Readers' letters

Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.

MENINGITIS THANKS

Dear Ed, – I am writing to say thank you to all your readers who supported the Meningitis Trust during 2010.

It's only with the help of local communities that we are able to continue our vital work helping to rebuild lives shattered by meningitis.

The Meningitis Trust relies entirely on voluntary donations, which means support from individuals, families, schools, nurseries and businesses is fundamental to our survival.

This year we celebrate our 25th anniversary: a quarter of a century of supporting people as they face life after meningitis.

Meningitis can strike anyone, of any age, at any time.

Those who survive can be left with devastating after-effects including loss of hearing, sight, brain damage and, where septicaemia (blood poisoning) has occurred, loss of limbs.

These after-effects last a lifetime and impact all aspects of day-to-day life for the individual as well as their family, friends and colleagues.

The Meningitis Trust is dedicated to helping people who have experienced meningitis rebuild their lives through its range of specialist support services.

This time of the year is particularly relevant for talking about meningitis as cases of the disease rise in the winter.

The Meningitis Trust urges people to be vigilant of the signs and symptoms and to trust their instincts.

Symptoms can include, fever, headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright

lights, drowsiness, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in some cases but not all, a rash that doesn't fade under pressure.

For more information, readers can call the Trust's freephone 24-hour helpline staffed by nurses on 0800 028 18 28 or log on to its website www.meningitis-trust.org

Thank you all once again and best wishes for 2011. – Yours etc.,

ANNE CURRIE,

UK Community Development Manager,

Meningitis Trust.

FEW RIGHTS FOR WRITER

Dear Ed, – Re Anti-Social Behaviour. It seems to me that the powers that be have to rethink their priorities and objectives about anti-social behaviour.

Despite going through the recommended agencies and processes, I am still a long-suffering tenant trapped in a street where anti-social behaviour is sadly a regular occurrence.

I find I have fewer rights than the perpretators. There are some who make a career out of claiming benefits. They are socially mobile and can upsticks and move at the drop of a hat.

The DSS and SLC will help pay some or all of the costs of their private rent in whatever area they choose.

Me? I work two jobs and pay full rent for the pleasure of sleepless nights and an earful of partying.

A recent change of rules means that moving house is based on a 'needs'

basis.

My only way out of here is a mutual exchange.

Given the notorious reputation of this street, no one in their right mind would consider it.

Maybe once I have been driven insane will I have the "need" to be rehoused. – Yours etc.,

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED.

20 FIGURE NOT HOT AIR

Dear Ed, – Further to newspaper article 'Tenants Told Not to Take a Hike', and having been approached by several people in the street over the content of said article, I feel I have to respond to the statement from South Lanarkshire Council's spokesperson.

The figure of 20 was not simply plucked out of thin air; it came directly from the lips of Mr Patrick Murphy, Head of Finance at Hamilton, during a workshop involving tenants representatives from all over South Lanarkshire.

His comment was that "the rents in Clydesdale will rise by 20 over a

period."

He also stated that "when the issue of Rent Harmonisation arose a senior female Labour councillor in Clydesdale wanted the whole 20 slapped on in one".

I feel I have to inform all readers of the Gazette that I have over a period of almost 13 years, worked tirelessly for my community wearing many hats.

And at no time have I or would I knowingly mislead the people I represent. - Yours etc.,

SCOTT SINCLAIR,

Rhyber Avenue,

Lanark.

CLEAR OUT SUCCESS

Dear Ed, – Thank you to everyone who contributed to The Big New Year Clear Out at Homebase Lanark in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Three hundred pounds has already been raised to help build specialist cancer units for young people; the support of the public is greatly appreciated.

The event has been so successful that the collection in store of old clothes, textiles, shoes and phones will now continue until the end of January.

Every day in the UK, six young people aged 13 to 24 are told they have cancer, and it is the number one cause of non-accidental death of young adults in the UK. All of the money raised from selling the old clothes and phones will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust to build more specialist cancer units for young people here in Central Scotland.

We'd be delighted to receive donations from people who have not yet had a chance to clear out and support this very worthwhile cause, . - Yours etc.,

FRASER RUSSELL,

Homebase, Lanark.