What our readers have been writing about this week.
Sir, – It has been drawn to my attention that Councillor O’Brien has made an election statement that the SNP “secretly sabotaged” the campaign to save St Francis Primary. He adds a supposed quote from myself which I do not recognise.
As Learning and Leisure spokesperson for the SNP Group, I submitted a four- page, 19-point statement of objection to the closure of St Francis. It was based on capacity pressure on the denominational primary school sector in north Cumbernauld, the educational and social need for low class sizes and early intervention strategies, the need for space for modern technology in the classroom. There was a detailed, class-by-class, statistical analysis covering the four denominational primaries in the area. The St Francis campaigners kindly wrote to me thanking me for my active help and advice at meetings.
Contrast the above with Councillor O’Brien’s antics at the time. He called for a St Francis-Westfield Primary joint campus.
He ignored the fact that the St Francis parents wanted to save St Francis as a free-standing denominational school, that Westfield Primary wasn’t consulted by him and that the Archdiocese of Glasgow didn’t favour a joint campus. Wise heads on the council and the learning and leisure service know that joint campus agreements take years to sensitively negotiate with all parties and with each case being unique.
The school closure was mooted to save money. Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling had just implemented the first UK cuts of £5 billion (including £500 million of the Scottish Government’s block grant). Nothing daunted, the bold O’Brien wanted to spend extra millions building a new joint campus out of the air!
As my e-mails show, he even had a scheme for selling Westfield Primary’s football pitch as building land (no consultation) and using the receipts to “refurbish” St Francis and also create a “decent” pitch at St Francis, which Westfield Primary could use.
To top all this, Councillor O’Brien’s appallingly rude letters were alienating officials. He became an embarrassment and a liability to the serious campaign by the 22-strong SNP group. So much for his “fighting for Cumbernauld”. – Yours etc.,
COUNCILLOR TOM JOHNSTON (SNP)
Ward 4 (Abronhill, Kildrum & the Village)
Sir,- Mr Martin Dalziel should appreciate that Kilsyth Rangers would stand a chance of winning games at Glenafton if they had some away fixtures at the Glens.
There has been only two in the last 50 odd years. The first was February 2, 1956, which was drawn Kilsyth winning the replay on February 16. The last and only loss was Saturday, April 28. – Yours etc.,
Sir, – Lodge Kilsyth St John No. 39 recently held a charity dance and raffle in aid of Help for Heroes. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kilsyth’s local shopkeepers for their kind support and donations.
Cross Butchers, Paul’s Butchers, A. Rennie and Son’s Bakers, Flower Shop (Market Street), George Miller (Fruiterer’s), David Cant (CADO), Jeans (Wool and baby shop) and Little Lambs Candy shop (Main Street). Once again thank you for your support. – Yours etc.,
MR W. GILLAN
Kilsyth St John No 39
Sir, – Over the years I have read many letters, and articles, appearing in the News complaining about the “alleged” neglect of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth by the powers-that-be in NLC (North Lanarkshire Council).
You would have thought, and I must admit I certainly did, that with having the power to change matters on May 3, voters would end the Labour dominance of this council. Surprise, surprise! While the names, and faces, have changed in some instances, the overall result was, once again, a return to a substantial Labour majority, which I think even surprised some of their supporters.
So what happens now?
Will it be more of the same, and by that I mean a perception, if not always borne out by the facts, that the people of our towns will still be the poor relations of this region, at the back of the queue for any assistance going, being fed on left-overs, while the bulk of the money is spent on projects closer to the ivory tower that is NLC headquarters in Motherwell.
Well, we only have ourselves to blame if this turns out to be the case, because it’s a long time to the next council elections. – Yours etc.,
Sir, – British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland is the nation’s heart charity. We have been seeking support from your readers throughout April to join our hearty volunteer network in Cumbernauld.
Your readers have been putting their hearts into volunteering in our local BHF Scotland Shops, on the street raising money at collections and by organising events in the community. We just couldn’t do our vital work without their support and that is why I am writing to thank them.
We always look for new volunteers and hope that more of your readers will feel inspired to join our life-saving charity. There are many local volunteer opportunities available in Cumbernauld. BHF Scotland has lots of different roles to suit the time people can give, from a few hours in a local furniture and electrical store, to putting on a fundraising event to raising some money. Volunteers could become campaigners and help to deliver better heart health services in their community.
It is a great way to support the nation’s heart charity visit bhf.org.uk/volunteer and listen to why some our volunteers give us their valuable time or call me, Heather Gregory, on 01968 679767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – Yours etc.,
Fundraising Volunteer Manager
We love to hear from you. Send your Letters to: Cumbernauld News and Kilsyth Chronicle, 10-12 Tay Walk, Cumbernauld G67 1BU or send us an e-mail with “Letters” in the subject line. For legal reasons, all letters must be signed and addressed though details may be withheld if requested.