READERS’ LETTERS

What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – I was dismayed to read the article in last week’s ‘News’ entitled “’Spruce up the Park’ plea” regarding the Rev. Frank Murray’s comments about Cumbernauld House Park, and should like to make the following observations in response to the factual inaccuracies therein:

1) Cumbernauld House Park is not owned/managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), but North Lanarkshire Council. Friends of Cumbernauld House Park are dedicated to protecting and developing the area and they have worked hard with NLC to enhance the area and have, in fact, planted trees to replace ones lost in storms or by natural wastage. They also encourage local groups and schoolchildren to plant flowers and bulbs and encourage use of the area.

2) Cumbernauld Glen (along with several other local woodland areas) is owned and managed by SWT, with the ethos that this ancient woodland should be comprised of indigenous trees and plants; the area is maintained by a (very) small staff complement who work valiantly to preserve and protect the area, even after substantial damage caused by successive severe winters and high winds. Local group Friends of Cumbernauld Glen respect this ethos and aim to work with SWT to help protect and preserve the area – to date we have reinstated a hedgerow edging the path to Wardpark, planted several hundred trees, worked to reinstate a wildflower meadow, organised regular litter picks and run many free events for local people. I often meet folk when walking around the Glen who have commented on the beauty of the area and how pleasant it is to walk there.

It could be that Rev. Murray’s memory of the Glen is when it was full of non-native rhododendrons and that perhaps this is the effect he remembers – I don’t know anything about the yew trees referred to, either in the Glen or the Park, and am not sure which “old footpath” he means, but the Glen is certainly much loved by many local people who want to see it preserved for future generations.

As for the Dovecote, this was fully restored three years ago thanks to SWT and is looking resplendent, especially when surounded by bluebells.

I would hope that the above would help to set the record straight and not deter people from using the beautiful local assets of Cumbernauld Glen and Cumbernauld House Park. – Yours, etc.,

KAREN MORRISON Chairwoman

Friends of Cumbernauld Glen

Not fully prepared

Sir, – The decision reportedly taken by Mark Griffin MSP (Kilsyth Chronicle, May 18, 2011) to continue his activities within North Lanarkshire Council whilst also fulfilling his duties as a Member of the Scottish Parliament indicate a rather naive understanding of what the electorate expect of the holder of either office.

If the decision was actually his own and not one imposed on him to avoid a local council election, it suggests that he thinks that both sets of responsibilities can be carried out successfully on a part time basis. This somewhat immature attitude is perhaps understandable in a young man thrown so recently and so prematurely into mainstream politics, but surely he should have received better advice from more experienced Labour party colleagues.

Doubtless Mr Griffin will have many opportunities in the future to demonstrate his political prowess, but at present it would appear that he is not fully prepared for the position in which he finds himself. – Yours etc.,

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

Cumbernauld’s got talent

Sir, – I have just returned from Cumbernauld’s got talent finals in Cumbernauld Community Park and I cannot believe what I witnessed. Correct me if I am wrong but my interpretation of a final event is for the winners of the auditions (which took place in Westerwood Hotel) to go forward and be judged on their performance on the day of the final, however that is not how things work in Cumbernauld.

What happens here is that these finalists get all their families to come along to the Community Park Fun day and pay an admission fee to see their, daughter, son, grand-daughter, nieces nephew etc. perform; only to discover that the actual judging took place on their performance at the auditions.

The reason was because the act who won the over sixteen trophy did not turn up to sing at the final event. I believe your editor was one of the judges along with Michelle McManus who was not at the final either.

Could someone please explain to me how this can be deemed fair to all of the 13 acts who turned up to perform on the day?

My husband and I had been watching my grandson’s football tournament at Ravenswood Park and left early to support our grand-daughter at the Cumbernauld’s Got Talent. If I had known it had been judged previously I would have been able to stay and see my grandson’s team win the tournament for his age group. – Yours etc.,

LILIAN BRAIDEN

Cumbernauld Village

Disappointed and angry

Sir, – I am writing with regards to the coverage of the Cumbernauld’s Got Talent competition at the Fun in the Park day.

My daughter auditioned at Westerwood for Cumbernauld’s Got Talent then attended as a finalist at Cumbernauld’s Fun in the Park day today. She took a day off work to attend as did her boyfriend Ryan only to discover the winners had been picked prior to the event! This was confirmed by the female organiser of the event when I spoke to her. The winner of the over 16’s category didn’t even show up!

Had we known she was not even a contender to win she and her boyfriend would not have taken the day off work losing a day’s pay. I am so disappointed and angry about this. There were many youngsters who forked out money for costumes and also spent lots of time preparing. What a let down for them.

We had approximately 20 family and friends there to support her on the day (all who paid the £1 entrance fee). Myself and my husband had to choose between attending our son’s football final at the Carbrain Football Tournament or our daughters final in the Cumbernauld’s Got Talent competition and we chose the latter in case she won. We feel it was a complete farce and are so disappointed in the way this was dealt with. – Yours etc.,

Mrs LILIAN FLEMING

South Carbrain, Cumbernauld

The editor writes: I can assure readers that the judging process was completely above board. The winner was unwell with tonsilitis and could not perform on the day. See our report, centre pages.