Readers’ letters

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What our readers have been writing about this week

Sir, - It was interesting to read Labour apologist John Cullen’s recent endorsement of Mark Griffin’s two jobs as a councillor and MSP. In particular I noted his pride in Mark’s activities as a politician. However, the facts behind John’s spin present a different story.

Mark was appointed to the Campsies Board supposedly to help regenerate our desolate town centre. In reality he participated in a scheme to divert attention away from its condition. This also involved threatening fellow board members Councillor Willie Homer and I with legal action for not publicly endorsing their insulting plan.

He also promised support to keep St. Francis School in Westfield open. However, along with the rest of his Labour colleagues he then reneged on his word and voted to have it closed. All the more heinous as his own area benefited from the closure and yet he refused to declare an interest at the council.

He was also our local representative on the SPT board responsible for the withdrawal of bus services from Croy railway station. The loss of these services impacted heavily on Cumbernauld, Croy and Kilsyth. Our alleged “representative” didn’t even have the decency to vote against it. Obviously he was happy to participate in the photo opportunities though.

Yes John, all in all Mark Griffin is just the latest Labour politician who says one thing in public, does another behind closed doors and then turns up to take the credit for the work of others. You seriously feel these are the actions of someone to be proud of? – Yours, etc.,

ALAN O’BRIEN

SNP Councillor

Cumbernauld North

A break for carers

Sir, – Did your readers know that there are currently 750,000 people with Alzheimer’s or dementia in the UK? This number is set to rise to over a million people with dementia within 10 years.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a lonely, stressful experience. The feeling of disconnection is hardest to bear. There may be precious moments of clarity, when memories return and the years roll away, but for the most part carers have to watch their loved ones drifting slowly away.

So many carers are in desperate need of respite, but opportunities to be relieved of the caring role for even a short time are few and far between. Over a third of carers have never been able to take a break since they started caring.

I work for a charity called Vitalise. Each year many thousands of people with disabilities and carers enjoy desperately-needed breaks with us at our accessible respite break centres around the UK.

We regularly have special weeks for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their partners. Relieved of all their care worries, carers can regain their strength and restore a loving connection with their spouses. They tell us that their breaks with us often make the difference between coping and despair.

If you or someone you care about is affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia and you would like to know more about our special Alzheimer’s and dementia Weeks, please call 0845 345 1970 or email bookings@vitalise.org.uk. – Yours, etc.,

COLIN BROOK

Vitalise

www.vitalise.org.uk

Digital switchover

Sir, - Digital TV switchover in Scotland is now complete, extending coverage and choice to an extra one million viewers.

We would like to thank everyone who helped make the transition to digital television successful. Engineers upgraded more than 200 transmitters across Scotland. Local retailers and installers, housing providers, charities and an army of relatives, friends and good neighbours all played their part in helping people go digital. It really was a community effort.

More than 115,000 eligible people in Scotland have so far contacted the BBC-run Switchover Help Scheme to take up the practical help that’s been offered to them.

The scheme remains open for eligible people living in the STV Central TV region until July 22. For information about Help Scheme eligibility you can phone 0800 40 85 900 or visit helpscheme.co.uk.

We advise readers to continue retuning their Freeview equipment occasionally to make sure they receive the latest services. Anyone needing general advice about switchover can still get in touch with Digital UK’s advice line on 08456 50 50 50, or visit digitaluk.co.uk. – Yours, etc.,

PAUL HUGHES

National manager, Scotland

Digital UK

LUKE McCULLOUGH

National manager, Scotland

Switchover Help Scheme