Letters to the Editor - November 7, 2012

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

Council should be more open

HARSH words indeed from S.Grayson, daring to criticise our town and incurring the wrath of four politicians who immediately rallied to our defence.

One would naturally expect civic leaders to state the positives, but local readers of the Kirkintilloch Herald know only too well that the council have not helped their own cause over these past few years.

To be fair Kirkintilloch is a pleasant place, and as was said, there are lots of other much more needy areas in and around Glasgow.

We have chosen to live here, so who really cares about what S.Grayson has to say?

There are much more pressing matters to consider.

Sadly the council have a habit of trotting out the usual suspects when there is “an issue” - the gentlemen i/c roads, development, education, environment, building.

Communication from council elected members and “chiefs” is at an all-time low.

Key issues keep rearing their heads, such as the spending on new council offices, the reasons given for the move to new premises, the desecration of our library, claims that locals are always adequately consulted . . . and listened to, building where people don’t want things built, agreeing to measures which subsequently don’t work . . . I could go on and on.

Perhaps the really big one in people’s minds has been the council’s selfish decision to vacate their base and set up shop in Southbank, and then try to justify the move.

Ms Geekie has indeed an unenviable task ahead of her as week by week she tries to find a form of words to reassure us that “all is well” and that “money will be saved in the long term”, arguments which are beginning to sound very hollow.

Most, if not all of us, do appreciate that working as a councillor, or being responsible for a key department, is not an easy job.

It would, however, be prudent to be much more honest and open about things and stop patronising us.

Sad to say, but that is exactly the way most locals feel, and I often wonder what goes through councillors’ minds when (or if) they read our impassioned weekly letters.

Leadership . . . tempting to accept, perhaps, but it’s an entirely different thing to step out and successfully take people with you.

S. Klimowicz

Muirside Avenue

Kirkintilloch

Impressed by council new HQ

I ALWAYS had a soft spot for Tom Johnston House and I was rather saddened when East Dunbartonshire Council took the decision to move their headquarters to Southbank Marina.

A recent visit to the new HQ proved most interesting, however. While there I got the opportunity to see round the premises and I was most impressed. Almost all the offices are open plan, well lit, sound proofed and comfortable, with state of the art equipment and furnishing. An ideal working environment.

The council chamber is well laid out and adaptable. I got the impression that it is more conducive to co-operation rather than confrontation. No bad thing in this day and age.

Clearly, the furniture from the old HQ would have been quite out of place in the new surroundings. To be fair, Tom Johnston House served the Council well through the later years of the 20th century and beyond.

We are now into the 21st century, however, and must adapt accordingly. I, for one, am convinced that the decision to move was the right one, taken at the right time.

The new premises will serve East Dunbartonshire effectively and efficiently for many years to come.

As for the over spend, it was not a great deal of money. Perhaps it was due to underestimating, or to unforeseen items.

Whatever the cause, it would be advantageous to appoint a senior council officer to investigate. In this way, valuable lessons can be learned, and applied to future projects.

Bill Findlay,

Kenmure Drive,

Bishopbriggs.

Not sitting on the fence

IN response to the recent article and photograph in the Kirkintilloch Herald, I do not understand how one owner in Fraser Gardens can erect a wooden fence over the path onto the Dawn Homes Estate. This same owner tried to get planning permission to build a double garage - one garage on this property, the second garage on top of the path. This was refused. I know this, as I am Planning Convenor on Kirkintilloch Community Council. He certainly did not get permission to erect a wooden fence across the path either. This path must be opened up now as he is stopping mums and children from the Hayston Estate and mums and children from the new Dawn Homes Estate taking the shortest, safest, more sheltered route to school.

Families should not be forced to walk along the pavement beside the very busy Glasgow Road at rush hour. In the mid 70s when I lived on the Hayston Estate, I and others used this path to Lairdsland School. Come on Council remove this fence for which he did not get planning permission! We are promised another severe winter.

There are families waiting to use this path as soon as Dawn Homes complete their path.

Penelope E A Sinclair,

Southbank Drive,

Kirkintilloch.

Allan Glen’s and sale

I REFER to the article in the Herald dated October 24. (Allan Glen’s)

It details some interesting facts previously not widely known by the public at large.

The club is now run by a new trust - the 2012 Trust which proposes to dispose of the 1.4 acres of land owned by the club and that negotiations are at an advanced stage.

I would have assumed that the playing fields are zoned as such and that planning consent to a change of use would be required. I would hope that this consent would be denied by the District Council Planning Department. The playing fields are a green oasis in Bishopbriggs and are of invaluable value and should be retained in perpetuity. I have spoken to many people in the neighbourhood and have yet to meet anyone in favour of the 2012 Trust proposal.

Sport is at present enjoying a high profile following the Olympics and I would assume that funds could be made available by the District Council or national Government.

In my experience the selling of capital assets is rarely the answer to solving difficulties with running costs.

I would urge all residents in the district to campaign now before it is too late for the preservation of the playing fields at Allan Glen’s.

George Gartshore,

Park Road,

Bishopbriggs.

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