What our readers have been writing about this week.
Sir, – It didn’t take long for the Labour group on NLC (North Lanarkshire Council), to show its utter disregard for fairness when it nominates six of its councillors to take up all of the allocated places on COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities).
This despite the fact, that the rules state that places are meant to be allocated on the basis of the number of seats each political party holds in each local authority. So the SNP group, despite having gained six seats in the recent election to bring their total number up to 26, out of a total council of 70 seats, will have no say in this powerful body.
If this autocratic decision is indicative of how our Labour controlled council intends to behave, then I fear that any future representations from any bodies in our area, who are trying to improve our lot, will get short shrift. – Yours etc.,
A great big thank you
Sir, – I am writing to thank a young gentleman who found my bag and handed it in to Tesco at Craigmarloch. There are still a lot of good people in this world.
So a great big thank you again to this lovely, truthful and kind gentleman, whose name I don’t know, from a very grateful pensioner. – Yours etc.,
NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED
Sir, – I was deeply saddened during a walk in Carbrain Gully on Saturday evening to come across the carcasses of at least seven supermarket trolleys and the worst part was that the majority were the rarest of the species, the wee trolley. And what made it even sadder was the guys cutting the grass in the Gully were just moving them aside to cut around them.
The Carbrain Gully is a thing of beauty within our community and is being sadly neglected by NLC. Our hard earned cash was spent on a recent upgrade of the area but seems to be getting neglected re keeping the area tidy. There are still tree segments all over the area from the stormy weather we had weeks ago plus rubbish all over the place. Might be a good area for a community clean up by NLC. – Yours etc.,
Raising concerns about ENABLE
Sir, – I work for Enable Scotland and wasn’t surprised to see that one of my fellow colleagues had taken this story to you. Everyone just thought it was extremely insensitive to send us out a newsletter with all these new jobs, which aren’t hands on caring for people and on very good salaries, but tell us they need to cutback our hourly rate.
I would also like the opportunity to raise my concerns about ENABLE. This company is a charity and has been for over 50 years. However, recently since the change in senior management it is now getting run like a big business (they have an annual turnover of over £20 million a year). They have brought business people in who know nothing about care or people with learning disabilities but all about money and how to save it – ie., cut back on wages.
We have been told by our managers that they are about to close a number of local offices and centralise everything in one main office. The national office in Argyle Street also doesn’t fit with the image of a big business, it’s too tatty for the business folks they have brought in, so they are looking at new offices in business parks in and around Glasgow.
ENABLE have been in Cumbernauld for over 30 years. By closing our office to save money then this is another slap in the face for service users and staff, who will now be expected to travel into Glasgow for training, meetings etc. Another crazy decision by a company that is looking to cut costs at local level to fund its ever growing national level.
My colleague is right, parents and service users should be asking for a breakdown of how ENABLE spends its money and what benefit they get for it.
I like many others had a message passed to us by the area manager based in Airdrie, after the previous stories in the Cumbernauld News that if staff are caught speaking to the press then we should expect to be dismissed for breach of contract, so the denial from the spokeswomen at national office seems to have no idea what is happening on the ground.
ENABLE Cumbernauld have always been made to feel unwanted by ENABLE Scotland. We have been in this town for over 30 years, set up by Sheena Walker who did a wonderful job for people with disabilities in the area. ENABLE Scotland don’t gave a damn about this. The local manager for Cumbernauld left in March and the area is without a manager since then. No one from the company bothers and if people speak out they are threatened with the sack. The manager in Airdrie who should be overseeing Cumbernauld is never about.
Like many, I love my job and get on great with the service users, however it gets staff so angry when the company that claims to be the leading organisation for people with learning disabilities is doing very little to prove this. It’s too big now and has lost sight of why it was set up in the first place.
If it wasn’t for the service users, loads of us would leave for another job. This company and its management are a joke, they don’t care any more unless it’s got a pound sign in front of it. – Yours etc.,
NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED
Scaremongering against independence
Sir, – I presume that Mark Griffin MSP was not being intentionally ironic when he claimed that independence for Scotland would put civil service jobs at risk. After all he represents a party which, when in government, slashed some 20,000 jobs from Revenue and Customs alone as part of its strategy to make public sector workers pay for a banking crisis caused partly by Labour’s ‘light touch’ regulation of the banking sector.
Following a well worn path in scaremongering against independence, Mark further seems to miss the irony that the Westminster Parliament is currently engaged in a full frontal assault on the pay, terms and conditions of workers in the civil and public services whilst continuing to cull jobs by the thousands over the last few years.
Rather than spreading scare stories it instead should be the case that the debate around independence should focus on the opportunities it may present for challenging the narrow neo-liberal agenda of job cuts and privatisation that is shared by the major UK political parties with regards to our public services. Debating whether it is possible to create a taxation system in an independent Scotland that will ensure that the rich pay their share and in so doing generate money to improve our public services and ensure the continuing employment of our much needed civil and public service workers. – Yours etc.,
Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Scottish Socialist Party