READERS’ LETTERS

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What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – Firstly, as organiser of the Poppy Scotland Appeal I would like to express my sincere thanks to the shops, schools, other premises and the local cadets for their help in raising £3113.50. This was a record amount raised in what was Poppy Scotland’s 90th anniversary year. Many thanks to all who contributed.

Secondly, as captain of 3rd Kilsyth Company, The Boys’ Brigade, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all who helped, in any way, the company with their Christmas card delivery.

Ode To Christmas Cards

We live in expectation of the Christmas cards to come,

Three thousand pounds in two weeks – it is a tidy sum,

But as with all good things there are drawbacks by the score,

The pile of cards not properly addressed is scattered on my floor.

I deal with those ones daily or it could get out of hand,

One night I sat until I’d numbered the two hundredth card,

I thought next day can’t be so bad – alas it is not so,

I have no choice – it’s start again, but progress is so slow.

A card for Duntreath Terrace, but the number doesn’t exist,

We traced it to Drumtrocher Street – we really do persist,

In trying to identify where the cards should go,

By doing this it means that our deliveries can be slow.

Some folk are less than pleasant when the cards land on their floor,

We do our best – we try to match cards with the number on the door,

If mistakes are made, please know – we can’t always get it right,

Silver pens on white cards are hard to read at night!

Please be patient with us when mistakes are made,

It is a busy time of year and tempers can be frayed,

We have to go by the house numbers that the senders give,

We don’t have the gift to know where everybody lives!

It sounds though we’re complaining, but that is just not so,

It’s just that we would really like you all to know,

How hard the job is, and we beg you understand,

We’re trekking round in all weather delivering by hand.

We have a band of helpers on whom we do depend,

Some parents, friends and BB Boys will help us to the end,

Now this year’s work is over they can have a well earned rest,

Our wish for you is – “Merry Christmas and may 2012 be blessed”.

Thank you to all who entrusted their cards to us. We do appreciate your support. The final total for this year is £3,078. Thank you to the BB staff, parents and boys who helped with sorting and deliveries. Our final thank you must go to the staff of George Miller’s and Rennie’s who accepted the cards and money for us. Without all that support we would not be able to function so well as a company. – Yours etc.,

CHRISTINE JOHNSTON

Captain

3rd Kilsyth Boys’Brigade

Strong and wise leadership will be required

Sir – I was astounded to learn that Scottish local government minister Derek Mackay has frozen councillors’ pay for another year.

I was impressed by the argument, when our banks were in crisis, that restricting the remuneration of senior bankers in failing banks would lead to a diaspora of banking talent as all the best bankers left for higher paid jobs with only poor quality staff still in post.

This argument surely applies to local government and it would be regrettable were Mr Mackay’s freeze to lead to our councils degenerating into a morass of the unemployed and unemployable especially as strong and wise leadership will be required to steer councils through the difficult times ahead. – Yours etc.,

JOHN EOIN DOUGLAS

via email

A better town centre in 2012?

Sir, – As another year goes by with Cumbernauld suffering the worst cuts by National Health Service Lanarkshire than any other Shire town, we have lost our Radiology Unit, our Day Outpatients at Carrickstone Hospital, had a big cut back in our treatment rooms with reduced hours, also the

Audiology Centre for hearing tests has moved to Monklands Hospital.

Through the correspondence we have sent to the Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon, I received an answer back from her stating that she agrees with the Board’s conclusions and there is not much more she can do. Cheers to Cumbernauld again!

The Cumbernauld Forum have also put many complaints towards the Council. The unforgettable Bridge over the River Kwai as you know, joining the phase 4 over to Fleming House, which was to be replaced when the Antonine Centre was being built, will now start in February 2012. One of my pets was the St Enoch Clock and at last it is now working and giving us the correct time. A lot I hope is going to happen in 2012 – our new bridge, a new, and I hope, environmental looking Central Way and bus stances, I hope with doors on them.

As chairman of Cumbernauld Community forum I only wish I could have sent all our residents a Christmas card but I do wish everyone a happy Christmas and a better Town Centre in 2012. – Yours etc.,

BILLY LEES

Chairman

Cumbernauld Community Forum

Praise for gaelic medium education

Sir, – I am writing with reference regarding the article in the Cumbernauld News of Wednesday, December 28, 2011 regarding Mrs Carol Henderson and her son’s speech language issues.

Whilst I sympathise with Mrs Henderson’s issues I have had three sons go through Gaelic medium education from nursery to secondary, two of whom attended Condorrat Primary Gaelic unit and two of whom went on to achieve their University degrees in Gaelic.

I feel I must write in regarding the issues of speech therapy raised by Mrs Henderson – my youngest son, now 21, who also had speech issues, attended intensive speech and language therapy in English on a daily basis for a year just prior to entering Condorrat Primary Gaelic unit, and at the same time as attending Gaelic pre-school education.

English speech and language therapy caused my son no issues or affected his Gaelic language education. In my experience speech and language therapy is to do with the construction and formation of sounds and the training my son received assisted his overall speech abilities in any language, to this day.

I am concerned that a time when the Gaelic medium sector is trying to expand such public concerns may do nothing more than put off potential parents from placing their children in Gaelic Medium Education.

I have nothing but praise for the education my son received at Condorrat Primary School, and thereafter at Greenfaulds High School Gaelic Unit, and I would recommend Gaelic Medium Education to any parent. – Yours etc.,

ELIZABETH MASTERTON

Blake Road,

Seafar

Cumbernauld harshly treated by NHS

Sir, – I wish to register my objection to the closure of the Radiology Unit in Cumbernauld in support of the Cumbernauld Community Forum Campaign.

I feel that Cumbernauld has been harshly treated by NHS Lanarkshire because in the last six months we have had the following services reduced or removed from our local area: Opening hours of Treatment Rooms – reduced; Audiology (Hearing Test) – removed; Carrickstone Day Patients – closed; Radiology Unit – closed.

Although some of these services are now provided centrally at Monklands it is very difficult to get transport to the hospital from Cumbernauld because of a lack of public transport. If you go by car you cannot get parked, which is an added issue for someone who is less able to walk very far.

We would ask you to remember that the people who are most in need of these services are those who are less able to make long difficult journeys by public transport. – Yours etc.,

WILLIAM LEES

Craigside Court

Westfield

Thank you

Sir, – I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Lanarkshire for all of their support during 2011. This has been a big year for Action for Children Scotland.

As we move into 2012, I would like to ask your readers to make a resolution to help children and young people in the local community.

Vivist www.my.actionforchildren.org.uk for full details. – Yours etc.,

PAUL CARBERRY

Operational director of children’s services, Action for Children