Work­ing for you

Rutherglen Reformer - - Working For You -

I missed last week­end’s protest against the Cathkin Re­lief Road pro­pos­als of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil.

I had hoped to at­tend but had to send my apolo­gies and best wishes. I’ve been op­posed to the re­lief road for some time, not be­cause op­po­si­tion has gained pop­u­lar sup­port but be­cause it’s the wrong pri­or­ity in so many ways.

My op­po­si­tion stems from a num­ber of fac­tors. I dis­pute the need for the road.

The com­ple­tion of the M74 has eased con­ges­tion sig­nif­i­cantly and I took the time to drive around the area at pinch point times to see for my­self.

The coun­cil spent a great deal of time seek­ing to pro­mote the use of the park – I quote their spe­cific word­ing, “a park for all the com­mu­ni­ties” - which they now wish to tar­mac over and de­stroy.

Lo­cal res­i­dents tell me the park is well used and is an im­por­tant link be­tween neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties. There are great am­bi­tions to use the grass­land ever more in the years ahead.

How­ever in­stead of build­ing on this com­mu­nity spirit, the coun­cil wish to bull­doze it (quite lit­er­ally) and pay for the priv­i­lege. And of course there’s the clear en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age and the im­pact it will have on lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Fi­nally, and per­haps most stag­ger­ingly, there’s the cost. The cost has spi­ralled since it was first pro­posed in 2007. The South La­nark­shire share of that is likely to be £21.6m. Just think about what this cash could do to boost park and ride op­tions or boost public trans­port in­fra­struc­ture.

In­deed just imag­ine how many school buses could be saved from the Labour axe in South La­nark­shire.

That’s another is­sue I have been cam­paign­ing on and many com­mu­ni­ties are deeply dis­sat­is­fied over sup­pos­edly safe walk­ing routes.

The bus axe to sec­ondary schools goes way be­yond an in­con­ve­nience to fam­i­lies. It also puts at risk child­care and trans­port ar­range­ments so vi­tal to fam­i­lies try­ing to jug­gle work and fam­ily life.

Many can­not af­ford com­mer­cial bus op­er­a­tor costs to take chil­dren to school and oth­ers have no com­mer­cial bus ser­vice, even if they could af­ford the cash.

Putting safety at risk as well as risk­ing the at­ten­dance, at­tain­ment of stu­dents and piling pres­sure on strug­gling fam­i­lies is not the an­swer to bal­anc­ing bud­gets.

Which brings us back to the wast­ing and squan­der­ing of public funds on the Cathkin Re­lief Road. Even at this 11th hour I very much hope cool heads and com­mon sense will pre­vail.

I don’t doubt or un­der­es­ti­mate the fi­nan­cial chal­lenges that are about to im­pact on Scot­land, our Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and our coun­cils due to a UK Tory gov­ern­ment ob­sessed by

I dis­pute the need for the road. The com­ple­tion of the M74 has eased con­ges­tion sig­nif­i­cantly.

Protest Bob Doris at a pre­vi­ous rally

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