Letters to the Editor – September 26, 2012

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

Give us back a library...

HOW soul-destroying it must be to work in the small lending library within what we have to call ‘The Hub’.

In my experience, library staff have always been helpful and professional, and without a doubt this ethos will continue.

But for them, their hearts must sink at what has been and what has now come into being.

From the spacious William Patrick Library, full of a wonderful variety of books and other items for borrowing, lots of work surfaces, and more than adequate shelving, to being crammed at the end of a reception desk as some sort of afterthought, with their little library beyond.

And the traditional quietness of most libraries ? It has been replaced by shouted conversations from the foyer waiting area.

Where have all the books gone? William Patrick Library, in my mind’s eye, had vast amounts of shelving filled with books compared to now. There must be something like 800-900, possibly more, boxed and stored somewhere, all for lack of available space.

Library users now have to cross a vast and somewhat empty entrance hall, pass through a cafe – a cafe! – to gain entry to the lending area.

The shelving which exists is not well signed and a rather gimmicky crime book/crime scene area seems to take up a lot of space where space is now a big problem.

Perhaps being open for four weeks is time enough to realise that the library will not do in its present form.

Could the cafe tables be moved out into the foyer and the space then created used to house book shelving?

The seating booths could be used as reading areas or computer work stations or, even better, for staff to work in comfort, be away from the reception area and be more directly involved in their library?

Could the missing books then be freed from the basement ?

Perhaps the council’s smooth-talking proponents of The Hub and all its wonders could comment on the library’s performance so far, its obvious shortfalls and give readers and library staff some hope for improvements.

Bob Stobie,

Millersneuk Avenue,

Lenzie.

We must never forget

I Regret I could not manage to the Auchengeich memorial service.

In 1959 I was living in Kirkintilloch and on the day of disaster I was a 16-year old working in the office at Auchengeich Colliery.

Although it happened 53 years ago, I will never forget the events of that terrible day.

Gordon Muir,

(via e-mail).

The Hub and new flats

I FELT compelled to write after the issues raised by both Jim Kennedy and Jack Aitken (Herald, September 12).

Firstly I presume that both are residents of East Dunbartonshire? Well, both should be aware that in EDC, it’s the councillors who know what’s best for the community, not those that stay here.

The ‘oh so happy’ faces of the staff at the new ‘Hub’, is a joy to behold. And talking of the ‘Hub’, which I wrongly thought was a central point of contact, it turns out to be no more than a help centre, with a few books and staff directing you the various offices scattered over the East Dunbartonshire area.

I was looking for the planning department, to find it had moved to Broomhill ( apparently this is prior to moving again to Bishopbriggs).

I left the Tourist Information Centre – sorry, library . . . sorry, Hub (with a few books) – and headed to Broomhill.

In reponse to Jack Aitken’s letter (‘New flats raise concerns’), it’s not the Romans building this hideous development, but I presume it’s a trial block, to see if anyone will actually buy one so near a road.

I spoke to a contractor on the site, who expressed his utter surprise at the close proximity of the building to the road.

How EDC Planning Board voted this through is beyond me.

Then again, no councillors live in this now, asthetically-vandalised, part of the town.

On inspecting the plans for these flats it was obvious to me that they were not the same plans I inspected originally. Thinking it was a mistake I put pen to paper. On September 4, I wrote to the head of development highlighting my concerns and requesting clarification as to when the original plans were either altered/updated; why I, as a neighbouring property was not advised; and seeking confirmation that planning conditions would be adhered to by the developers.

As of September 17, I am still awaiting a reply. But I must praise the Kirkintilloch Herald, as I see that Mr Glen gave them answers to some of MY queries.

The developers have now installed CCTV cameras on the scaffolding. We’ll all sleep much better at night, safe in the knowledge that big brother is watching after us.

Goodness knows what will happen next. Perhaps the police will patrol the area from time to time?

Name and address supplied

Gym concern

LOL means , as we all know, “laugh out loud”. It was amusing to read the article about the fantastic new equipment being introduced into our gyms across the area.

Amusing, because the superb new machines already installed in the Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre haven’t worked properly since they were put in at the end of August.

Or perhaps not that amusing after all, since people are paying high membership costs and have been unable to fully activate their programmes since the gym was closed for its expensive refurb. Neither has the “swipe and go” system operated for more than two days without a breakdown.

I have heard of people who have gone in and given the staff a real dressing down in public about all this.

I have to say, I have always found the gym staff in the KLC to be both helpful, courteous and friendly, and they should be commended.

It is patently not their fault that computer-controlled equipment fails to work correctly. A bit of patience and a smile will always do the trick.

However, someone in authority is no doubt getting fingers rapped for this rather poor and very public shambles! A personal apology to gym members might be nice.

Name and address supplied

Drug praise

YOU report that our MP Jo Swinson welcomes the approval of a drug, abiraterone, which may prove a boon to sufferers from prostate cancer.

I should jolly well hope she would! So do I and so no doubt do all her political opponents. Now if she disapproved that would be news. Otherwise it is just a bit of unnecessary political propaganda.

Frank Henderson,

(via e-mail).

Pedestrians at risk?

AS I walked with my toddler to nursery we were nearly ran over by three cars mounting the pavement and driving straight towards us on Hillside Drive, Bishopbriggs.

These were in addition to the other 17 parked on the pavement on the same side of the road, matched in equal numbers on the opposite side. We have become quite adept at dodging seemingly abandoned car doors flying open without warning.

I appreciate the little darlings of Bishopbriggs no longer have the skill or ability to walk to school, but to put myself and my ‘little darling’ in danger as a result is not an acceptable alternative. We’re not a thrill-seeking family, but we have come to expect what should be a pleasant five-minute walk to nursery will turn into a treacherous assault course.

It’s like living in ‘Grand Theft Auto Bishopbriggs: The School Run’.

In my naivety, I believed a fellow parent would be more considerate towards a pedestrian parent and child on the pavement. I was wrong. Instead I have experienced rude, arrogant, angry and intimidating behaviour from drivers mounting the pavement and then blaming pedestrians for being in the way.

The junction of Park Road and Hillside Drive is a nightmare just before 9am when school starts and again in the afternoon when school ends. It’s impassable in a vehicle due to abandoned (sometimes parked) cars and negotiating the area is a terrifying ordeal for a pedestrian.

Wester Cleddens Road and South Crosshill Road are equally as dangerous for pedestrians at these times.

Despite a time-restricted 20mph limit, it is rarely adhered to by drivers on the road or on the pavement and I’ve seen many drivers ignore the crossing patrols hoping to sneak through before the children start to cross.

I dread to think what it is going to be like when there’s a huge new supermarket attracting more traffic.

Name and address supplied

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