No to city lights
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.”