Readers’ letters

What our readers have been writing about this week

Sir, – The Friends of Burngreen Park community group would like to clarify a point which was made in your paper on September 21, in the article about the 25th anniversary of the Peace Garden in Burngreen Park, Kilsyth.

As their part of the wider community effort to mark this anniversary, the Friends Group have in fact donated 25 roses of the variety “Peace” and it is this flowerbed that the new plaque, generously donated by Kilsyth Community Council, will mark.

Because nursery stock of roses is generally not available at the time of the anniversary ceremony (September 13), the new roses will be planted at the correct time of year when plants become available (usually late October/November, weather permitting). A single specimen of the rose variety “Silver Wishes” was planted on the day to indicate to those present that the new plaque would mark a rose bed.

The story of the Peace rose is extraordinary and has resulted in it becoming one of the most popular rose varieties in the world, particularly in peace and memorial gardens. In Burngreen, its use complements the red floribunda roses “Remembrance” which are planted round the war memorial.

The Peace rose was developed by French grower Francis Meilland. In 1939, as France was being invaded by Germany, three bundles of the new, unnamed variety were sent to Italy, Germany and America. Miraculously, each survived the journey. In America, the trade name “Peace” was adopted on April 29, 1945, the day World War 2 ended in Europe.

Later that year, Peace roses were given to the delegates at the first United Nations meeting with the message: “May it help to move all men of goodwill to strive for Peace on Earth for all mankind.”

As apart of the HLF-funded Burngreen Park improvement project, the original commemorative plaque on the peace stone unveiled in 1986 has been refurbished and the response from the community at this opportunity to remember the Peace Park event of 25 years ago (which marked the 1986 United Nations Year of Peace) was tremendous.

We would like to pass on our appreciation to all those involved in the event, including council staff and local businesses, and to all those who braved the terrible weather to come along on the day. – Yours etc.,

FIONA MURDOCH

Secretary

Friends of Burngreen Park

Charity used as an excuse

Sir, – To say I was shocked and dismayed at seeing the headline news in this week’s issue of the Cumbernauld News, would be an understatement.

I’m deeply saddened to see a good charity such as CHAS being used as an excuse to allow such bigotry on Cumbernauld’s streets. Yes the money raised will help this good cause, but it is wrong to use charities as an excuse to have such marches. Glasgow has suffered for many, many years with these dreadful marches and the Glasgow Council seems unable or unwilling to curtail them. But for North Lanarkshire Council to allow such marches in the ‘new town’ because there were no responses to the online ‘notice for representations for and against’ is laughable!

The first I knew about this march was on the day of the march, October 1, 2011, but many people of this town have little or no access to a computer, or only found out like myself on the day of the march. How on earth did this Council expect people to make their views known if they didn’t know about this march in the first place? Notices should have been posted at the bus stops affected by this proposed march, and notices should have been posted in a prominent place to be seen in the town centre too, then maybe we would have had a truer idea how the people of Cumbernauld felt about having these bigoted marches going through our town.

It’s now too late to do anything about this march, the drums are beating in the distance as I type this letter out, but I hope that NLC will do better next year and ask the town folk whether they wish this kind of bigotry in Cumbernauld, or as I may suspect, to have them stopped in their tracks before they can cause any more offence to ordinary citizens of this town.

Finally, the banner below the headline said, “huge turnout expected for CHAS fund-raiser”. Well, I hope the huge turnout is not used to justify any future marches as this does not represent a true picture. Many of the walkers will not be there for the charity concerned but simply to express their bigoted views; I for one, would support the charity in any way I could – but not in this way. – Yours etc.,

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

Disgust and shock

Sir, – It was with disgust and shock that I read in this week’s News that Cumbernauld was to host a Loyalist March on Saturday, October 1.

I don’t know what’s worse, the streets and public of Cumbernauld being subjected to this sectarianism or a recognised charity being associated with it.

It’s astonishing to think that at a time when the Scottish government, police and other public groups are trying to cut down on the poor image of the West of Scotland with regards to poor social skills due to sectarianism that the council are encouraging it.

The so-called officials who allow these types of parades, whether for either side or cause, should be hanging their heads in shame.

We are now in the 21st century and are still subjected to these sectarian views about an occasion which half of them will be ignorant about.

We the good folk of Cumbernauld, indeed Scotland, should send these people back under the stone which they crawled out from and tell them to drag themselves into the 21st century.

If these marches, from whichever political or religious side of the divide, were anti-Jew, gay, lesbian or ethnic would they be allowed?

Hopefully this will be the last time such behaviour is allowed on our streets by people who should know better.

If you agree with these sentiments please feel free to let NLC, the police, the licensing board and your local MP/MSP know and put an end to these occasions.

MICHAEL COLLINS

via e-mail

Less than helpful

Sir, – The front page story of your September 21 edition caught my eye and I started reading with interest. At first I thought this was about a new development in Cumbernauld until I realised the story was actually about my area Maclehose/Ainslie Road. At first I was thrown by the presence of Jamie Hepburn in the picture as we, as a residents group who having been negotiating for two long years with Sacntuary over the impact this development will have on our existing community, have found Mr Hepburn less than helpful to our plight. I was also upset by the absence of Stevie Grant in the photo. Stevie and Tom have been so supportive in our plight. Stevie has always been at the other end of the phone, e-mail and present at our meetings supporting and advising all the way, such is his passion for this issue.

The story seemed to present a done deal which is inaccurate as Sanctuary have still to meet conditions in the plans for the existing community, namely the parking issue and this is still being negotiated. So perhaps Mr Hepburn should be best using his time to actually come and meet with us and get up to speed with the current state of affairs before he goes into self-congratulatory mode.

I would like to conclude by personally thanking Stevie for all his on-going support on behalf of our group. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have without his help. – Yours etc.,

JACQUELINE MITCHELL

Chairperson for M.A.R.G