Town ‘neglect’ claim sparks angry denial

CUMBERNAULd is crumbling in a blatant act of discrimination.

That is the outspoken view of Cumbernauld councillor Gordon Murray.

In an explosive open letter to every North Lanarkshire councillor, the former Scottish Nationalist-turned Independent lambasts the council with key claims, which he believes illustrate the neglect of Cumbernauld.

He is accusing NLC officials of a cover-up which has robbed the area of a £2 million sum annually deployed by Cumbernauld Development Corporation for landscape and maintenance work.

He claims there are no plans to regenerate decades-old underpasses or any secondary schools in Cumbernauld, despite £400 million being spent regenerating schools elsewhere.

“It is a clear example of the discrimination against the youth of Cumbernauld,” said Councillor Murray.

‘‘And the recent snow saga illustrates that NLC, after almost 15 years have failed on any occasion to effectively clear snow from minor roads and many major footpaths.”

He refuses to believe that a key NLC blueprint which maps out the future of the new town will help, saying: ‘‘The new Local Plan makes no provision for dealing with any of our outstanding problems- even in our town centre. We are now NLC’s largest pressured area with no concrete proposals for rapidly reducing the waiting list or for ensuring that we meet the government’s standards for housing quality by 2015.

Councillor Murray added: ‘Residents in Cumbernauld have only two chances to protest - at the elections this May and next year.”

But Labour council leader Jim McCabe hit back “Time and again Councillor Murray makes these claims with no basis in fact.

“His allegations regarding council officials are unwarranted and untrue. The council has repeatedly made clear its commitment to, and investment in, Cumbernauld. There is an ongoing series of improvements in the town centre and at a local level.

“Councillor Murray is well aware of the many millions of pounds we spend in Cumbernauld and to suggest the town is treated differently to anywhere else in North Lanarkshire is nonsensical.

“Rather than be engaged in this kind of facile debate, I would prefer to focus on our work with and for the people of Cumbernauld.”