What our readers have been writing about this week.
Sir, – We have all read repeatedly about the laughable disorganisation around the construction and implementation of the neon waves that adorn our roundabout bankings at either end of our main road to and from the town centre and about the cost of the project that has yet to deliver something that we can all marvel at for its beauty.
Apart from the fact that most people disapprove of this spend of close to a million pounds, I think our councils who approved this project should take a good look at their commercial acumen and business sense. Value for money in construction this is definitely not. I have been involved in managing a complex building project which has constructed a 1200 square metre building and a further 2000 square metres of concreted industrial yard space. All of this was built on land that had to be filled and raised by up to 2.5 metres. Demolition of an existing building and concrete apron on which it stood with recycling of all the materials, 100+ tons of new steel work. Hundreds of cubic metres of concrete, electrical installation for significant amounts of lighting, drainage construction, decorative retaining walls, fencing, security cameras, new windows in the existing property and a number of improvements to the original building.
All this for a final price of less than our neon waves and completed in 20 weeks. In fact enough price difference to go buy a nice luxury car and still be cheaper. This has prompted me to ask how we go about paying such a price, as previously published, for our lights and metal plates that are supposed to visually transform our approach roads to our town centre. I’d say that there is a certain disparity in what councils are prepared to pay for construction works and what can be negotiated by companies not under the umbrella of the public purse.
I’d say that either our council leaders have no idea about value in this field or they are victim to the long rumoured cartel bidding systems that have been spoken about in many a pub conversation for many years. Apparently, how it supposedly worked was that those bidding all work together to ensure their bids are all high and I have been told that there has even been under the table agreements between contractors to agree whose bid will win which contract. I’m sure these rumoured situations can’t really exist in today’s world, can they?
Come on guys. It looks like you need to appoint someone knowledgable who can be aggressive in ensuring we get real value for OUR money in your many spending ventures. – Yours etc.,
In praise of St. Maurice’s
Sir, – During the last two weeks I have attended several Cumbernauld schools and watched youngsters performing in their annual musical concerts and receiving awards for their achievements in school exams and sports or other activities. Undoubtedly today’s children have more opportunities to capitalise and personally benefit than during my school years.
I was extremely pleased to see children from St. Maurice’s High School taking part in revitalising and improving their own area, for example in planting the wild meadows in St. Maurice’s pond site and designing bird and bat boxes and getting involved in designing and working with a team of designers from Bigg Design and Zero-waste design in completing the underpass at Craiglinn roundabout project, costing £30,000 funded by North Lanarkshire Council’s regeneration programme. This is a fantastic project. The underpass is unrecognisable from the dark and dismal place it was before. Now it is illuminated by 170 light bulbs. It has become the spectacular sight now greeting people using the underpass. I must give my sincere thanks to pupils and teachers of St. Maurice’s school for their contributions and hard work and high achievements.
Sir, – First of all I would like to raise concerns regarding the work that was carried out on the roundabout at Seafar!
I noticed last year that the Council, or should I saw the cowboys, replaced what was meant to be new trees only for more new trees that seem to need replaced yet again. I counted at least nine needing replaced. Why are they dying? Half of them seem to be dead. Why can’t these cowboys do their job properly? NLC seem to neglect our town at an alarming rate.
Also, why is the damaged bridge at this roundabout still not fixed? This bridge was damaged way before Christmas, due to a construction vehicle crashing into it - the vehicle that was carrying the materials that were to enhance the roundabout! It’s an eyesore on the approach to our town centre. I lost faith and believe the people of Cumbernauld feel the same about our poor council. I long for the day they are ousted.
Wizard was outstanding
Sir, – I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Greenfaulds High School have done it again.
Their version of the Wizard of Oz was outstanding and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
The pupils and the staff have to be congratulated on their hard work that showed up in their performance. Well done and I look forward to next year’s show.
I thought that I would write this ode,
On behalf of the residents from Rennie Road,
Who appreciate the efforts all these folk have made,
By adopting our land and advising unpaid.
Councillor Jean Jones, who has devoted her time,
In trying to sort out this dispute o’er time,
It’s lasted around maybe ten years or so,
I’m sure she’ll be happy to now let it go.
Martin Dickson, who regenerates all in our town,
He’s offered to take over and won’t let us down,
We have witnessed already the start of repairs,
The cutting of grass and the mending of stairs.
Jim Gibson the lawyer, who kept us right legally,
He gave his advice then said it was free,
In technical terms “he sure knew his stuff”,
In advising what we needed, was more than enough.
David Graham who then highlighted our plight,
Gave an accurate story, with all of his might,
The roving reporter with his pen and his pad,
Took all of the details that were making us sad.
We would like to say thanks to each one of you,
For what you have done, or about to do,
The gratitude coming from the heart we extend,
As our hopes for this matter, has now come to an end.
On behalf of the residents