Letters to the Editor – November 28, 2012

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

Support for Morrisons

IT has come to my attention that a number of my fellow residents in Bishopbriggs are campaigning against plans to upgrade our Morrisons supermarket, something I just cannot understand!

I felt the need to express my thoughts on this as I am truly baffled by anyone who would have such a major problem with the proposal that they would actively fight against improving our town centre.

Bishopbriggs is in major need of some development work and the fact is there’s already a Morrisons there, so making it even better for us locals is surely a positive thing.

I am giving my full support to the plans, especially as I hear they’re looking to build a new petrol station.

This is great news, everyone knows Morrisons offers notably lower fuel prices and it’ll offer up a good bit of competition with the only other petrol station, something that can only benefit the huge number of us commuters.

I want to try and encourage people to see the good side of these plans as if we can get a large store to invest in our town perhaps further investment can’t be far behind.

I really hope these people getting in the way of progress take a step back and let things move on.

I understand there will be more cars on the road and more delivery trucks, but just think of how much more convenient it could be to be able to get so much more from a local store rather than have to travel further away.

I am looking forward to the improved store and hope Morrisons get the go ahead sooner rather than later.

Gianni Rossi

(via e-mail)

Respect for others’ beliefs

I WAS sad to read the wreath laid by the Orange Order had been stolen.

I replaced the wreath twice in the weeks before the first letter was published in the Herald.

The wind had caught it and the first time it was just about to roll down the steps to the swingpark. On the second occasion it was near the gateway down to the cross.

When I read the article I had hoped that this had happened again and that it would be found, but obviously not.

I hope the person who took it appreciates that it was laid to commemorate the memory of former Kirkintilloch residents who gave their lives ‘so that others might live’, he/she included.

I would add that I am a member of Holy Family and St Ninian’s Church and was brought up to respect other people’s beliefs, as do my friends and family. I feel sorry for anyone whose bigotry can stoop so low as to steal a wreath on a war memorial.

M. Macdonald

(via e-mail)

Mark of respect

I AND many other councillors wanted to join as many communities as possible across East Dunbartonshire on Sunday, November 11, to show our respect for those who died in service.

The first was in Bearsden, which was well attended, especially by young people, then the parade in Kirkintilloch, which is my home town, and finally at Woodilee, where the memorial has just been reinstated.

My apologies if anyone felt Councillor Jarvis and myself left too quickly after the service in Kirkintilloch (Herald letters 21/11/12). Hopefully in future years the service at Woodilee will be slightly later.

This year we were also proud to represent the council in the afternoon at a service for a new minister in St Cyprian’s.

Councillor Rhondda Geekie,

East Dunbartonshire

Council Leader.

Question time

JO Swinson’s defence of the Tory led Government’s ‘trade your employment rights for shares’ policy (Herald, November 21) is surprising.

A policy dreamt up on the wilder fringes of the Tory party is now defended and promoted by Ms Swinson.

At best this policy encourages people to play fast and loose with their job security and at worst it gives unscrupulous employers free reign to take advantage of hard-pressed employees.

Can I ask Ms Swinson as the minister responsible for this policy whether she will be recommending to our East Dunbartonshire constituents that they trade away their employment rights for shares?

Gregg McClymont

MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East

Rural school

WELL done Councillor Gotts and the Education Committee of EDC recognising my previous three years of work that Baldernock Primary should have a community facility based there.

With around £70,000 to replace the near 40-year-old Portakabin for P6/7, that leaves £571,550 for a single-storey dual-purpose building. This would be enough space for PE for the kids and all the rural community to enjoy.

However, and there is always a however with officers of EDC, I would like to see the plans for such a build and how they came to such a figure.

I am sure Councillor Gotts, through this paper, will show the plans and costings.

Surely without a consultation they wouldn’t have planned anything? Or another attempt to close the school with a huge cost.

With an increase of nearly £2,000 per head for Baldernock and £300 for other schools since the last consultation, serious questions have to be asked.

Perhaps the opposition councillors can contact me about problems relating to Baldernock. Of course, 50 per cent of this could be paid by the Futures Trust’s £2.5 million gift to EDC, and 50 per cent from the European LEADER programme for rural areas.

However, this administration withheld the rural European money for Baldernock and Torrance and gave it to urban areas instead.

Perhaps Baldernock and Torrance community groups can remember being consulted or not on this decision.

When the new primary schools are built, the average cost per pupil will soar from £3,850 per pupil to around £10,000. It will be almost cheaper for EDC to send all the kids to the High School of Glasgow! How much, Councillor Gotts, is the total cost per pupil?

Niall Campbell,

Torrance.

Schools mergers

I REFER to your report last week with the headline ‘School report reveals proposals for merger’.

It is interesting to recall that, just over two years ago your paper – on June 9, 2010 – had the front page headline ‘We will not axe any schools’.

One does not have to be unduly cynical to have arrived at the conclusion that the matter of school closures was kicked into the medium-length grass at that time because of the prospect of imminent local government elections, which have now come and gone.

I believe, unlike the apparent position of the SNP council opposition, that the council is to be commended for taking the controversial schools issue head-on, albeit belatedly, and that for the following reasons:

* The need for the review is compelling given that many primary schools in East Dunbartonshire are operating at significantly below capacity.

* We in this country are facing a financial crisis and therefore there are very few features of community life which can be expected to be given immunity from the radical measures required to secure recovery.

* It is important for everyone to understand in this context it is impossible for any council in these straitened times to maintain things as they always were.

* East Dunbartonshire Council should proceed with their proposals while consulting meaningfully and sensitively within the communities affected, including obviously the parents and staff involved.

All concerned should endeavour to enter these discussions with the assumption that the status quo for many of the schools is not an option.

Ian W Thomson,

Kirkintilloch Road,

Lenzie.

* Have you got a story, picture or comment? E-mail kirkyherald@jnscotland.co.uk

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