Letters to the Editor - July 13, 2011

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READERS have their say on the big issues

Concerns on housing

I HAVE written to the relevant official in the council’s housing department regarding the low percentage of housing offers to the waiting list applicants.

There are three lists – these are homeless, transfer list and waiting lists.

The homeless list is self- explanatory, the transfer list is for applicants who are under-occupying the house or are overcrowded.

The waiting list can be older people who own their property and want to downsize to a suitable property or young people who live with their parents and are seeking a house from the council.

Two recent examples I had were an 82-year-old woman who has medical priority and has points for under-occupying her private house, has been on the waiting list for nine years and has virtually no chance of an offer as a result of the low percentage of waiting list offers.

The second case is a young man living with his parents who has points for sharing facilities, has been on the waiting list for three years and has no chance of being offered accommodation.

The two cases are at the extreme ends of the spectrum so it is affecting both the young and old on the waiting list.

I understand that the Scottish Government list the applicants’ needs as the priority and this is reflected in the percentage of offers to the relevant lists, but I feel the waiting list candidates’ needs are not being addressed with the low percentage of offers.

Councillor John Dempsey,

Campsie and Kirkintilloch North.

Anxiety on the buses

I AM glad that the Herald has given publicity to the strength of feeling in the area about changes to bus services.

In particular your story on the Mavis Valley services (June 29) clearly expressed the difficulties experienced now because of the lack of buses going directly to Kirkintilloch by those not able to walk to the main road.

However, the impression was given that buses go via Mavis Valley to Kirkintilloch once an hour.

This is only true in the evenings each day and in the early part of the mornings on Saturdays and Sundays (service 88A to Harestanes).

For most of the day there are now NO direct services from and to Mavis Valley at all.

The inconvenience of changing buses on the Kirkintilloch Road will deter some people from going to Kirkintilloch altogether and cause others to get their cars out.

Similarly with the decision to cut down our services to Glasgow from two buses to one an hour (27B).

This makes it much more difficult to plan trips to Bishopbriggs or Glasgow, particularly when there are appointments to keep. For taxi drivers this may be good news, but not for those who are trying to persuade us to leave our cars at home.

Rev. Dr Edward Burrows,

Balmuildy Road,

Bishopbriggs.

Thanks from Provost

I WOULD like to give a big thank you to the ‘G66+ Live Kirkintilloch Street Celebration’ organisers, ably led by Susan Murray, for all their endeavours in making this evening so successful.

For once the weather was kind and Cowgate was really bustling with local people.

The main guest, Moira Anderson, born and bred in Kirkintilloch, thoroughly enjoyed the warm reception she got from the local community and felt as if she had never left home.

It was great to see so many local organisations involved in the celebrations: Kirkintilloch Male Voice Choir, Campsie Scottish Folk Players, Kirkintilloch Miners’ Welfare Tea Dancers, Kirkintilloch Band, Campsie Accordion Players and many others.

Each group provided its own special brand of entertainment and the local crowd loved it.

As your Provost, I felt it important to get into the party mood by reciting a poem at the Welcome Reception in the Barony Chambers that night.

The poem about the history of Kirkintilloch was provided by a local minister for the late Robin McSkimming, a former Provost of East Dunbartonshire Council.

Robin used the poem for the opening of the refurbished Auld Kirk Museum in 2001.

Near the end of the poem there is a reference to the late Magnus Magnusson, who officially opened the refurbished museum that evening.

Given the fact that the poem is about the history of Kirkintilloch, which is celebrating its 800th year anniversary of being a Barony Burgh, and given the fact that both the late Robin McSkimming and the late Magus Magnusson, though not born or brought up in Kirkintilloch, were very fond of the town and its history, I thought this would be very appropriate.

I have provided a copy of the poem, which is, in itself, an historical document, for the enjoyment of your local readership.

Provost Eric Gotts.

Weel, friends, it gies me much delight

Tae welcome ye a’ here the night,

The braw, the wise, the smert, the witty,

Frae hamlet, village, toon or city;

West Scotland’s finest glitterati –

(or so we’re called by all the catty

But we a’ ken that they’re just sick at

Their failure to obtain a ticket!)

So welcome one and welcome a’

To Kirkie’s royal burgh – naw –

Mair special, auld St Mary’s Kirk

Whaur weeks an’ months an’ years o’ work

An’ plannin’, vision, hopes and dreams

Are realised tonight, it seems,

As this auld place, weel-used tae strife

Taks on anither lease o’ like

It wis in 1644

The Auld Kirk opened first her door,

Montrose’s troops were drawing near

As Roundhead fought with Cavalier.

Harsh days, especially for those

Who paths of fornication chose –

Repentance stool for both the genders

Wi’ stocks and jougs for worse offenders!

I have to say, I wonder why,

Wi’ Kirkie’s fame for bein’ dry?

Nae alcohol tae fuel excess?

Surely the problems would be less!

Perhaps these things were only there

Tae gie the folk a wee bit scare

(They maybe brought them oot forbye

When thugs invaded from Milngavie!)

The Auld Kirk watched the years roll past

Mair peaceful times appeared at last,

The comin’ o’ the Forth and Clyde

Brought mony a change an’ forward stride;

An inland port the toon became

Whaur mony a puffer got its name.

We canny quite claim Noah’s Ark –

Who cares! We’ve got the Vital Spark!

Foundries wi’ each ither vyin’

Most famously, of course, the Lion;

Phone boxes frae Torquay tae Durness

Began their lives in a Kirkie furnace,

And men, you’ll ken that when you’re deein’

Tae find relief, the joy o’ peein’

Into a Kirkie built urinal

Brings satisfaction full and final!

Shopping arcade roofs in Leeds

Keepin’ rain off Yorkshire heids

And friends, whit aboot this location –

Buenos Aires Railway Station!

Furthest foreigner, nearest neighbour

Thanked Kirkie skill and Kirkie labour –

Ye neednae trail the world tae see ‘em

Their tale is told in this museum!

An’ ither tales – how there’s nae beatin’

Early Roman central heatin’;

Thomas Muir, the democrat

Exiled just for bein’ that;

Tales o’ markets, tales o’ mines,

Local worthies – these few lines

Coundnae possibly dae justice –

Seein’ for yourself a must is!

When in anither year of war

This find Auld Kirk became a store

(1914, to be exact

As Minister and session packed

Their gear an’ chattels, going forth

Tae Barleybank, a wee bit south)

Who could have dreamed the future wis

A glorious new life like this?

For that, we need to thank the coterie

Wha hand out money frae the lottery,

As weel as East Dunbartonshire…………….

But noo I wee you start tae tire,

Perhaps attention spans diminish;

Weel, weel, “I’ve started so I’ll finish”

If I might quote our honoured guest –

I’ll no be long aboot the rest.

For it’s no me you want to hear,

A fact on which I’m very clear.

I’m very proud to introduce

A weel-kent face, a voice that douce,

A scholar, writer, Sally’s Dad,

Heritage Chairman, quite a lad!

So welcome now most cordially

Magnus Magnusson, KBE!

Well done, council!

ABOUT 10 days ago I phoned the East Dunbartonshire Contact Centre to report a faulty streetlight and to request the replacement of damaged recycling boxes.

The response was that my call was being held in a queue.

I e-mailed my requests instead and am pleased to say that the streetlight is now working and my replacement recycling boxes have arrived.

Well done EDC.

Gordon Barron,

Millersneuk Avenue, Lenzie.