Gazette Readers’ Letters, October 9, 2013

READER Clark Thomson, from Douglas, who was a finalist in our recent photo competition, sent in this stunning shot of Nutberry Windfarm. Thanks Clark. If you would like to share an image with our readers send it to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL or email
READER Clark Thomson, from Douglas, who was a finalist in our recent photo competition, sent in this stunning shot of Nutberry Windfarm. Thanks Clark. If you would like to share an image with our readers send it to Editor Julie Currie, 3 High Street, Carluke, ML8 4AL or email

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


Dear Ed, – The other night I was walking down Lanark High Street thinking about my preparations for the week ahead. (I currently work in South Ayrshire at a Secondary School with major staffing problems).

Thinking about the contributions my daughter could take to Lanark Primary for the New Beginnings donation, I was struck by the bitter irony present in the scene before me.

New Beginnings is a relatively new charity working to bring essentials, especially food, to those who are in severe want in Clydesdale today.

Collections are currently made in schools and churches then distributed by dedicated volunteers who have a base in Carluke.

As I mused about what my daughter could carry with her on the bus taking her to the dilapidated Primary in Carluke, where her school are currently decanted and cared for by a wonderful staff pending the reopening of Lanark Primary, the exhausted, emancipated figure of a middle aged man came into my vision walking down the High Street towards the Tolbooth.

The shabbiness of his clothes and pained look on his face on an early autumn evening made me think about the priorities of the society to which I belong. Costly rainbow coloured items in neighbouring shops contrasted starkly with the dull misery of my fellow human being. Why are we still attracted to these gaudy baubles of materialism in the face of such need ?

My own recent evidence of shameful vanity troubled my conscience. I had spent £40 on semi permanent eyelashes in August, to boost my confidence in South Ayrshire, only to have them, and my own lashes, fall out almost completely within three weeks.

Has anyone else faced this humiliation and been too ashamed to admit it?

Why, as a community, can we not get our priorities straight and care more about the real want in front of us, instead of, all too often, closing our minds, pockets and hearts to the possibility of spending our sometimes hard-earned cash on easing the plight of others less fortunate than ourselves?

Please help New Begnnings - Clydesdale by handing in donations of food at your local schools and/or churches. – Yours etc.,


Friars Lane,


Jammy delight

Dear Ed, – A great big thank you should go out to the Carluke Development Trust for all of its efforts in bringing the first Carluke Jam Festival to a wonderful conclusion.

There was a great vibe of energy, enterprise and entertainment in the town over the weekend that was realised by the Festival and all who took part or shared in it.

We trust that this inaugural Jam Festival will not be the last and that the Development Trust will see cultural industries and arts development as other important strands in the economic and social development of Carluke.

Tom Sneddon and his team of volunteers deserve genuine praise for all their efforts. The buzz in the town over the weekend could only be described as Jammin! Well done! – Yours etc.,


sweet tooth?

Dear Ed, – I am writing to ask your readers with a sweet tooth to support people with epilepsy and get involved in National Tea and Cake Break on Friday, October 18. This event raises money for national charity Epilepsy Action, which aims to support the 54,000 people with epilepsy in Scotland.

The event is the perfect excuse for tea drinkers and cake lovers to get together with friends, family, colleagues or schoolmates and indulge! There are all sorts of ways to participate, from a cup of tea and a cupcake in your kitchen with friends to an office tea party or school bake sale.

Everyone who registers to hold a National Tea and Cake Break will receive a free pack. This includes teabags and biscuits to get your event off to a sweet start, as well as bunting and wonderfully crafty cupcake covers. It also features useful hints and tips and posters to promote your event.

This year, we have a delicious selection of new celebrity recipes for you to try featuring cakes and bakes from stars of past series of the Great British Bake Off. The recipes can be found at

Every year, around 32,000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy, that’s 87 every single day. Every penny raised from this event will help us to continue our vital work in supporting the 600,000 people with epilepsy across the UK.

To register for a free tea break fundraising pack, visit or call the fundraising events team on 0113 210 8800. – Yours etc.,


Fundraising Events Officer

Epilepsy Action.

lack of interest?

Dear Ed, – Scotland is heading towards the most decisive historical episode over the last 300 years: the referendum for Independence.

However, most of its population doesn’t seem to be very interested or concerned about such a transcendental debate. Why? The Scottish tend to avoid self-expression: no massive, noisy rallies to achieve something, no political debates going on among its peoples.

They are rough, complex individuals on the whole, especially Glaswegians. Actually, I honestly think that in this country democracy is not fully valued since the voice of a whole collective is going to be heard next year.

In my country, Catalonia, we are not allowed to hold a referendum.

The stale Spanish government considers that it is an illegal act. For that reason, on September 11, 2013 a human chain covering 400km of the Catalan territories asking for Independence was seen around the world.

I hope that my apparently unresolute dissapointment towards the lack of motivation or support towards the only constructive way to make Scotland a better place for its people will change once they are able to express themselves in the polls by wisely and simply saying: YES. – Yours etc.,


c/o Euro Hostel,


payday poverty

Dear Ed, – The new findings on payday loans released by Christians Against Poverty are deeply concerning.

They highlight the desperate lengths that people are going to in order to pay their soaring bills, feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.

It is particularly worrying that many of the payday loan companies do not check that individuals have sufficient income to pay them back. With 80 per cent taking out more than one loan to repay existing borrowing, coupled with interest rates as high as 4000 per cent, it is all too easy for people to end up trapped in a spiral of debt that is difficult to escape.

We know through our own research that many people on low incomes are just not aware of the welfare benefits or charitable funds available to them.

We found that almost half (48 per cent) of people who were unemployed and had taken out a payday loan had never checked their welfare benefits eligibility.

Yet benefits and charitable funds exist to help those experiencing financial hardship – something that could happen to any one of us at any time due to illness, job loss, family breakdown and other unexpected circumstances.

We would urge anyone who is struggling to consider all their options.

They can use our free website tools at to check their entitlements to benefits and tax credits, and see if they are eligible for one of 3,000 charitable grants, which could make all the difference to their situation. 
It’s certainly well worth a look for anyone who finds themselves in difficulties. – Yours etc.,


Turn2us director,

200 Shepherds

Bush Road,

London W6 7NL.