Readers’ letters

What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – On behalf of The Royal Air Forces Association, Cumbernauld Branch, may we express our sincere thanks to the people of Cumbernauld and district for their generosity during our annual Battle of Britain Wings Appeal charity collection.

We would also like to thank the managements and staff of the Antonine Centre, TESCO Extra, Town Centre Phase 1 and 2 and Phase 4 for their assistance and encouragement during our collecting period.

Last but not least, we are indebted to the officers and cadets of Cumbernauld 2496 Squadron ATC for their capable support in helping to make this a most successful appeal. – Yours etc.,

BILL GREEN

Wings Appeal Organiser RAFA

The price you pay

Sir, – Further to Ms Campbell’s letter in last week’s edition, regarding parents picking their children up from Greenfaulds High School during the recent wet and windy weather. Ms Campbell should know all the facts before making comments. A lot of the pupils at Greenfaulds live quite far from the school and the council only give bus passes for children living two miles from the school. This can make it quite expensive for parents to provide bus travel for maybe two or three kids twice a day, so it’s cheaper and easier to pick them up.

A lot of the paths around Cumbernauld are quite unsafe, going through underpasses, woods etc to get to, for example, Eastfield, particularly on a wet and windy day. People will always drop off and pick up their kids from school and that is the price you pay for buying a house near a school! – Yours etc.,

K. PARK

via e-mail

Bin charge is excessive

Sir, – On Wednesday, September 14, we put our refuse bin out for collection in accordance with council rules. These bins have to be taken to a collection point to be emptied, so they can be left there for several hours after being emptied.

On returning home at approximately 12.15pm our bin had vanished. After a search of the area it was not found. I phoned the council to report the loss and was told we had to pay £50 for a replacement. Can the council explain to me, and all other house owners whom they tell to put their bins out, and which are left on the kerbside for hours by their employees, i.e. under the council’s rules, how any house owners can possibly be held responsible and told they have to pay £50 for bins left unattended, because the council does not allow them to be returned to the owner’s property? Hence leaving them open to theft etc.

I understand council residences don’t have to pay for a replacement. We all pay council tax, although I am sure house owners would be willing to pay an amount towards loss etc., but not £50. Quite excessive. – Yours etc.,

JOHN McCAFFERTY

Chairman Lilac Neighbourhood Watch

Abronhill

Credit Unions offer a realistic alternative

Sir, – Residents in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth who are becoming increasingly frustrated with the tarnished High Street banks have been given a lifeline as new legislation comes into force next year, allowing credit unions to offer a realistic alternative for those looking for competitive savings, loans and mortgages.

Credit unions, previously thought of as the poor man’s bank, will now be put on a level playing field with the traditional banking sector as the new legislation opens up membership outwith their immediate geographical base. As such, an increasing proportion of the general public will be eligible to join the credit union of their choice, instead of the one that serves their local area.

As the largest credit union in the UK, we here at Glasgow Credit Union have already seen membership increase by almost 50 per cent since the start of the banking crisis in 2008 as consumers increasingly look for safer, more secure alternatives to the mainstream financial service providers. We now have over 27,000 members either living or working in the G postcode area and are expecting this number to dramatically increase over the next couple of years.

In addition, the new rules will allow credit unions to pay interest on savings for the first time, as opposed to dividends, delivering a further boost to consumers seeking highly competitive financial products.

Unlike banks, credit unions are responsible to our customers and not external shareholders. With no shareholders to satisfy, we can share our profits with our customers or reinvest to give them better service and returns.

Even the consumer guide Which? has cottoned on to the challenge credit unions are now mounting. They’ve recently launched a 60 second guide to credit unions, aimed at helping consumers make more informed financial decisions. – Yours etc.,

PAUL McFARLANE

Head of operations

Glasgow Credit Union

Beat the deadline for World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Sir, – A leading cancer charity is urging people in North Lanarkshire to get in touch as soon as possible to beat the deadline to register for its biggest fundraising event.

So far 39 participants in North Lanarkshire have signed up to take part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The charity is delighted at the fantastic response from local people but is hoping even more people will sign up to take part in the event on September 30.

Macmillan’s fundraising manager in North Lanarkshire, Elsie Riley said: “We are really grateful to everyone who has signed up to hold a coffee morning for Macmillan so far.

“Their support is very much appreciated and we hope they have a fantastic time at their event.

“However we want people to know there is still time to sign up to hold a coffee morning and help us raise more money than ever before.”

Macmillan, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, aims to raise around £8.5m from the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning across the UK, with £10,000 of that coming from North Lanarkshire.

The official event day is Friday, September 30, but Macmillan says it is happy for people to hold their coffee morning on a day that suits them.

Fundraiser Elsie Riley added: “If you can’t do it on September 30 then just pick another day, if you’re not keen on coffee and would rather have cocktails or even herbal tea then that’s fine as well.

“All that matters is that you take part and help Macmillan make this year’s coffee morning the biggest ever.

“Every pound raised matters and helps us fund our fantastic local services including four palliative care professionals at St Andrews Hospice in Airdrie, three nurses at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie and 11 home care nurses in nearby Strathcarron Hospice in Denny.”

Those who can’t hold their own coffee morning are being urged to get along to one of the public coffee mornings being held in North Lanarkshire including:

Baillieston St. Andrews, Bredisholm Road, Baillieston, Glasgow on September 30 at 10am.

To find a local coffee morning or register to host one visit: www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee or call 0845 070 1315. – Yours etc.,

ELSIE RILEY

Macmillan Fundraising Manager

Searching for war veterans

Sir, – I have been interviewing Second World War veterans from a Brigade of the 15th Scottish Division for the last seven years. The clock is against me, but I am trying to track down any possible surviving veterans to record their wartime memories before it is too late. My interviews have taken me as far as Montreal, Canada. It is a self motivated project, something I enjoy very much and is more than just a hobby.

If you served in 44 Brigade of the 15th Scottish Division in the Second World War or know of someone who did, I would like to hear from you. Units in this Brigade include: 6th Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers, 8th Bn. Royal Scots, 6th Bn. Kings Own Scottish Borderers, 15th Reconnaissance Regiment, 194 Field Ambulance R.A.M.C., 181st Field Regiment R.A., 1st Bn. The Middlesex Regiment. – Yours etc.,

WILLIAM D. GORMAN

18a North Main Street

Wigtown

Newton Stewart

DG8 9HL

e-mail: wgorman@hotmail.com

Try a tasty pheasant

Sir, – October 1 is the official start of the pheasant shooting season.

As the season gets underway, there will be plenty of affordable, locally-sourced and tasty game meat available. Try a tasty pheasant casserole or ask your butcher about venison.

Game meat is becoming increasingly popular and independent market researcher Mintel predicts UK sales will reach £84 million this year. The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), works all year round to encourage people to try game meat, which is healthy and highly nutritious.

Shoot providers spend £250 million a year on conservation and shooting is involved in the management of two thirds of the rural land area. People who shoot put in 2.7 million work days on conservation projects every year.

For more information and some easy game recipes, visit www.basc.org.uk

DEBBIE COLLINS

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation

Marford Mill

Rossett

Wrexham