Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.
Dear Ed, – I am very disappointed to see that a planning application has been submitted to demolish the existing Primary School Building in Biggar and replace it with a car park.
While I welcome the new Primary which is to be built across the road from the old school, the car park proposal makes no sense at all.
I accept that some new parking would be welcome in Biggar, but the primary school site is completely the wrong place for it.
The only access is via John St or South Back Rd, both single track roads with no pavements.
These roads will be used by children walking to school. Traffic and children just don’t mix!
There have already been minor accidents outside the primary school, and increasing both traffic and the number of children in this congested area is a recipe for disaster!
If more car parking is needed, the old Auction Mart site
would be the ideal location (although the council don’t own this land).
In addition to the problems associated with the car park itself, demolition of the old school building is also wrong. Its absence would change the setting of the conservation area, as well a losing a key part of Biggar’s heritage.
The building, while in need of some upgrading, is not in a disastrous state.
A few years ago the rumour was that it would be sold for conversion to flats, but if there is no market for that, due to the economic climate, and the Edinburgh Road development ,then there are a number of other possible uses which could be explored including offices, a business start-up unit, or community space.
Unfortunately SLC and the developers do not seem to have made any real effort to consult the community for their views on this matter. The only “consultation” carried ut was an awkwardly timed mid-afternoon exhibition of the new school plans a few weeks ago, which was the first anyone had heard of the car park plan.
Several people raised concerns about it at the time, but SLC seem to have decided to carry on regardless.
If they now face a backlash from outraged residents because they have underestimated feeling in Biggar, they have only themselves to blame!
I fully support the new Save Biggar Primary School group’s efforts to preserve the old school building once the new build is complete, and hope SLC will now engage in a meaningful discussion with the people of Biggar on the future of this much-loved building. - Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – I note in a very small advert last week that South Lanarkshire Council wish to invite relatives of the late Baroness Elliot to the official opening of the Memorial Hall on Wednesday, November 20, at 10am, followed by tea.
Is this event to be a secret from the people of Lanark?
Looking at the original opening brochure of 1926, I also note that relatives of the fallen were invited to occupy the balcony, and the members of the public the downstairs main hall.
There was no mention of tea! – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – If you are brrrrave enough, it’s now time to register for the 8th CLIC Sargent ‘Dip’ in the sea on Boxing Day and we hope to have even more people dressed up.
This year we are offering a ‘£500 holiday voucher’ to the individual who raises the most sponsorship.– Yours etc.,
Area Fundraising Manager,
Malcolm Sargent House,
Dear Ed, – As a keen environmentalist and lover of the great outdoors, my passion for maintaining Scotland’s natural heritage remains unwavering.
The Community Service Volunteers (CSV) Action Earth campaign provides grants of up to £500 thanks to the support of Scottish Natural Heritage.
This allows individuals, groups and organisations to volunteer to improve their local environment.
There has been a strong uptake of these grants this year, and only a few remain.
I am encouraging people to play their part by transforming their local community, reclaiming derelict spaces, planting trees and flowers and boosting wildlife habitats.
It’s essential we take ownership of our wonderful countryside, urban green spaces and beautiful wildlife.
Last year’s campaign saw 8,310 trees planted and around 1.25 million square metres of land transformed – that’s roughly 175 Hampden Park football pitches. However there is still progress to be made, and I am urging people to get involved in making a difference to their local green spaces by signing up with CSV Action Earth.
The natural Scottish environment is inspiring, and working towards its protection and growth is a rewarding experience.
Sign up now by visiting www.csv.org.uk/actionearth or call 0131 222 9083. – Yours etc.,
Actor and CSV Action Earth Supporter
Dear Ed, – Increasing numbers of your readers will be taking on care of loved ones - over half will be juggling paid work with unpaid care for loved ones. In particular we are seeing a rise in the number of working families supporting a loved one with dementia.
They may not instantly identify themselves a ‘carer’. It might be they are helping Mum or Dad or an older relative with shopping, housework, medication or getting about.
Help can start at a few hours a week, but need can also suddenly creep up and become difficult to manage, especially if families are living apart.
Care for an older loved often comes at peak career age. Without the right support, the strain of caring for an elderly loved one and working, often alongside raising children, can force employees with valuable experience and skill out of the workforce.
Carers UK’s research shows 2.3m people in the UK have given up work to care. Businesses we are already working with tell the same story as the statistics – dementia care is a key issue for workforce retention, recruitment and resilience.
Through a survey launched today we will examine key issues and support needs for employees caring for a loved one with dementia and practical ways in which employers and other parties can help.
The surveys can be found at www.carersuk.org/dementiasurvey. – Yours etc.,
Life after polio
Dear Ed, – The British Polio Fellowship held a Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) Day in Winchester in October, the first of what we hope will be a number of similar events next year marking the charity’s 75th Anniversary, but we need your help to make this a reality.
Andrew Love MP tabled early day motion 573 in the House of Commons calling for the Department of Health to address the needs of those living with Polio and PPS.
You can make a difference by asking your local MP to add their name to the growing list of signatures supporting this.
While contacting your MP, we also urge those living with Polio and PPS to contact us. Our support is a call or a click away.
Our 75th Anniversary and this motion are part of our attempts to reach out to those across the country who still need us.
The charity’s website at www.britishpolio.org.uk has details of how to contact your MP as well as a template letter or call us on 0800 018 0586 – yours etc.,
TED HILL MBE,
The British Polio Fellowship CEO.