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What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – I read in last week’s edition that a councillor wants to use the restorative justice offenders to help in cleaning up Luggiebank woods, which no one can argue against, but before we start going down to the woods, let’s start with the pathways, roadsides of the town. As someone who walks frequently around the town having given up my car, it saddens me to see the litter everywhere and discarded bottles, cans.

This letter will expose a few truths about the council that I don’t know if the public are aware of. The paths around our town may be tidy because the cleansing department have been instructed only to lift litter from the paths, so if a bottle or can is lying beside the path on the grass, then it will remain there. If these areas need cleaned then you can request a special clean up! Yes, the council will send an inspector round to see how bad it is before authorising someone to pick it up, unbelievable I know. So that explains why the bushes, pathways leading to the town centre and roadsides are strewn with litter.

The next truth that the council will not like being exposed is even bigger, every week in this paper you see people getting convicted at the courts and getting community payback sentences handed down to them. What do these people do, where do they carry out this payback?

You would think that cleaning up the streets of litter would be obvious one, it seems not, the restorative justice department is underfunded, the courts keep granting offenders these orders, however the council do not have the manpower to cope. The result being that 20 or so offenders turn up at the town centre every week, however only ten or so will be lucky or unlucky to get picked, the rest get sent home. I have witnessed this with my own eyes. Think what a difference another ten bodies could make to the streets of our town. They could clean the Luggiebank woods and our streets, which would be a full time job for the community pay back lads/lassies.

I look forward to the council response in next weeks paper, or sweeping it under the carpet (pardon the pun)! – Yours etc.,



I should be flattered

Sir, – Another week, another SNP attack on Alan O’Brien in the letters pages. As always the people doing the attacking don’t have the courage to confront me directly and instead utilise a letter writing front man. I guess I should be flattered that they spend more time attacking me than their supposed political enemies in the Labour party.

The main thrust of the attack seems to be that I committed the grievous crime of working with a member of the Labour party to deliver much needed improvements to the Broadwood sports facility. I guess this demonstrates the need for Independent councillors as I would not have been allowed to co-operative with another political party while I was with the SNP. The result of no dialogue with Labour would have been no new facilities for my constituents.

The attack was because I pointed out that the SNP are fielding Edinburgh based Alan Masterton and Abronhill based Kevin McMail in Cumbernauld North. However, I’m afraid geography is the least of my concerns where these young men are concerned. I would like to ask them to explain to my constituents why they should vote for people who have never supported a home, never raised a family or appear never to have had what most people would consider a normal job?

I think you two are no more than an example of the SNP adopting Labour’s Jobs for the Boys approach. Prove me wrong and debate with me openly instead of using a letter writing flunky to fight your battles for you. – Yours etc.,


Independent Councillor

Cumbernauld North

No Pasaran Memorial Committee

Sir, – With reference to the recent article “Moves for memorial to Spanish Civil War Soldiers” your readers may wish to know that a committee has already been established to organise the building of a memorial in recognition of the commitment and sacrifice of all those volunteers and their supporters from all of our communities here in the North Lanarkshire Council area, who joined the fight against fascism and in defence of liberty and democracy in Spain.

The No Pasaran Memorial Committee – North Lanarkshire has the support of North Lanarkshire Trades Union Council and a growing number of members of the public. Work has already commenced in identifying the volunteers who went to Spain and the committee is keen to contact relatives; if anyone in the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area has any information in that regard they can contact the committee on or phone 07530 971662.

The committee has arranged with North Lanarkshire Council to bring the International Brigades Memorial Trust travelling exhibition entitled “Antifascistas — British and Irish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War” to North Lanarkshire. The exhibition will be on display in the North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre, 1 High Road, Motherwell ML1 3HU and will run from Thursday, March 8-31. The Heritage Centre is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm and the admission is free.

During the period of the exhibition the committee will be sponsoring an event to mark the contribution of the Spanish Civil War Volunteers and promote the campaign to build a memorial in their name.

I have enclosed a publicity leaflet advertising the exhibition and which also includes information on the committee. – Yours etc.,


via e-mail

Beat the Banana!

Sir, – World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) is offering schools, community groups and businesses the chance to take part in the annual Beat the Banana! event this May.

Last year participants staged exciting fundraising days for the cancer prevention charity through events like fun runs with runners chasing a banana-suited competitor or penalty shoot-outs with a banana goalkeeper. Staging Beat the Banana! gives communities the chance to enjoy a fun day of activities while raising money for WCRF’s important research and education programmes.

This year we are expecting even more of a party spirit and a record number of entries because of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics in the summer.

For those who want to arrange their own Beat the Banana! event, WCRF supplies an event pack including a banana costume and free promotional materials including balloons, collection tins, sponsorship forms and posters.

To find out how to take part or to organise your own Beat the Banana! event, visit or call 020 7343 4205. – Yours etc.,


Fundraising Coordinator,


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