READERS’ LETTERS

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What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – This Remembrance Sunday, as our thoughts turn to the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces, I would ask your readers to spare a moment for the remarkable men and women of the Royal Air Force.

Today the RAF is deployed worldwide, defending our skies at home and supporting our troops in Afghanistan, as well as playing a vital role in toppling the tyrannical regime of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.

Seventy years ago the RAF was just as stretched, flying to defend the UK, Malta, Egypt, and the Atlantic supply lines. Like their successors they also fought to defeat a tyrant regime. By then we had won the Battle of Britain, but bomber missions over Hitler’s Germany during November 1941 were hazardous in the extreme, with crews suffering a loss rate of around ten percent.

The RAF Benevolent Fund was on hand then and is still here today, supporting all generations of the Royal Air Force, including those currently serving. Our mission is to honour their sacrifice by looking after the RAF family, helping to repay what Winston Churchill called the ‘Debt We Owe’ to all RAF personnel.

At this time of giving thanks I would urge anyone with a Royal Air Force background who is in need of help or support to contact our free advice line on 0800 169 2942 or via our website: www.rafbf.org

You can also find out ways of getting involved with our work. We receive no government funding and could not do what we do without the magnificent support we receive from the RAF and general public. – Yours etc.,

AIR MARSHAL SIR ROBERT WRIGHT Controller, RAF Benevolent Fund

Extra trains will not stop at Croy

Sir, – Your Kilsyth Chronicle front page report, “Rail Work Wrangle”, of November 2 concerning the public meeting in Croy Miners Welfare incorrectly states that the Croy to Edinburgh service would be upped to six trains per hour – this is not accurate.

The Glasgow to Edinburgh Service will be upped to the six trains, the additional two trains per hour will not stop at Croy – which means that if commuters wishing to travel on one of these extra trains they will have to travel to Glasgow and change there.

The consultation process has so far done nothing to explain to the Barbegs residents – where there are over 200 houses, not to mention the houses on the south side of the line at Hopepark Drive – the length of time that work will be in progress, working practices, through the night working, the levels of disruption when the new bridge is being built, or how much material will be removed and how much transported in.

Concerns were raised by residents, where in some cases the new infill banking will be 20 metres from their homes, as to the effect this will have on the value of their property. No answer was forthcoming.

Network Rail say that only those affected by compulsory purchase order will be compensated.

Local politicians for both north and south of the station were conspicuous by their absence. Other points which were raised, particularly the impending charges for parking by North Lanarkshire Council, may have had a bearing on this. – Yours etc.,

PAT JOHNSTONE

Member of Barbegs Area Residents Association

Impressed by firework display

Sir, – I have just returned from the fireworks display put on by NLC at Broadwood and must admit I am very impressed.

I was at the Glasgow display in November 2010 which was very much a damp squib, seeming to mostly consist of fireworks of a standard to those bought in a supermarket.

The NLC display was a non stop wonder to behold. Everything from the Stewards and police controlling the parking, through to the location of the display was incredibly well thought out and a credit to the town. My partner and her daughter have only recently moved to Cumbernauld, and I was expecting something of similar or poorer standard than the Glasgow display, so had warned them not to get their hopes up. My partner’s daughter said it was amazing and beautiful and not once did she complain about the cold.

Maybe Glasgow should learn from NLC how to put on an event. I sincerely hope the Commonwealth Games are better put together than their fireworks displays. – Yours etc.,

G. THOMSON

Kildrum

Register your protest

Sir, – The campaign committee to save the Kildrum Treatment Room set up at the recent public meeting to discuss the NHS Lanarkshire proposals to reduce services across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, met last Monday.

It was agreed that the proposal far from being a done deal and a cost effective measure to benefit the local community is in fact far from it. Members of the public in Kildrum will be expected to travel to the Central Health Centre were renovations will be required to upgrade the premises while a ready built provision will be lost to service users.

Statements made by NHS Lanarkshire that district nurses will be called out for home visits to those who find it difficult to attend appointments also highlights the short-sightedness of this cost cutting measure.

The Save Kildrum Treatment Room campaign committee will be placing pressure on elected representatives to stand up for public services. Local residents will be asked to voice their disquiet to the Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, and information on how to do so will be distributed to Kildrum residents shortly.

As is happening across the country in conjunction with local anti-cuts groups such as the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Defend Public Sector Jobs & Services Campaign in co-ordination with the STUC’s There is a Better Way the only way ahead is for the public to register your protest and take whatever action is necessary to defend jobs, services and communities. – Yours etc.,

JOHN MILLER

Mossgiel Road

Kildrum

Cumbernauld

‘Words’ was excellent

Sir, – North Lanarkshire Council should be warmly congratulated for their excellent Words book festival which took place in October.

A series of events brought leading authors from across Scotland and beyond to meet the reading public in libraries across the area. I attended four talks and found them stimulating and lively, covering subjects as diverse as the Moon landings, family histories in 20th century Scotland, surviving the Holocaust and understanding the self.

What is remarkable is that these events were almost all free. They were well attended and characterised by a welcoming and intimate atmosphere. All the authors very much enjoyed the dialogue with the audience; perhaps that is one reason why the council manages to get such a great range of writers year after year.

Of course telling my work colleagues (mainly Glaswegians) that I was attending a literature festival in Lanarkshire triggered all the usual jokes. “Literature and Lanarkshire; now there’s two words you don’t expect in the one sentence” and “Can folk really read out there?”

Well, the attendances and enthusiasm I experienced at Words certainly show that reading books of depth and quality is flourishing in North Lanarkshire. I am very grateful to the council for organising and holding a most fitting showcase for that. – Yours etc.,

DAVID KENNEDY

Aitken Street

Airdrie