, the decision to set up a new base before and after matches at Kirkintilloch Miners Club was a decision solely taken by the travel club and in no way was there any involvement from anyone within Kirkintilloch Rob Roy Football Club.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

Jim Black,

Match Secretary,

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy F.C.

Reacton to MP’s first world war comment

Jo Swinson MP is reported (Herald, August 7) as welcoming the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grants to allow communities to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage.

Ms Swinson’s statement saying “I’m delighted the HLF is making this money available to local communities.

Like many areas across the UK, the impact of the First World War on the people of East Dunbartonshire was far reaching.”

It certainly was far reaching for the 956,703 British War dead and their families, many left in poverty in those pre-welfare state days.

Perhaps she might reflect on that the next time she is standing before a war memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

Could Ms Swinson tell us what areas of the UK were not affected by the First World War?

I realise Ms Swinson feels it is her duty to comment on something every week in order to get some coverage in the press.

She may wish to consider just what she says and refrain from verbalising this bland verbiage in future.

Keith M Stirling,

Park Avenue,

Milngavie.

Shopper Annoyed by Sainsbury’s decision

I am annoyed at Sainsbury’s telling George the fishman to leave at the end of the month, after all the customers he has who also shop in Sainbury’s .

We do not want George to go, so come on Sainsbury’s let things stay as they are.

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