Letters to the editor – Kirkintilloch Herald, August 8, 2012

Morrisons Bishopbriggs

Morrisons Bishopbriggs

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

Appeal to dog walkers

THANKS to the East Dunbartonshire Council staff for a brilliant job on the new footpaths in Torrance at Woodmill Park.

Could I appeal to my fellow dog walkers? There’s a good reason why failure to clean up after our dogs is a criminal offence: germs in dog poo can cause illness and even blindness in young children. And it’s dirty and smelly. I walk a grandson there; will they please ‘bag it and bin it’ and keep Torrance clean and healthy?

Peter White,

Hawthorn Place,

Torrance.

Birthday thanks

WE wish to express our thanks to the 82 invited guests who joined in our 70 and 75 double birthday celebration: exhibition, auction and dinner-dance in Milton of Campsie Village Hall.

The sale of our 58 paintings, and some donated items, raised £1,240 for Oxfam – far more than expected.

Many thanks to Susan Murray, who was our brilliant high-speed auctioneer who sold 53 per cent of the pictures.

A further £166 was donated to Oxfam and Amnesty International.

We thank the members of the Allander Jazz Band, the eight ceilidh band players, five soloists and all the dancers who joined in.

We really appreciate the contributions of all who made this truly international event a great success.

Elke and John Hinton,

(via e-mail).

Town centre plan welcomed

I HAVE taken the decision to write to you for the first time since moving to Bishopbriggs 10 years ago, after hearing the unbelievable level of negativity shown towards the new Bishopbriggs town plan.

I attended the public display of the plans on May 30 and I for one was incredibly impressed by the ideas on offer. It’s surprising and somewhat concerning that so many of us have been so quick to stand up against the proposals.

Personally, I cannot believe the community of Bishopbriggs could be so short-sighted as to not recognise the number of potential job opportunities that could come with this plan. Also, how can we ignore the possibilities that would come with regenerating our town centre?

If we get behind the plans to replace the supermarket at Bishopbriggs Cross it could actually begin to encourage people back into our town rather than pushing them out to the restaurants, coffee shops and even clothing stores now located at the far end of the Bishopbriggs ‘corridor’.

What we should remember is just how many people originally opposed the Strathkelvin Retail Park and all the shops and amenities it was offering. Based on the success of this centre, I am quite sure if those same individuals were asked now and answered honestly their response would be quite different.

My point is, shouldn’t we embrace any plans to improve our town centre rather than stop them? I know some of us are concerned about the size of the proposed Morrisons supermarket as well as its planned car park, but isn’t this better than the current wasteland that lies there just now? I for one would much rather look upon a thriving business than a vast unused field.

Before now the piece of land in question was home to an unattractive school building and its modern sports hall so it baffles me to hear people claim that a modern supermarket building would be any more out of place than what stood there previously.

As a Bishopbriggs resident, I am pleading with the community to shake off these old-fashioned concerns and look forward to the future. If we embrace these plans, I truly believe we will see the benefits of this investment for many years to come.

K. Burns,

(via e-mail).

Get behind it!

FIRSTLY let me state that I am in no way connected to Morrisons. I despair at the attitude of the Bishopbriggs Town Team for their totally negative approach to any improvement of facilities put forward by Morrisons.

I equate them with a 21st century manifestation of Luddites. They represent the negativity which is an unwelcome trait of the British psyche of preferring NO to YES when any change is suggested. They seem to latch on to any spurious argument against this upgrade.

This week it’s air pollution and increased traffic congestion. I saw the plans and talked to those involved at the presentation at Woodhill Evangelical Church. I thought it was a wonderful improvement to our town and a welcome addition to the amenities offered. This team need to ‘get a life’.

David M. Martyn,

(via e-mail).

Hub concerns

I HAVE read in the pages of this newspaper the ongoing worries from local people about the community hub being established in William Patrick Library. The half-hearted consultation with the public and lack of communication about what is or isn’t being cut within the library is a concern.

Lennoxtown is set have a ‘new build’ community hub sometime in the future and I am worried we will have a building and services imposed on us which we don’t want or need.

Why go to the expense of building a new centre when the Lennoxtown Initiative building is being under utilised at the moment? East Dunbartonshire Council has been cutting millions of pounds from their budgets over recent years – why not save some money where you can and use the perfectly good building that’s already at the centre of the village?

Lessons have to be learnt by the council – Kirkintilloch was a PR disaster, Bishopbriggs is next – by the time they get to Lennoxtown perhaps it will be third time lucky!

Billy Hutchison,

Castle Circle,

Lennoxtown.

Parking fears

THANK you for offering the opportunity to comment on East Dunbartonshire Council’s (EDC) proposed car parking charges; I’ll make reference to Kirkintilloch in particular.

The first and most important point to make is that because of the difficult financial climate that we are currently in, people are watching very carefully what they spend on shopping. As a consequence, shops in towns and cities are struggling to keep their heads above water.

So, why on earth are local politicians determined to add to the difficulties of our town centre shops by introducing this extra charge on shoppers?

The imposition of any charge (for whatever reason) will, logically, put people off shopping in that location and divert them away to the variety of out-of-town shopping centres that charge nothing (The Fort, Silverburn, Forge, etc).

How many Kirkintilloch shops need to go bust to prove this point; does the council not recognise that our town centre is struggling enough as it is?

The second point to make is that these charges are being introduced to fund the cost of traffic wardens – on the basis that there is a problem with parking of such a significant proportion that an expensive remedy has to be concocted.

I use Kirkintilloch shops/cafes regularly and park in the various car parks in the locale. Frankly, whilst there is the very occasional motorist who parks in a position that causes difficulty, by and large, inconsiderate parking is not a town centre problem – vacant/charity shops is though. Jo Swinson MP makes reference to parking in residential streets being an issue and that may be (e.g. streets around Lenzie station), but it has little or nothing to do with the town centre issue, and shouldn’t be confused with it.

The majority of residents in Kirkintilloch are against these proposed charges, and although I note that the council has tried to soften the effects for the short-period shopper (by introducing a nil-cost charge for the first two hours), people who have to park for longer will suffer.

The general shopper will be put off shopping in Kirky by these proposals, will go elsewhere and, as a direct consequence, shops will close. Is that what the council intends?

David Montgomery,

(via e-mail).

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