Schools, car parking, Lenzie Moss and more – this week’s Letters to the Editor ... December 19, 2012

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

Parking charges

COUNCILLOR Alan Moir shows indifference bordering on contempt towards those using the car parks all day (Herald, December, 12).

He states that valuable town centre spaces are taken up by people parking all day and that shoppers are put off from using them.

Those using the car parks all day are primarily private sector office and shop workers fortunate enough to have a job (private sector)and who provide retail and commercial services to the “shoppers”.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie has already stated that £5 per day is a fair charge for these people and no doubt the council will paint the town yellow to force motorists to use their Pay and Display car parks.

This is the council who commandeered the whole side of a street outside their prestigious new corporate HQ and wrote large on the road “Reserved for the use of EDC”.

They also prepared a “temporary” car park beside their HQ for council staff (public sector). Presumably all these spaces will also attract the £5 per day charge , and councillors will not be claiming their parking charges on expenses.

(Details supplied)

Time to take legal action?

I LIVE at the bottom cul-de-sac of Larch Avenue, in Bishopbriggs.

For six years we have been in consultation with the council’s Roads Department asking that the cul-de-sac be gritted.

We have been offered many excuses; that the cars are double parked and that the gritter gets ‘stuck’ at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. What chance do we have?

We said we would move our cars in order for the gritter to get down the street, but also pointed out that the refuse lorry manages to get down with the cars half on the pavement.

We finally spoke to David Devine last year, who informed us that we would have to write to him asking for ‘a salt bin’ and get the signatures of the neighbours.

Reluctantly we did this, and he did provide an extremely small bin at the very bottom of the avenue.

However, it’s far too slippy and dangerous to get to it, and then back up the street with it.

Besides this, I note that Mr Devine states that 60 per cent of the road network is included.

If we, the residents of Larch Avenue, were to pay 60 per cent of our Council Tax would that be acceptable?

Last year, during a medical emergency, the ambulance couldn’t get down the cul-de-sac. The Roads Department was informed, without any success.

We are in exactly the same situation this year as we were six years ago. Very occasionally, after many phone calls from the residents in the cul-de-sac, they will send down a gritter – but not as far down as the cul-de-sac.

The residents at the top of Larch Avenue come down to turn and a wall of snow is gathered at the top of the cul-de-sac, making it completely impassable for the residents to get out.

I lost four days annual leave two years ago as it was impossible to move out of the street to get to the so-called ‘gritted main roads’.

I leave for work very early in the morning and last year during a very bad spell of frost, I got to the traffic lights at the Tavern Car Park (across from the Gulistan) and there was a council worker in a small gritter, gritting the Tavern Car park!

Strangely, a few weeks ago I visited my daughter in Bishop’s Meadow and not only are the streets gritted, but also their pavements! Perhaps the council can tell us why there is such disparity?

The next time residents of Larch Avenue slip and fall, or an ambulance can’t pick up an emergency, or we have to take annual leave, or our cars are bashed because we can’t get out of the cul-de-sac, we should take it up legally with East Dunbartonshire Council.

Disgruntled resident

(Details supplied)

Heads in the sand

THE Save Lenzie Moss campaigners have their heads in the sand. The only reason that the Moss has not been developed over the past decades is the presence of Lenzie Rugby Club.

The rugby club is the bulwark against development of this prime real estate.

If the rugby club goes to the wall because of financial problems, how long do you think it will be before the developers move in to build on the whole site?

Can the Save the Moss campaigners match the financial muscle of the big developers?

The Save the Moss campaigners failed the Moss several years ago, when they prevented the club from developing a small piece of land at the bottom of Heath Avenue.

This was a Pyrrhic victory, because it prevented the club from gaining the financial security which would have made the current proposals unnecessary. This time they should think clearly, pragmatically and long term by supporting the rugby club in its efforts to remain afloat and retain this local asset, even if it means sacrificing a very small part of their land to protect the rest.

Roger Hughes,

Broom Gardens,

Lenzie.

Referendum debate

RECENTLY you reported that the Better Together campaign had been campaigning in Kirkintilloch.

Since the summer Yes East Dunbartonshire has been putting forward a positive pro-independence message across our region.

We welcome the arrival of the No campaign, and look forward to engaging in an open and positive debate on the benefits of independence.

Yes East Dunbartonshire is a non-party campaign comprising people from all backgrounds who are united in their view that the people best placed to make the decisions about Scotland are the people of Scotland. Our campaigning so far has shown that there is plenty of appetite to discuss and debate the merits of independence.

In the lead up to the 2014 referendum our aim is to provide a consistently positive message that Scotland can and will thrive as an independent state.

We know that if we do this the people of East Dunbartonshire will respond by voting Yes in 2014.

Andrew Raffan,

Yes East Dunbartonshire.

Meeting was a bad experience

LAST Monday night was my first experience of local politics.

I attended East Dunbartonshire Council’s Primary School Public Consultation meeting at the new civic and corporate headquarters.

My first impressions were positive; the public gallery was full and the room was well furbished.

Unfortunately, the positivity did not last too long.

I have a strong personal interest in this particular issue, with a child at primary school and a child in nursery.

In principle I agree there should be primary school consolidation and I was hoping to leave the meeting with a clear view on the viable options. I do believe we should minimise real estate budget.

We should do this in order to free more funds to pay for more teachers and the best resources to educate our children, while meeting the austerity budgets that will be a reality for many years to come. Making fair choices for the majority is clearly going to require us to make well informed judgements.

The documented facts and analysis carried out to ascertain the viable options was deplorable. That leads one to conclude the appropriate due diligence for a £90M project was not carried out.

Apparently the stakeholder meetings included a total of 93 individuals, approximately 0.001 per cent of the council area population.

The opposition councillors were vastly more impressive when addressing the meeting than those in control, Gordan Low in particular.

The informal public consultation will now go ahead with completely inadequate information for ‘Joe Bloggs’ to make an adequately informed decision.

Ten thousand residents will soon have their say, but only a few of the viable options are in the questions. This will polarise the opinions of the public towards the questionable recommendations of the few.

Sure, a small and vocal group of people will do their research and point out the flaws, but you know this council will probably ignore them.

Concerned parent,

(Details supplied).

Some things can’t be fixed

WITH reference to S. Klimowicz (Herald - December 12).

I completely agree with your attestation that “there are some things which cannot be fixed or made to look better”.

A change in consumer shopping trends due to the ease and variety associated with online purchase, the prevalence of pawnbrokers and “money shops” along the main street, and the aging population, has resulted in the death of the local high street.

The long-awaited new road which prophesied that untold wealth and opportunity would be brought to our town has unsurprisingly done none of the sort and has been left to fall into disrepair.

As a young man living in the area the drab and continually deteriorating surroundings, not to mention crime and general disorder, has resulted in a desire to move away from the town as quickly as possible, a sentiment which is shared by many of my peers.

I can only extend my heart-felt and most sincere sympathies to up-and-coming generations who have to endure an existence in a derelict and increasingly depressing urban environment.

A.C. Morrison,

St Columba Drive,

Kirkintilloch.

Box ticking exercise

IT is not surprising that Stewart Milne Homes declare themselves “pleased” with the outcome of the public exhibition demonstrating their plans to build houses on a field in Auchinloch (“Builders pleased with feedback”, Herald, December 5).

The feedback form they provided was designed to bias responses to their advantage, with a series of boxes for us to tick if we favoured things such as “creation of affordable housing” and “support for the local economy”.

No doubt they will count up all the ticked boxes and claim them as votes in favour of their plans. Conversely, we had only one tiny box to note any objections we might have.

In reality, when every home in the village was canvassed for opinion by local people, 89 per cent of respondents were opposed to housing developments here.

Most of the planned units are large 4/5 bedroom houses which would be out of keeping with the character of our village.

This proposed development continues to be unwelcome in Auchinloch.

Dorothy Moodie,

Auchinloch.

Part of the community

I CAN’T believe it’s finally going to happen.

Myself and my three boys all went to Harestanes Primary and most children within a small walking distance.

It is a close-knit community and the school brings people who might not have known each other together – as is probably the same as the other schools involved – Oxgang, Gartconner and Hillhead. It’s a sad day for all involved.

Amanda Bridges,

(via e-mail).

Appeal

EVERY year around 757 people living in Scotland fall victim to meningitis.

At the Meningitis Trust we help local families rebuild their lives following the disease.

To support everybody who needs us and meet the increased demand we’re seeing for our free services, we doubled the number of our Community Support Officers who work across the country and in your area.

Our commitment is to provide support for life to everyone affected by meningitis. Our urgent challenge is to fund it.To reach out to those who need us takes £8,000 a day – over £5 every minute.

Can you help with a donation this Christmas and change the lives of others in your community in their time of need? Help us make sure victims of meningitis don’t have to suffer alone.

You can donate on our website at www.meningitis-trust.org or text MENT05 £5 (or any amount up to £10) to 70070. Thank you, we can’t achieve this alone.

Sue Davie, CEO,

Jo Stevenson, fundraising officer, Meningitis Trust.

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