Readers’ letters

What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – Readers of the Cumbernauld News may recall my two previous letters regarding NHS Lanarkshire’s threatened closure of seven practice treatment rooms based in health centres throughout Cumbernauld.

In continuing to pursue this issue I attended NHS Lanarkshire’s Annual Review held in Hamilton and chaired by Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health.

In response to my questions the NHS board confirmed that following a range of opposition from various sources, including the Scottish Socialist Party, it is likely they will recommended that four practice treatment rooms would remain in some form within the town.

While this is a welcome development which highlights what can be done when a community stands up to defend its public services it should be remembered this is still only a proposal requiring approval by the NHS board.

It also means NHS Lanarkshire still intends to close the practice treatment room at Kildrum Health Centre with a negative impact on the surrounding community, particularly for older people and the disabled. This must be opposed.

The Scottish Socialist Party will continue, along with others, to show our opposition to the threatened closure of this essential public service. – Yours etc., 

ANDY LOCKE

Branch Secretary

Scottish Socialist Party

Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Branch

RNIB seek help

Sir – I write to ask for your assistance to help RNIB raise awareness in your local area. There are two million people in the UK living with sight loss and RNIB provides practical and emotional support to blind and partially sighted people.

We want to raise awareness of the work that we do and are seeking to recruit volunteers who have knowledge of their local town to put up posters and distribute leaflets around libraries, community centres, local shops and other public buildings which will permit us to advertise in their premises.

Our first task is to promote our Read for RNIB Day on October 14, 2011, so we need people to join with us early/mid September. Volunteers will be asked to commit to one day per week, getting out and about, chatting to shop owners, and securing a space on notice boards and leaflet displays. We will not ask anyone to hand out leaflets to the public in the streets.

Full training will be given and travel expenses will be reimbursed.

If any of your readers would like to support us or wish more information we would be grateful if they call our volunteering team on 0845 603 0575 or email volunteering@rnib.org.uk. Thank you. – Yours etc.,

ELMA MAGOWAN

Community Fundraising Executive – RNIB Scotland

Animal Aid is urging a boycott

Sir – Some medical research charities that conduct appallingly cruel animal experiments are receiving millions of pounds every year in donations from the public. This is despite the fact that a new NOP opinion poll shows that 82 per cent of people would not knowingly give to a medical research or health charity that funds animal research. How can this be? The only answer is that the public is being kept in the dark about the nature of the research these charities are funding.

Animal Aid’s recent campaign, at the heart of which is a scientific report, Victims of Charity, reveals that charity-funded researchers have deliberately damaged monkeys’ brains with toxic chemicals, slowly and systematically destroyed the hearts of dogs, and injected mice with cancerous tissue. The report’s authors conclude that laboratory experiments on animals produce information that cannot be reliably applied to human medicine – and can even be dangerously misleading.

Animal Aid is urging people to boycott all charities that conduct or fund cruel and unreliable animal research. Readers can contact Animal Aid for a free list of charities and their vivisection policies at info@animalaid.org.uk or on 01732 364546. – Yours etc.,

ANDREW TYLER

Director

Animal Aid

The Old Chapel

Bradford Street

Tonbridge

Kent TN9 1AW

Residents somewhat bemused

Sir – In response to the article in last week’s Kilsyth Chronicle over housebuilding at the Wellshot, I fail to see how the community council arrived at the conclusion that the residents of the Wellshot had ‘no issues’ with plans to build houses in the area. There are five properties in the Wellshot Lane, and all five objected to the Scottish Government as they were advised to do in the letters recently sent out to their residences. There was no mention in the information sent out about community council discussions nor any information dating back 18 months. These letters were the first pieces of information received by the residents at Wellshot.

You would think that with only five properties being sited on Wellshot Lane, the community council may have sought to contact the residents for their opinions prior to speaking incorrectly on their behalf at a public meeting. The residents were blissfully unaware their opinions were being formed for them and are somewhat bemused with the community council misrepresenting them on this matter.

Whilst the idea of a community council is excellent and its objectives commendable, one that does not consult the very people that it claims to represent is not functioning correctly, nor should it carry more sway than individual objections if it cannot gather then convey the correct information at public meetings. – Yours etc.,

JOHN RAFFERTY

Westview

Howe Road

Kilsyth

G65 9ED