Letters to the Editor – readers have their say

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ALL the latest Letters to the Editor – from the issue dated January 18, 2012

Tribute to a ‘boxing genius’

IT was with great sadness that I attended the funeral of Hughie Docherty, former boxing coach with Kirkintilloch Amateur Boxing Club and great friend.

I first met Hughie when I was 14 at a boxing tournament in Edinburgh, when I went to watch a friend compete.

Following that I joined the Kirky boxing club and was immediately impressed by Hughie’s enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to motivate people.

Throughout my long boxing career which extended to 19 years, including many shows both locally, nationally and internationally, Hughie coached, mentored and motivated me to exceed my expectations of how my boxing career would pan out.

Hughie showed total dedication to me and the many other young boxers who attended the boxing club throughout the years.

This has been continued by his son Hugh and present coach James Carr.

Hughie was a very modest man and very proud of the success of all of his boxers at all levels, I feel honoured and privileged to have trained under his tutelage and consider myself very lucky to have known him and his family for so long.

Hughie has had a huge impact on my life and that of many others within the community who attended the boxing club.

He had the motivational skills of Martin Luther King and patience of Gandhi and in my eyes was boxing genius.

Jim Pender

Accident waiting to happen

THE article featured in last week’s Herald (January 11) regarding the near miss to a local taxi driver from the old Co-op building, can hardly be described as a freak accident.

It was an accident waiting to happen!

It’s pretty obvious this is an unstable building located right in the centre of a busy high street just waiting to cause severe injury, if not a fatality on the next unsuspecting individual(s) who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, never mind the storms.

Reading the response from East Dunbartonshire Council, I would say this is unacceptable to say the least, not to mention what the owners of this building have reported to the Herald.

At the end of the day, it was only through good luck this taxi driver was not injured or killed by the heavy cast-iron drain pipe crashing through the car windscreen.

One has to ask, had this “freak” accident caused a death(s) would the demolition squads have arrived the very next day to blitz this building?

I believe the Health and Safety Executive would have demanded its demolition.

Phil Webb,

Alexandra Street,


Amused by councillors’ joint letter

IT was with some amusement that I read the joint letter (Kirkintilloch Herald January 4, 2012) from the three Bishopbriggs Labour councillors on East Dunbartonshire Council’s ruling administration group.

EDC’s administration group is made up of a coalition of Labour and Tory councillors whose Conservative deputy leader has decided to absent himself from the planning board’s consideration of the Bishopbriggs Town Centre Masterplan (Kirkintilloch Herald, December 28, 2011).

In their desperation to distance themselves publicly from their deputy leader’s decision, while not mentioning his name for fear of association, the Labour councillors have constructed a letter unintelligible to all but the few who are aware of the issues.

But more importantly, there are several very worrying aspects to deputy council leader Billy Hendry’s stated intention to opt out of the biggest civic decision in Bishopbriggs for a generation.

What does it say about the effectiveness of the Labour/Conservative administration in East Dunbartonshire Council when their deputy leader is allowed to go AWOL for what surely must be personal electoral reasons?

Apart from this post, Councillor Hendry is also the convener of the development and infrastructure committee, which makes him the most powerful and influential councillor in development terms in East Dunbartonshire.

It is his remit and responsibility to represent the best interests of the community in strategic development matters.

While no doubt he can choose to absent himself from these important deliberations, the question remains: “who is minding the shop?”

And if he is not prepared to carry out his duties as convener of development and infrastructure should he still hold that post?

Councillor Ian Mackay,

SNP group leader,

East Dunbartonshire Council.

Wind damage

I WRITE regarding the letter in last week’s Herald (January 11) complaining about bins being emptied on Tuesday January 3.

The damage was already done before the binmen arrived.

I don’t know where the writer lives, but we were woken at 7am that morning by the sound of the contents of bins and recycling boxes being strewn around the street by the gales, and the sight of broken glass, cans and paper everywhere throughout the surrounding gardens.

We weigh the lid of our recycling box down with a brick, but this was no match for the force of the wind that day, and we returned our bins to the back of our house until the bin lorry appeared about an hour later, by which time several of our neighbours’ bins and boxes had completely disappeared around the corner and were piled up against the fence at the perimeter of a local primary school.

At least the binmen were attempting to get rid of as much rubbish as they could, working in quite appalling conditions where they must have been at risk of being blown off their feet on several occasions.

Where the correspondent thinks might have been a secure place to leave the empty bins defies belief.

Short of taking them indoors, there really was no such option.

Meg Macpherson,


Town hall support

WE in the Town Hall Preservation Trust are grateful for the many letters of support in the Kirky Herald and indeed to the Herald too, for the generous use of space in arguing our case.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised at the lack of real support from the council which, after all, started with Strathkelvin and has been made worse by East Dunbarton council.

In all these years, it must be hard, nay probably impossible, to recall or record a time when a local member, any local member, actually raised the subject in committee or council to strongly plead the town hall’s case for retention and preservation.

Despite months of trying to discuss or negotiate the subject we have been constantly put off with almost exactly the words used by the council’s spokesperson, Grace Irvine, who at least ‘’acknowledges comments’’ and says ‘’the situation remains the same and the council is still considering the updated condition survey report received in December’’ . . . which really means there was a (much) earlier report which was shelved because it scared the living daylights out of them; and which indicates the council’s outrageous responsibility for letting the building become what it is now.

What is likely to happen is this not so new ‘’town centre master plan’’ will suggest total commercialisation of the town centre and the demolition of the town hall for it to be replaced by a two-penny-halfpenny community thing so that ALL the council members and their overbearing officials might say ‘’our conscience is clear’’.

Clear my foot, and Kirky folks would do well to remember the town hall’s fate in May’s local election and treat those standing again as they dealt with the town hall.

Charles Gray,

Moray Place,


Praise for EDC roads department

(Re Nitty Gritty Herald letters, January 11).

I read this letter in disbelief as I live on Auchinairn Road and was pleasantly surprised to find not only the road cleared and gritted, but a footpath cleared on the Bishopbriggs side of the main road before 9am in the morning.

I took my car out and noted on my journey that one pavement right down Woodhill Road and along Park Crescent into Park Road had been gritted along with the road.

Credit is due to Bishopbriggs roads department for their hard work as I also note that the Glasgow side of the pavements are never cleared.

Details supplied

Flooding outrage

NOW that the ice has cleared from our footpaths and roads in the Greens area and flooded into the kids’ play area, where the seagulls and the odd swan come to swim, I wonder if council officials would like to take a boat trip, or maybe they could give us a water pump like Bishopbriggs.

It must be quite a sight from the councillors’ lounge in Tom Johnston House to see Loch Parkburn.

In case they don’t know where that is, it is just at the back of the council head quarters in Kirkintilloch.

This flooding has been happening for three plus months.

I hope they send out environmental services to decontaminate the play area before they let children play there.

The Loaning walkway, or assault course as people are calling it, is also a disgrace.

Surely the money saved from cleaning and brushing the football pitch and play area should be enough to do this task - I hope.

T. Cairney,

Parkburn Avenue.

Thank you

MAY I say a big thank you to the S5 and S6 St Ninian’s High School pupils for inviting us to the senior citizens lunch on December 15, 2011.

The lunch was attended by 64 seniors from the surrounding districts and churches.

We were served with refreshments followed by a two-course hot meal

The pupils and deputy head teacher then entertained us with a variation of classical music played on the piano. The school choir sang Christmas carols and we all joined in.

The afternoon continued with six games of bingo, with first class prizes.

The day was topped off with a monetary gift to all the senior citizens.

The lunch is held every year and is organised by deputy head Gerry Maxwell.

The S5 and S6 pupils fundraise to help finance the event.The school and parents should be very proud of the pupils. They were well presented, very mannerly, cheerful and courteous the whole afternoon.

A big thank you to you all form 64 very grateful senior citizens.

Kirky Pensioner

Hospital plea

AS a regular reader of your columns I have been following with interest the continuing story concerning the lack of chemotherapy services at the new ambulatory care and diagnostic centre (ACAD) at Stobhill. The geographical areas of Glasgow south, served by the Victoria Infirmary ACAD, and Glasgow north/north east, served by the Stobhill ACAD, are broadly comparable, as are the respective populations within these areas.

Given those facts, surely it is entirely justifiable for the question to be put to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as to why there are no chemotherapy services available at the Stobhill ACAD compared to the Victoria ACAD and for them to be required to provide a coherent and full explanation as to how and why that policy decision was made.

I look forward to hearing from Mr Calderwood, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, giving the reasons for the current unsatisfactory situation, which to many onlookers, I have to say, appears inexplicable.

Ian W. Thomson,


Town centre

I AM becoming both bemused and confused by the continuing debate around the re-development of Bishopbriggs town centre.

It is important to remember professional planners are employed by councils to draw up area plans providing a mix of developments. These are approved both by local councillors and the Scottish Government. Planning proposals are supposed to be consistent with approved plans.

Morrisons, as I understand it, have both purchased the high school site and have outline planning permission to build a new superstore – presumably consistent with the Local Plan. They are not going to substitute that for a “rain forest” or any other bizarre development. They have suggested a Community Hub.

Commendable, but who is going to finance and run it long term? My major concern is that access via South Crosshill Road is a non-starter. It is also important to remember that Derwent own the town centre site and will want an income to replace the rent they lose when Morrisons move out.

We have three groups pontificating on this matter – namely Bishopbriggs Community Council, Community Champions and soon-to-be Community Champions 2 who wish to go back to square one and employ an architect to redesign I know not what.

Elected members are also jumping in. Jo Swinson, my Lib Dem MP, will join whatever group is “flavour of the month”.

Anne McNair (SNP), one of my local councillors, wants a Westerhill Hub for car parking. Fine, but where do they go after the cars are parked? My sympathies here are with fellow residents who live near the railway station and are blitzed with commuter cars during the working week.

Another of my local councillors Una Walker has joined with her fellow Bishopbriggs Labour councillors to remind us of their statutory role as members of the planning board. They are forbidden to take a decision in advance but can listen to representations.

The “elephant in the room” is my third local councillor Billy Hendry (Conservative), ostensibly a member of the same planning board, but who appears to be jumping ship and joining Community Champions 2.

Lastly there is my invisible MSP, Fiona Mcleod (SNP), who appears to have offered nothing through your pages. Perhaps she is hoping for an appeal to the Scottish Government which saves her having to express any opinions.

I now gather we are having a community walkabout, perhaps followed by a candlelit procession! You could not make this up!

James McAleese,



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