Letters to the Editor – December 5, 2012

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

Pitch hire charges

IT’S no wonder that Lenzie Youth Club leader Ian Stevenson is dismayed at the continuing lack of support on pitches from East Dunbartonshire Council.

Parents here have paid high council tax charges for decades and yet Lenzie teams are travelling to the likes of Kilsyth and Croy to find playable, affordable venues.

EDC’s Gordon Currie should think about his “concessionary hourly rate” and realise it’s of no use whatsoever if clubs are forced to pay for an unwanted extra hour.

We all know there’s pressure on budgets ... but it’s high time EDC got this sorted and let our youngsters play!

Lynne Walker,

Lenzie.

Support for Morrisons

I AM writing to the paper regarding plans to expand Morrisons supermarket in Bishopbriggs.

I don’t normally take such direct action when I’m annoyed, but I felt something had to be done when I read that ‘local residents’ were angry at the plans for an extension, including a petrol station.

I am a ‘local resident’ but I can assure you I most definitely do not oppose these plans and I honestly cannot understand why anyone would.

A large company that already employs local people has given a vote of confidence in our town by deciding to expand and provide additional services such as a much needed petrol station. What’s the problem here?

I can only assume that the objectors don’t own cars and are therefore quite happy with our limited petrol facilities. I can also only assume that they have never in their lives shopped in a large supermarket and do all their food shopping in locally owned stores. No? Thought not!

Every morning I commute into Glasgow by car. My petrol costs are rising and I regularly see businesses going bust. As I see it, Morrisons plans to expand in our town and offer cheaper fuel as part of the bargain. We should all be getting behind this before we become yet another failing suburb of Glasgow.

P. Robinson,

Woodhill.

A dog is for life

AS we dust off the tinsel and hang up the baubles during the festive season, Dogs Trust issues a plea to give lots of thought to adding a four legged friend to the family during this busy period.

At the click of a mouse we can purchase gifts quickly on the internet, but the online sale of pets and animals means that impulse buying has become an appealing option, yet poses the enormous risk of attracting many unscrupulous breeders.

Please remember the sentiment behind this all important message, ’A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas’.

Clarissa Baldwin OBE,

CEO, Dogs Trust.

Evening to remember

ON November 28 we attended another special treat organised by our library staff.

Professor James McGonigle spoke about the life of Edwin Morgan. Some members of the Glasgow Improvisors Orchestra, along with actor Tam Dean Burn, entertained us with readings and accompaniments to some of Scotland’s first Makar’s works.

Hospitality was provided by the welcoming staff.

This was a memorable evening and our appreciation and gratitude to all from some readers who truly value our library services.

Jennifer Campbell,

(via e-mail)

SAFA meeting update

THE Scottish Amateur F.A. held its concluding council meeting of this calendar year at the national stadium, Hampden Park, Glasgow on Friday, November 9.

The scheduled council meeting followed a specially convened meeting in the Hampden Park auditorium called to consider the final draft of the proposed National Amateur Football Constitution affecting all football clubs affiliated to the Amateur F.A. The constitution was approved by a unanimous vote.

The new National Constitution will now be implemented for the commencement of the next football season, i.e. 2013-2014. It is therefore vital all affiliated football associations forward their local rules they wish to be considered in good time to enable the National Association to decide upon their inclusion for the season ahead.

The council meeting heard an update from W.A.S.P. Solutions regarding the new National Amateur website that has had over 2 million online hits since being set up in the summer.

The online management of Scottish and District Amateur Cup results was also discussed. Although there has been initial bedding-in problems regarding registering of some results and details within the systems it was stated there had so far been a 95 per cent success rate with highlighted problems to be progressed.

Special credit goes to National President Graham Harkness, Office Secretary Mrs Jardine, National Secretary Martin Bell, Technical Administrator Shaun McLaughlin and life member George Butler for all of their hard work during the day and night to ensure these ground breaking systems are where they are now.

National Treasurer George Dingwall, despite the unpredictable economic climate that exists presented a strong set of financial figures before council for consideration. The well received figures are on top of previously disclosed package of benefits and available grants to all those who are part of the vibrant forward thinking amateur football voluntary industry.

Kenneth K. Keir,

Scottish Amateur F.A. council delegate.

Plight of football teams

THE article in last week’s Kirkintilloch Herald from Ian Stevenson shows the financial plight local football teams are facing in East Dunbartonshire.

Astro grass pitches in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire are £66, quite a contrast from £116.40 for high schools in Kirkintilloch and £86.40 for Merkland astro grass.

This week Campsie Black Watch paid £92.80 for two bookings at Merkland and on the same day £24 for a rare game at Station Road.

Playing conditions at Merkland are poor, referees are now considering if they should go ahead with games.

Markings on the pitch are hardly visible, goalposts are falling apart, and a part of the astro grass has been burnt.

The council leader’s answer to Lenzie Youth Club’s problems is to suggest a possible sponsorship for the club.

Rhondda that is as poor as it gets, your suggestion would then entitle every club in East Dunbartonshire for sponsorship.

Campsie Black Watch have waited for 28 years for the council to fix Station Road. Does this council ever discuss the problems facing local sports clubs? The answer is a definite no.

Gerry Marley,

Campsie Black Watch FC.

Status Quo option

I WAS surprised to see Ian Thomson use that hackneyed old phrase “The status quo is not an option” in readers letters when referring to the proposed merger of East Dunbartonshire schools.

The status quo is an option, and a good one at that. It has resulted in the provision of a good standard of education being delivered to the children at an affordable cost. Results achieved speak for themselves, and there are other advantages.

In Bishopbriggs, for example, the schools are sited more or less at the epicentre of their catchment areas. This makes it possible for most children to walk there, obviating the need of transport and its attendant pollution problems. Especially if parents send their children to the nearest school.

The main problem is that both Catholic primary schools are situated south of Kirkintilloch Road. As potential over capacity has been identified, however, it may be possible to convert Balmuildy and Meadowburn into shared campus Catholic and non-denominational schools.

Perhaps, in the fullness of time this could also apply to Bishopbriggs Academy and Turnbull High. Meanwhile the status quo is indeed an option.

Bill Findlay,

Bishopbriggs.

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