Letters to the Editor – library, family fun day and bin praise

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

Reality check for library users

THE new Kirkintilloch HUB is up and running and the reality of what the council has done to the library service is hitting home.

Messrs Cornes and Geekie have made some spectacularly inaccurate statements over the last months, but now library users can judge for themselves and have begun to comment through the Herald.

The library has been sidelined and is now a tenant in council offices.

The reality of the new William Patrick Library facility is very much worse than predicted.

A reminder of only some of the statements made by Mrs Geekie/Mr Cornes and the present reality...

The footprint will be reduced by approximately 10 per cent but the library will look and feel bigger.

In reality, The library looks smaller, feels smaller and is much smaller. It is also entered through a café.

The reduction in ground floor area is sizeable and more than 10 per cent.

The staff are looking forward to working in the new Library facility.

In reality, this is untrue. The staff have been warned not to speak to customers about the operation of the library and its stock. Their work area has all but disappeared.

There will be a new children’s and families’ area.

This area is tiny in comparison with the previous facility.

There will be a new area for young people.

In reality, this area is low profile and the stock is poor.

There will be a small reduction in stock.

There is a sizeable reduction in stock within the library. This would tie in with a reduction of around 70 shelves. It is now clear that stock has indeed been dumped.

There is not enough space to comment on all of the problems associated with the new library facility, but these will become apparent as time goes on.

Over the years our council and their officials have quietly dismantled the library service by stealth.

When the decision to remove the mobile library service (in reality removing services from Twechar, Waterside and some of our schools) was taken, the public was asked to leave.

The plans for the new hub were only released around two weeks before the library closed. (And meetings for future hubs still seem to be in private).

Letters and petitions were quietly sidelined. Consultation forms were vague and did not give full information.

Results of the consultation and reports were misinterpreted.

Tom Breslin

(via e-mail)

Praise for council

DESPITE the need for another bin, I welcome the new waste disposal arrangements.

The current small boxes have always been a disaster and the new weekly food waste collection largely answers the often ill-informed criticisms of the fortnightly collection.

Well done to the council for taking this long-overdue step.

Andrew Wale,

Glenward Avenue,

Lennoxtown.

Have we bin here before?

FOLLOWING the front page article in last week’s paper ‘Have we Bin here before?’, I feel compelled to clarify a number of issues and to stress that this approach to waste and recycling collections is significantly different to any previous schemes.

Firstly, new legislation means the council has no option but to change the current collection arrangements.

The Zero Waste Regulations 2011 require us to remove food from the residual waste stream and collect it separately.

This, in turn, fundamentally changes what is in the grey residual waste bin, both in terms of type and quantity of waste.

The council has sought to minimise any concerns residents might have around food waste by choosing to collect it weekly and from sealed containers.

Secondly, we appreciate most residents have found the recyclate boxes unpopular and, recognising these concerns and in order to improve in this area, we are changing to wheeled bins.

It is important also to note that these are smaller bins than those used at present for garden or residual waste.

Thirdly, all councillors supported these changes, giving full cross party support for their delivery.

We will be working closely with residents across East Dunbartonshire to inform them of the changes, ensure they understand what will be collected and provide the support they need to meet our legislative requirements and achieve our next challenging recycling target of 50 per cent by the end of next year.

Ashay Ghai,

Depute Leader,

East Dunbartonshire Council

Community spirit in Woodhill

YOUR headline “Rain can’t stop play for Woodhill families” (Herald, September 26) really summed up the annual Woodhill Family Fun Day.

Anxious eyes had been watching the weather forecast for the previous week and discussions took place as to whether the event should even be postponed.

However, we held our nerve and the day went ahead.

And, of course, it rained, but that should be no surprise this summer!

But what was an even bigger surprise was that locals just put on their anoraks and pulled on their wellies and headed down to Etive Park to join in the fun.

With a delayed start we were ready to pull the plug on the Family Fun Day, but the sight of so many people coming out on a day more suited to sitting in front of the TV told us something about the community spirit in Woodhill.

Families with young children realise that getting out of doors, and children getting some exercise, is important to them.

And having Etive Park in the heart of our area is a big plus.

The roots of the Woodhill Residents’ Group lie in working to improve the play facilities of Woodhill.

This has been partially achieved with help from East Dunbartonshire Council, but we need more parents and grandparents to join us in helping make Woodhill an even better place for children and families to live.

If you would like to help please come along to our next meeting on Monday, October 8, at 7pm in Bishopbriggs Academy

In closing can I give a massive thank you to all of the people who worked to make the day a big success.

Rafique in Four Square Newsagents for his kind sponsorship of the day; East Dunbartonshire Council’s Grants Award Committee; local businesses such as Exit Hairdressing and Dominos Pizza who gave generously to the raffle; the young people from Bishopbriggs Academy who supervised the bouncy castles, volunteers from ‘Friday Night Live’ and local residents who gave up a few hours of their time on the day or allowed us to put our banner up in their front garden.

Finally, a big thank you to members of the group who work all year round, not just on the Family Fun Day, but on various campaigns and events in Bishopbriggs.

Donald Macdonald,

Chairman,

Woodhill Residents’ Group.

Signs of the times

DOES anyone know who I should contact from East Dunbartonshire Council to pick up my binoculars in order to read all the minute street signs that have been plastered around the area.

Unless you stand about six inches away from them and look skyward they are impossible to read.

How on earth do they expect drivers to read them?

Explain yourselves Road Dept, please!

Jane Angus (via e-mail)

Thanks for your support, says new councillor

I AM delighted to have been elected as the new councillor for Campsie and Kirkintilloch North and would like to thank all those who came out to vote on Thursday, September 13, and those who supported me.

I am pleased that the local Labour Party and members of the community were supportive of a young woman standing to be elected on to the council.

I am aware that I have big shoes to fill and know that it will be no easy task, but it is my promise to the ward that I will put all my effort in to representing you and working on your behalf.

I have a lot of people to thank for supporting me, everyone who came out to help with the by-election and those who sent me messages of support and good wishes.

My campaign organiser and election agent were both great supports to me.

My biggest thanks, however, go to the people of the ward who have welcomed me into the role. I look forward to working with you over the coming years and feel privileged being able to do so.

Councillor Gemma Welsh,

East Dunbartonshire Council

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