Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.
Dear Ed, – The School Refurbishment is a flagship programme for SLC, accompanied by much flag waving and self-congratulatory compliments and back slapping.
Scratch the surface just a little and a different story emerges.
The council policy of refusing to buy extra land where necessary means that it now has a greater proportion of three storey schools than any other non city centre authority in Scotland.
The proposed new primary school for Biggar is a three storey 45 foot high monstrosity, forced to this height in an attempt to produce a school on a site which is legally too small for the planned capacity.
The Biggar proposal is not a lone one-off, and a pattern is beginning to emerge across the authority of similar schools on illegally small sites.
South Lanarkshire Council is recognised by educational establishment providers beyond its boundaries as one which is far from generous in the planning of its schools and the provision of facilities.
A detailed study of the building itself reveals the barest minimum standards being met.
Far from being the generous dispenser of largesse that SLC would like us to believe, much of the funding for the schools programme comes from government agencies.
That money has been supplied to allow local governments to build state-of-the art new schools for our children.
Do these funders appreciate that much of this funding is being spent on minimum standard buildings on sites which are not legally large enough?
SLC also seems willing to ignore other elements of law by not consulting with the community when moving a school, ignoring a whole host of best practice policies it is signed to, and of course, in respect of the old school, municipal vandalism.
The planning department will be under tremendous hierarchical pressure to allow this proposal to go forward, and Biggar does need new facilities, but this should not be at any cost.
Legal requirements, and best practice requirements are there for good reason, to protect and provide for us and our children.
The rules and practices of local councils should not be allowed to ride rough-shod over these requirements.
The school proposals are flawed and compromised on so many different levels that they could only be passed by ignoring legal requirements and regulations to such a degree that it would not only make a mockery of the planning process, but would also be of great disservice to, and give great disrespect to, the people of the community, their children and their children’s children.
We deserve better. – Yours etc.,
South Back Road,
Dear Ed, – Alex Salmond should factor in an additional hurdle for an independent Scotland to navigate before being able to join the EU. East European MEPs are telling me that they will insist on transitional measures being applied to any new EU accession state, including Scotland.
This is because they had to suffer harsh transitional measures when they joined and they are adamant new Member States can expect no special favours.
When ten East European and other countries acceded to the EU in 2004, subsidies for farmers were phased in over a period of ten years, only reaching parity with the rest of Europe this year. This was also the case for the Bulgarians and Romanians who joined in 2007. Similarly, when Croatia joined the EU last year, they had an additional restriction of 70% placed on their budget for fisheries.
The EU also allows for restrictions on the freedom of movement of workers and a five-year restriction period for transport carriers from new accession states to operate national road haulage services, giving these Eastern European MEPs additional tools with which to make life difficult for Scotland.
An independent Scotland would require the approval of an absolute majority of MEPs before acceding. The cost of achieving this majority support would be the application of these severe restrictions and transitional measures which would devastate our farmers, fishermen, hauliers, and workers.
This isn’t “Tory scaremongering”; it’s reality. – Yours etc.,
STRUAN STEVENSON MEP,
The European Parliament,
Dear Ed, – On behalf of the Boys and Officers at 4th Carluke Boys’ Brigade, I would like to extend my most sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who joined us at our recent Quiz Night.
Without the generous support of the local people, the Company would not be able to continue to flourish as it currently does.
The quiz, raffle, and speed auction together raised in excess of £800, all of which has been donated to the Company and Senior Section Camp fund. The Camp is due to take place in October. There were lots of new faces, and of course, a number of BB Quiz Veterans, with a number of Boys’ Teams and even a team from Boys’ Brigade Headquarters also competing.
Thanks must also go to Iain Adam, one of our Company Section Lieutenants. Over the past few months, Iain has worked tirelessly canvassing support from the local community, and far beyond, putting up posters, seeking raffle donations, and organising our auction. Furthermore, 4th Carluke Boys’ Brigade wuld like to thank Carluke Bowling Club, which, over the years, has been one of the Company’s most steadfast supporters, selflessly aiding the Company in whatever way it can. Without the Bowling Club, the quiz would not have been able to happen, so we are extremely grateful.
Finally I extend my most sincere thanks to the people of Carluke and the wider area for their unwavering support of the young men of 4th Carluke Boys’ Brigade Company. – Yours etc.,
MRS ELMA CUNNINGHAM,
4th Carluke Boys’ Brigade Parents and Friends Association.
Dear Ed, – All ranks from RAF, WAAF and WRAF or next of kin who served in Coastal Command are invited to join RAF St Eval Coastal Command Association.
We hold two reunions every year.
The Autumn Reunion is at The Fistral Beach Hotel in Newquay (Cornwall).
We parade Our Standard at St Eval Church and after Morning Service, perform the Act of Remembrance at the RAF St Eval Coastal Command Association Memorial.
Information regarding the above from Ken Wilson 0151 423 5241. – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – Got a question about your bowels that you’re just too embarrassed to ask? Tell us!
We know that many people suffer in silence because they are too embarrassed to talk about their poo, and yet constipation and other bowel worries affect millions of people.
We want the nation to be more open to talk about their poo and to discuss health concerns as soon as they appear.
This month, we’re urging everyone to visit www.LetsTalkConstipation.co.uk and submit the questions they’ve always been too embarrassed to ask. It’s anonymous, but we’ll put the most asked queries to our panel of health experts and update the site with practical tips and advice.
If you’re worried you can also contact us for advice and support www.beatingbowelcancer.org. – Yours etc.,
CEO of Beating Bowel Cancer.