Readers’ Letters

Crosstalk 13 7
Crosstalk 13 7

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

A chilly send-off

Dear Ed, – Reading your report re the new cemetery I did not know whether to cry or laugh at the comments of the elected members.

Are we now expected to cower behind a drystane dyke to see off our nearest & dearest?

Surely someone in authority could work out that this was probably the most exposed site in the whole surrounds of Lanark for a graveyard.

Anyone who plays Lanark golfcourse or who drives along Ayr Road could have testified to the howling gales in the winter and sometimes not much better in the summer. Heaven help us, but I can just imagine the restoration of the Murray Chapel for an increasingly less used graveyard while the busier of the two has no facilities.

Why has this come about? Lack of vision over many years by the elected councillors of Lanark! When you look at the missed opportunities to develop Lanark since pre-South Lanarkshire days, you have to cringe and ask why were they not more proactive in promoting the town. Why was the opportunity to use the site at the old market lost, as this would have solved many of the current problems.

With new schools built on that site, primary and secondary, the old site would then have been available for the graveyard extension while the primary sites would have been available for development. Playing fields, school bus circle and Lifestyles Centre could all have been incorporated on this site. But, no, we get a second rate, unfinished, retail park which diverts the trade from the High Street. Tesco did not kill the High Street; lack of vision by the “leaders” of the community killed the Street.

The Barracks development has ground to a stop, so why are elected members not pushing for this moribund development to be brought into public ownership which could go a long way to solving social housing in the area?

With the Scottish Government’s attitude to improving the housing position, this is a great opportunity possibly going to waste.

So what do we have? A town with death throes but nowhere to bury it.

What do we need? Representatives who will not accept the SLC mantra of “no money” but who come out fighting with ideas that SLC cannot afford to ignore and demand the same spend as that given to Hamilton, Rutherglen & Cambuslang. It will be a hard fight but the right leadership will produce the right response from the deprived citizens of Lanark.

Come on Lanark: don’t wait on SLC coming to you with ideas; take the vision to them or you will never improve the town. Yours etc –

TOM MITCHELL,

Hillview Street,

Symington.

Save surgery

Dear Ed, – I was both shocked and bewildered to learn that Carstairs Surgery is destined to close very soon.

This Surgery, run by a team of dedicated professionals led by two doctors and a Practice Nurse who is second to none, is literally a lifeline in this rural community and for the many patients it serves.

We hear almost daily about the failings within the NHS and the financial restraints on the government. In the year when the NHS becomes a senior citizen, surely it is our basic right to have easy access to our own health care?

SLC should realise that most of the area they govern is rural other than Lanark and Carluke and should ensure that the rural part is not left out in the cold. It seems at times that as long as Lanark and Carluke are alright, then the rest of the area can look after themselves.

Last week when we had a heavy snowfall, Lanark pavements were cleared before some of the roads in Carstairs.

If you look at the statistics of the patient base at Carstairs Surgery, many patients are elderly and frail. Some time ago, we lost the pharmacy at the Surgery and now we must strive not to lose our Surgery.

NHS and SLC need to resolve this issue very quickly and you can be sure that the community will back any solution that will save our Surgery.

I was very ill for a few years and happily am now on the road to recovery thanks to the dedication and support of the Surgery staff and Wishaw General Hospital. Please do not let this be another NHS failing or another issue swept under the carpet by SLC. – Yours etc.,

BILL ANGUS,

Carstairs.

Not unpopular

Dear Ed, – I have been following with interest the anti-windfarm comments from David Mundell.

His assertion that they are an unpopular form of energy generation seems at odds with the results of an opinion poll published by YouGov which showed that 64% of the population favoured further development of renewables.

Furthermore the survey found that the presence of a windfarm would not affect people’s decision to visit an area. This backs up the findings of a Scottish Government report which concluded that windfarms would not put the vast majority of tourists off.

Small scale on-farm renewables have been becoming increasingly important as sources of energy and income for farmers. In these difficult times for agriculture would Mr Mundell deny farmers this income? Of course turbines need to be sited as sensitively as possible and consultation with communities is important.

It is also important that larger wind developments benefit the communities close to them. Public or community ownership could help with this rather than all the profits disappearing to foreign-owned companies. There is scope for more renewables generation on council properties!

In an ideal world maybe we could address issues of fuel security and greenhouse gas emissions by cutting fuel usage, and no new sources of power would be needed. Realistically this is unlikely if we are to maintain anything like our current lifestyles.

If David Mundell opposes renewables, he should be open about what sources of energy his government does favour.

His constituents who live in parts of Clydesdale which are on coal and oil shale deposits will be particularly interested in his views on “fracking” and other unconventional gas extraction.

These technologies will continue our reliance on fossil fuels and have the potential to leak the greenhouse gas methane, contaminate groundwater, produce large amounts of toxic waste water, and litter the landscape with access roads and drilling rigs. – Yours etc.,

DR JANET MOXLEY

Biggar