Letters to the editor

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From our edition of February 27, 2013

Sir, – I refer to the letter in last weeks Cumbernauld News and would like to clarify some points raised by the Chair of the Condorrat Tenants and Residents Association. At no time was the Condorrat Community Council consulted about the site or construction of the train. The guidelines laid down by NLC for a Community Council is to establish the views of the community in which it serves. I can assure you we have tried to work with the CTRA without success, in that we have been told we do not have to tell you anything and they are right, we can not make them work with us but how much easier life would be if we all worked together.

As far as I can establish the Condorrat Community Council has been in existence for the past 35 years with a break from about 1994, until its re-establishment in 1997. During this time we have worked well with all other organisations without any trouble, therefore we have a good track record. I, as chairman, and my Community Councillors, must act in the best interest of the total community. To this end we have asked NLC for clarity in the role of the Community council and we await clarification on this matter as they are the land owners.

The questions the Community Council have asked is; who gave permission for the siting of the train without consulting our group; who did the safety risk assessment and who covers it for insurance as it is not covered under the Community Council insurance? We would be failing in our duty if we did not ask these questions.

Cumbernauld is unique in its design to keep pedestrians separate from traffic on the main ring roads. The planting along the ring roads serves three main purposes. One, to act as a sound barrier to deplete the noise generated by traffic and to act as a screen from the housing areas, also as a natural fence to keep people, especially children, away from the ring roads. We truly feel that this train could attract children to the road and yes, we have been trying to establish all the facts between the different parties involved in this matter. When it comes to the safety of children we apologise to no one for raising this matter. I have no intentions of discussing this matter through the press, if any one has a problem please write to me and I will deal with it accordingly.

As to how other groups conduct themselves, I cannot answer for them and CTRA should deal with them direct. – Yours etc.,

JOHN KING

Chairman Condorrat Community Council

Sir, – I note that some local Labour politicians have been blaming “SNP cuts” for all our ills. The truth is rather different. The Revenue Support Grant from the Scottish Government accounts for 85 per cent of North Lanarkshire Council’s funding.

Last year (2012-13) it totalled £591.761 million. For 2013-14 it totals £590.275 million. This is a miniscule “cut” of 0.3 per cent, or £1.486 million from North Lanarkshire’s total income (including Council Tax) of £713.487 million.

The Scottish Government’s own budget has been cut in real terms by 8 per cent over four years by the UK Government.

The origin of the cuts, of course, was the 2010 UK Labour Government. It ran up an unprecedented budget deficit of £161 billion. The interest alone on this vast sum is £120 million - EACH DAY! Which is why the current UK Tory Chancellor still has to borrow well over £10 billion each month to keep the UK afloat. Any comments on this from our local Labour stalwarts? – Yours etc.,

COUNCILLOR TOM JOHNSTON (SNP)

Ward 4 Abronhill, Kildrum & the Village