Readers’ letters

What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – I recently had to go into Monklands Hospital for a minor surgical procedure. As we normally only hear negative comments, I felt it was only fair to let you know how well I was treated.

The whole experience from the receptionist to the surgeon was very professional and I felt comfortable and confident throughout. Yes, I had to wait, but I know I am not the only person on the planet who was in need of the skill and expertise of the surgeon and his team that day.

I think we all need to wake up and realise we should be proud to have this hospital on our doorstep. Do we hear about all the lives saved from life threatening illness, or the people who are brought back from the brink of potentially fatal injuries as the result of accidents or pointless violence? No, these things are all taken for granted.

Let us all now celebrate the good things and stop talking about negative issues. After all it is a hospital, not a hotel. – Yours etc.,

Mrs VIVIEN WADDELL

The Village,

Cumbernauld

Carers Week

Sir, – Carers Week starts today with the launch of new research which reveals that almost 80 per cent of carers are worried about the proposed cuts to services and almost half don’t know how they will cope as the axe falls on some of the support they rely on.

A survey to find out what The True Face of Carers is shows that too many people are struggling with not only their caring responsibilities, but also worries about money, health and cuts to vital support services. They are saving the UK billions of pounds. It’s time to give something back.

The Princess Royal Trust Carers’ Centres across the UK and Scotland provide vital support to carers and young carers. This help includes one-to-one emotional support, help to access the welfare services and benefits they are entitled to, respite and the chance to meet others in the same position. And yet cuts to services threaten the funding of those centres and the continuation of that vital support.

Carers Week is committed to highlighting and celebrating the incredible contribution that carers make, sharing the challenges overcome as well as those still being faced. We are campaigning for greater support and recognition for carers and informing those who are unaware of the services and benefits they are entitled to.

For information about the help available for carers, visit www.carersweek.org – Yours etc.,

FLORENCE BURKE

Director for Scotland for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers

Why Kilsyth?

Sir, – In response to the recent article about North Lanarkshire Council’s proposal to introduce parking charges, I feel the need to ask why?

After reading “The Town Centre and station car park final report 2008” made available at Fleming House, I’m at a loss as to why Kilsyth has been included in this proposal.

The report by Faber Maunsell/AECOM indicates on page 61 point 4:6 that the official total of available parking bays shown by council signage understates the actual capacity available. They go on to say the overall impression reported by staff carrying out surveys was that demand for parking capacity at Kilsyth was relatively low. The official figures show that at the busiest time during the monitoring period 180 bays were in use out of a total of 214 official bays. It was also noted that in the area denoted as Airdrie Road Ref: points 160 and 165, there was a high turnover. Thus indicating that these parking bays are not being used for long stay parking.

One of the parking problems highlighted in North Lanarkshire’s local transport strategy 2010 is congestion brought about in Town Centres caused by commuters. Kilsyth is not mentioned in this document in relation to parking problems. Why then does North Lanarkshire Council feel the need to impose these new parking measures on the town centre of Kilsyth? This can surely have nothing but a negative impact on local business and increase the cost of shopping locally to a population already hit hard by present economic constraints.

I would urge all elected members of the council and the parliaments to back the people of Kilsyth and oppose any introduction of parking charges. This may be difficult for new MSP Mark Griffin as he was vice convener of the committee who put forward these proposals in January, but surely the wellbeing of the town of Kilsyth must come first. – Yours etc.,

EDDIE COYLE

29 Backbrae Street

Kilsyth

Heroes Return II

Sir, – I am writing to you on behalf of World War II veterans who, due to a lack of advertising, may not have been aware that in 2010 financial grants, Heroes Return II, were available from the Big Lottery Fund to enable veterans, male or female, to pay a visit of remembrance to the theatre of war that they were involved in.

It appears that the number of veterans claiming these grants were far less than anticipated resulting in these grants being extended to December 31, 2012. It would be extremely helpful if you can find space in your newspaper to make these details known so that veterans, who will now be aged 80 and over, may still take advantage of these grants and plan a visit.

The grants range from £150 to cover travel and accommodation for veteran, spouse and carer, within the UK, £1,300 to Northern Europe and £5,500 to the Far East.

These grants are also available to widows and widowers of veterans.

As I have received a grant for a visit I made last December, I would be more than willing to advise any of your readers on how and where to claim.

It would also be most helpful, and if you have time and space, to reproduce this letter on your web edition. – Yours etc.,

TED CACHART

Chairman of the 49 Squadron Association

Tel: 01773 853 181

email: ted@49squadron.co.uk

Come clean on cuts

Sir, – In recent years Cumbernauld has suffered from the loss of important public services including closure of our schools and nurseries. Currently we are fighting against North Lanarkshire Council’s savage cuts to our essential services due to the cuts budget they passed last year.

Meanwhile, NHS Lanarkshire appears to be quietly planning to close all but one of the practice treatment rooms in our Health Centres across Cumbernauld. Those threatened includes treatment rooms in our Health Centres in Abronhill, Kildrum, Condorrat and Craigmarloch, as well as Central and Kenilworth. These treatment rooms provide an essential back up to the already overstretched GP Service.

NHS Lanarkshire in their Review of the Treatment Room Service-Engagement Paper, state that this will streamline services. However it is difficult not to conclude that this exercise really appears to be a cost saving exercise at the expense of Cumbernauld’s most vulnerable residents. With only 32 per cent car ownership in Cumbernauld, it is hard to see how a centralised service will be of benefit to the elderly and disabled, particularly as any new service will be likely to be miles from their home.

Where is the genuine consultation from NHS Lanarkshire regarding these changes? The Review Group making these proposals fails to have any representation from service users on its committee and the only scheduled consultation event appears to be for stakeholders only, which again will mean that service users will not be invited. The very people likely to be affected if these proposals go through appear not to have a say.

The Scottish Socialist Party is calling on NHS Lanarkshire to come clean over their proposed cuts. The SSP has written today to NHS Lanarkshire to demand they issue a public statement in which they give greater details about these proposals, with a timetable on how it is to be implemented and explaining the opportunities that the public will be given to have their say.

The SSP meantime have started a petition supporting these demands which has already been gaining support from the public on our weekly stalls around the town. – Yours etc.,

ANDY LOCKE

Cumbernauld & Kilsyth SSP