READERS’ LETTERS

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What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – A local election leaflet from the ruling North Lanarkshire Labour party arrived through my door recently with a picture on the front of Councillors Barry McCulloch and Bob Chadha standing in front of a recycling facility. How appropriate this was, as inside there was more recycled rubbish in the form of a list of apparent “achievements” that us locals have to take note of.

Firstly there’s the ridiculous claim that Labour secured free car parking at Croy train station. It was Labour that proposed charging motorists to park there then dropped the motion with the elections fast approaching. No doubt if they win then this proposal will be re- introduced.

Secondly was the “achievement” of upgrading all the roundabouts in Cumbernauld, well whoopy doo to that as I’m sure this really has made a big improvement to the lives of everyone. Strangely there’s no mention at all about the cash wasted on the wave structure on the road approaching the town-centre (don’t even start me on that place!). This wave scheme made national headlines and turned Cumbernauld into a laughing stock. Thanks Barry and Bob.

Next up was schools, where do I start? Shamefully, Mr Chadha will be remembered by Westfield locals after his very public support for keeping St. Francis of Assisi primary school open, while very privately voting to close it down. So much for Mr Chadha’s promise to “put fairness at the heart of every decision I make.”

And have either Barry or Bob recently visited any of the dilapidated high schools in Cumbernauld? If so, how do they explain to pupils and staff at these schools that theirs only merits patchwork repairs while a few miles further into North Lanarkshire, brand new, fit for purpose schools appear to be springing up where required?

Locally, neither Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and their neighbouring villages have gained much from being tied to a council that is quick to spend local taxes raised in other areas such as Motherwell, Wishaw and Airdrie. The Labour party seem content to allow this to happen year in, year out, secure in the knowledge that people will vote them in “because my family always votes Labour.” Maybe it’s time we looked to the future of our children, not the past of our grandparents, and think again about where we will put that all important X on the ballot paper. – Yours etc.,

MR A. GRAY

Cawder Road

Carrickstone

Cumbernauld

PRP is not a bonus

Sir, – I refer to Councillor Stewart’s letter in last week’s newspaper.

I have on a number of occasions attempted to explain PRP. It is not in any way shape or form a bonus. It is a percentage of chief officer’s salaries, which is removed and targets set. Failure to achieve the targets means a reduction in overall salary. These salaries are set by a Government body in accordance with population and are contractual. Any attempt by the council to remove this portion would most certainly mean court action. Councillor Stewart’s comment on where Chief Officers live is a true indication of the insular thinking of Nationalists and heaven forbid if we ever had Independence these people would destroy this country and alienate everyone, not of Scottish birth, by this same attitude. – Yours etc.,

COUNCILLOR JIM MCCABE

Leader

North Lanarkshire Council

Pedestrian access to the town centre from South Carbrain

Sir, – Can I first of all thank The Cumbernauld News for publicising this issue, and secondly also record the appreciation of the residents of South Carbrain to the SNP councillors, William Goldie and William Homer, who have done their utmost to ensure that this vital pedestrian artery remains open, despite difficulty in getting any organisation to take responsibility for it’s planned closure. If this hadn’t happened, then those of us who don’t have a car, would have faced the prospect of a lengthy walk to reach the town centre. – Yours etc.,

ALEX BEVERIDGE

South Carbrain

Cumbernauld

World Meningitis Day

Sir, – The three leading UK meningitis charities have joined together to raise awareness of the dangers and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia on World Meningitis Day, April 24, 2012.

Meningitis Research Foundation, the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK say that meningitis and septicaemia kill more under-fives than any other infectious disease in this country. Around 300 people in the UK die from the disease each year and six families a week face the devastation of losing a loved-one.

The charities are all members of the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO), which has organised World Meningitis Day on April 24 to increase public awareness of the symptoms, highlight the need for urgent treatment and call for all children to be fully vaccinated.

“World Meningitis Day is a perfect opportunity to come together and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms associated with these diseases so that the people in the UK can protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Chris Head, Chief Executive of Meningitis Research Foundation.

Currently, the UK vaccinates children against many forms of meningitis and septicaemia, which have saved thousands of lives. Unfortunately, there is still no vaccine against the most common strain, meningococcal Group B, resulting in the UK still seeing around 3,400 cases of life-threatening bacterial meningitis and septicaemia every year.

Kate Rowland, Chief Executive of Meningitis UK, said: “Great advances have been made in the past few decades and World Meningitis Day is an opportunity to remind people of the importance of vaccine uptake and symptom recognition. Together we can help raise awareness, share knowledge and fund research in the hope that one day families will be spared the heartache of losing a loved one to these devastating diseases.”

Hundreds of people in this country die from bacterial meningitis each year and those who survive are often left with after-effects including deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, limb loss (where septicaemia is involved), learning difficulties, memory issues and behavioural problems.

Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust, added: “For every individual across the UK who has had meningitis, there are many more who are living with the impact of the disease right now, and for many, their lives have changed forever. We hope World Meningitis Day will show them that they are not alone and that meningitis organisations across the world are working together to help save lives and rebuild futures.” – Yours etc.,

MENINGITIS RESEARCH FOUNDATION

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