Readers’ letters

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

Quarry focus

Dear Ed, – Assuming that Patersons now has the good grace to accept defeat, the welcome rejection of its application to quarry sand and gravel at Overburns means that attention will shift to Cemex’s impending application to extend Hyndford Quarry.

Cemex has repeatedly delayed making the application, which is now expected in May. At this point objectors will have just 28 days in which to make representations to the Council.

One councillor has said that it could become “one of the most controversial matters for the new council.” This is not surprising since the application to extend Hyndford Quarry close to the Falls of Clyde is counter to a host of South Lanarkshire’s planning policies.

These state that the area should be “protected, conserved and enhanced”.

In January an independent Reporter, who was asked to adjudicate on the most sensitive matters in the council’s new Minerals Plan, concluded that the area around the Falls of Clyde should be upgraded to “Category 1” status. This means that it should be accorded the highest level of protection and introduces a presumption against quarrying.

The planning case against the quarry is overwhelming, but there is every danger planning policies will be ignored.

Since Save Our Landscapes was established last August, we have sought to raise awareness of the threat to our environment posed by Cemex. The issue has now been reported widely in the local and national press.

We’ve made representations to our MSPs and have given presentations to local groups including the Access Group, New Lanark Trust, Garden Club and Rotary. We have found that many people are shocked by the proposed destruction of the landscape.

We have also been determined to be more than an anti-quarry campaign, and are committed to playing a role in promoting and improving the area around Lanark, New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde. To this end we have developed some ideas to improve access to the Falls, to open up a greater variety of walks, to renew the avenues of trees and to improve understanding of the area’s history. A leaflet has been prepared, and is being circulated. If any local groups would like us to give a presentation, then we would be pleased to do this, and they should contact me on 664578.

However, once the planning application is made, our efforts will be focused on ensuring that it is defeated. To do this we need to mobilise the goodwill we have encountered into active opposition. If you care enough, please join us. – Yours etc.,

MARK STEPHENS,

Chair, Save Our Landscapes,

Mid Lodge, Bonnington,

Lanark.

Thanks Lanark

Dear Ed, – My husband and I would like to thank the people of Lanark who helped us in our hour of need when we visited a few weeks ago.

After making the lamentable error of dropping our car keys down a drain on the high street, we were impressed at how many people came to our aid.

First of all, the staff at the nearby Stead and Simpson were so helpful, especially the manager Margaret. She phoned the council for us, let us use the staff room to feed our baby and even tried to help us fish for the keys by giving us a big rod with a hook on the end.

Passersby were keen to have a go fishing for the keys and one man even went home to fetch a telescopic magnet and made a makeshift fishing rod with the magnet on the end to try to retrieve them.

The council were quick to respond and came equipped with a tool to try to fish out the keys. The council workman also helped my husband push our car (luckily it wasn’t locked) up the slight hill so that the drain could be opened. Unfortunately the tool broke and we were again unsuccessful.

In the end, a passing farmer kindly went head first down the drain, putting his arm into the sludgy water and collecting our keys.

Although this experience was stressful, the community of Lanark pulling together made it the most memorable part of the day. – Yours etc.,

LYNDA BANCE,

Kilmahew Court,

Cardross,

Argyll and Bute.

Greedy fingers

Dear Ed, – At the side of the road there is a piece of waste land on which local residents have planted daffodil bulbs and assorted plants (at their own cost) for everyone’s pleasure.

Currently the daffodils are in bloom and are a welcoming picture.

It was with great dismay that today I had the horror of witnessing a gentleman with his young daughter pull up in a car and proceed to pick a large bunch of daffodils. I would mention that his daughter only contributed by picking two blooms.

I did call out to him expressing my disgust at his actions but was ignored and he proceeded to return to the car and drive off.

Why is it in this day and age when a bunch of daffodils cost a pound in the supermarket people have to resort to the “theft” of blooms at the wayside planted for everyone’s pleasure.

Local residents try to keep their neighbourhood tidy and welcoming to all and are rewarded by actions as performed by this thoughtless person. – Yours etc.,

MARGARET LUCAS,

Old Lanark Road,

Carluke

Can you help?

Dear Ed, – Macmillan Cancer Support is seeking support from over 70s in Carluke & Lanark.

The charity is looking for people who have been affected by cancer to support their Age Old Excuse campaign.

Half of those diagnosed with cancer in the UK are over 70 years old and Macmillan Cancer Support is launching an awareness campaign to highlight the issues older people experience during cancer treatment.

We want to hear from anyone over the age of 70 who has been successfully treated for cancer and would be willing to tell their story.

We would also be keen to hear from anyone affected by cancer that may have financial issues and would be willing to tell their story.

To find out more and offer support please contact Rebecca Charles on 0131 260 3720 or email rcharles@macmillan.org.uk . – Yours etc.,

REBECCA CHARLES,

Communications Officer,

Macmillan Cancer Support.

Well done, girls!

Dear Ed, – I was very impressed with two young people who organised the community litter pick in Biggar last Saturday.

So often youngsters get a bad press, but it is usually only a minority who cause problems.

Eilidh Fraser and Evie Cockburn did a fantastic job of publicising the event and organising the many volunteers.

There were enough people present to clear litter from six areas of the town.

Great work girls! Keep it up! – Yours etc.,

JANET MOXLEY,

Gasworks Road,

Biggar.