No to city lights

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

I re­fer to the com­ments by Glas­gow his­to­rian and au­thor, Ian Mitchell, in last week’s Re­former that “it is time for the Burgh to come back to Glas­gow.”

He calls for a city of one mil­lion peo­ple, ex­actly the sen­ti­ments that drove the lo­cal Coun­cil cam­paign which suc­ceeded in with­draw­ing from Glas­gow in the 1990’s.

Ruther­glen, Cam­bus­lang and Half­way peo­ple have shown that they don’t like be­ing part of a large un­re­spon­sive unit which large cities of­ten be­come.

Let me make it clear I think Glas­gow is a great city and I was hon­oured to rep­re­sent To­ry­glen for a pe­riod of 23 years and I have a lot of friends there. So I am not in any way bi­ased against Glas­gow peo­ple. I just think that Ruther­glen, Cam­bus­lang and Half­way are used to a smaller unit with a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the value of com­mu­ni­ties.

Mr Mitchell refers to Glas­gow fa­cil­i­ties be­ing used by Ruther­glen peo­ple who don’t pay for them. He needs to give facts and fig­ures as to what ser­vices he is talk­ing about. In ad­di­tion, all Coun­cils re­ceive around 80 per cent of their in­come from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment which in turn gets its in­come from taxes raised from all tax pay­ers so Ruther­glen does in­di­rectly sup­port Glas­gow ser­vices.

It’s use­less for him to pick on this as­pect whilst ig­nor­ing the con­tri­bu­tion made by shop­pers to Glas­gow’s re­tail busi­nesses.

He also den­i­grates South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s con­tri­bu­tion to Clyde Gate­way us­ing a phrase like “Ruther­glen has man­aged to get on the coat tails of ini­tia­tives in Dal­marnock.” What in fact is hap­pen­ing is Glas­gow City Coun­cil has launched co-op­er­a­tion ve­hi­cles with sur­round­ing Coun­cils that are the way ahead for co-op­er­a­tion be­tween Glas­gow and its neigh­bours. That is to the great credit of Glas­gow City Coun­cil.

One Glas­gow politi­cian re­cently said that as he was in an aero­plane fly­ing over Glas­gow it struck him that all the ar­eas he was over re­ally should be part of Glas­gow. I warn the peo­ple of Ruther­glen, Cam­bus­lang and Half­way that ar­ro­gant at­ti­tude has got to be watched care­fully.

Mr Mitchell says he can’t com­ment on the re­ac­tion of our com­mu­ni­ties to be­ing swal­lowed up by Glas­gow in 1975. Let me tell him of the ne­glect of the Town Hall, lack of lo­cal con­nec­tions in the al­lo­ca­tion of Coun­cil Hous­ing, ne­glect of Cam­bus­lang In­sti­tute and its arte­facts, lack of cap­i­tal in­vest­ment in Coun­cil Hous­ing, clo­sure of li­braries just be­cause we were “over pro­vided by for li­braries.”

Let me also tell him that I ne­go­ti­ated on our ar­eas be­com­ing part of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil with Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ters. I also ne­go­ti­ated with Glas­gow Dis­trict Coun­cil the con­duct­ing of a ref­er­en­dum on the choice of stay­ing with Glas­gow or join­ing South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, check the re­sult Mr Mitchell.

Ruther­glen, Cam­bus­lang and Half­way voted over­whelm­ingly to joint South La­nark­shire Coun­cil.

The Glas­gow politi­cian on his aero­plane com­pletely for­got he was fly­ing over var­i­ous dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties with their own iden­ti­ties. Is Mr Mitchell ad­vo­cat­ing the ref­er­en­dum re­sult should be over­turned? This demon­strates the con­tempt of those who ad­vo­cate Glas­gow swal­low­ing us up.

They would com­pletely ig­nore the wishes of lo­cal res­i­dents in an un­demo­cratic and dic­ta­to­rial man­ner. Ex­actly the rea­son our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties voted to leave Glas­gow bu­reau­crats and aca­demics like Mr Mitchell can’t help treat­ing peo­ple like num­bers with­out any hu­man feel­ings.

The high­light of our lo­cal Coun­cil cam­paign was over 1000 peo­ple at­tend­ing the public meet­ing in the Old Parish Church.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has a good record of rep­re­sent­ing the var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties within it and I per­son­ally be­lieve if the Town Hall had not been ren­o­vated by South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, Glas­gow City Coun­cil’s ne­glect would have re­sulted in its de­mo­li­tion.

I ad­vo­cate sen­si­ble co-op­er­a­tion with Glas­gow City Coun­cil which to its credit is a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence. This is the way ahead for lo­cal gov­ern­ment not di­vi­sive claims of peo­ple not pay­ing their fair share. There can be no railroading of com­mu­ni­ties.

We have a ref­er­en­dum man­date in favour of South La­nark­shire and as long as ev­ery­one re­spects that, we can all work to­gether for the ben­e­fit of all the peo­ple, ir­re­spec­tive of bound­aries. Lord Tommy McAvoy via email

Fur­ther to your re­cent ar­ti­cle on park­ing in the Au­gust 12 is­sue of the Re­former I would like to com­ment as fol­lows:

As far as I am aware it is illegal to park on the pave­ment so why are the res­i­dents of Dukes Road and Hawthorn Walk in Cam­bus­lang per­mit­ted to park fully up on top of the pave­ments, pre­vent­ing any­one with a pram/buggy or wheel­chair be­ing able to pass, far less peo­ple with im­paired vi­sion or other dis­abil­i­ties also be­ing af­fected?

They dont just park on the edge of the pave­ment, they park fully on top of the pave­ment, and some of them slap bang in the mid­dle of it.

Some of them have drive­ways and some don’t, but even so there is plenty of space to park in the sur­round­ing ar­eas with­out them hav­ing to park in this way. It’s not only cars park­ing in this way, but vans also.

If I parked my car on a dou­ble yel­low line, a sin­gle yel­low line or even a park­ing me­ter I would get a ticket, if I did not com­ply with reg­u­la­tions, so why are these ve­hi­cles al­lowed to park in this way with­out penalty?

Also on Cam­bus­lang Road, op­po­site the new Lidl store, there are dou­ble yel­low lines, so be­cause the garage op­po­site can no longer park on the road they park on the pave­ment in­stead. Is this set­ting a prece­dent that if you can’t park on the road, be­cause of pro­hib­i­tive road mark­ings, you just park on the pave­ment in­stead?

I would be in­ter­ested to know what the le­gal po­si­tion is on this stance is as I would love to be able to just park any­where on the pave­ment if road re­stric­tions ex­ist and I can’t park on the road. Lil­lian Geikie via email

I vis­ited Ruther­glen ceno­taph on Satur­day 15 Au­gust which was the 70th an­niver­sary of VJ Day to leave my small trib­ute of red roses and a mes­sage of re­mem­brance and thanks.

Once again I was shocked at what I found. Faded poppy tributes and bro­ken crosses strewn around which had ob­vi­ously been there since Re­mem­brance Sun­day last Novem­ber. I made a sim­i­lar com­plaint last year on the an­niver­sary of the out­break of the First World War .

The up­keep of war me­mo­ri­als is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil and surely also, in this case, due to ours be­ing so close to West and Ward­lawhill Church, some­one in the con­gre­ga­tion could keep an eye on it and re­move any dead or faded tributes. I do not think it is ac­cept­able for faded flow­ers to be left for more than nine months. It is so dis­re­spect­ful.

I note that the var­i­ous tributes and para­pher­na­lia around the peace tree on the Main Street have been re­moved leav­ing only one small white wreath which is in keep­ing. I note also that there was a cer­e­mony there at­tended by our new MP Mar­garet Ferrier. I hope that she at­tended the VJ Day com­mem­o­ra­tions in Lon­don.

Which leaves our coun­cil leader, Ed­die McAvoy, who is him­self a Ru­glo­nian. Would it re­ally have been be­yond the re­mit of the coun­cil to have pro­vided a small flo­ral trib­ute for the men of this town who paid the ul­ti­mate price ? As a coun­cil tax payer and the daugh­ter of a Burma vet­eran, I cer­tainly wouldn’t have thought so. There are peo­ple still liv­ing in Ruther­glen whose rel­a­tives not only served in the war but were taken pris­on­ers and those who sur­vived had their lives and those of their fam­i­lies blighted by what they suf­fered.

It would be a hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence for all towns­folk and par­tic­u­larly our coun­cil­lors, none of whom are over 70 and all of whom have lived their en­tire lives in peace, to visit the World War Two ex­hi­bi­tion in the foyer at Ruther­glen li­brary which is open un­til 31 Au­gust. It is in­deed a pity that the coun­cil leader found him­self un­able to spare even half an hour in the four months the ex­hi­bi­tion has been run­ning, to visit, de­spite be­ing per­son­ally in­vited by me.

It was a priv­i­lege for me as an ‘or­di­nary’ Ru­glo­nian to do my duty in a small way, remembering that this will be the last ma­jor com­mem­o­ra­tion of the con­flicts.

As the Bri­tish Le­gion Scot­land chief said “VJ Day is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant days in our history.” Re­spect costs noth­ing. It is a pity that our coun­cil leader found him­self un­able to show any to his own towns­folk.

Any­one who watched the the VJ day com­mem­o­ra­tions in Lon­don on tv would be hum­bled and moved to tears as I was, by the re­silience and the strength of the life force shown by those vet­er­ans of the con­flict who are still alive and found them­selves able to march, and in one lovely and mov­ing case, to dance, through the streets of Lon­don de­spite all the suf­fer­ing they en­dured, they con­sid­ered them­selves lucky to sur­vive, know­ing what their com­rades who didn’t went through. Dorothy Con­nor via email Carol Don­ald­son ,(62) from Burn­side said: “With re­gards to the NHS Glas­gow hos­pi­tals are eas­ier to get to than South La­nark­shire hos­pi­tals for peo­ple in Ruther­glen, so in some re­spects it’s a good thing.”


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