Po­lice funds gap wor­ry­ing

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

The news re­vealed in a new re­port by Au­dit Scot­land that the Scot­tish Po­lice had a loom­ing cu­mu­la­tive fund­ing gap of £190 mil­lion by 2020/21 is hugely wor­ry­ing.

The Au­dit Scot­land re­port found that Po­lice Scot­land con­tin­ued to suf­fer from “weak fi­nan­cial lead­er­ship and con­sid­er­able bud­get pres­sures”. The Au­di­tor Gen­eral went on to say that “lit­tle could be sal­vaged” from the failed i6 IT pro­gramme, revalu­ing the as­set down to £0.2 mil­lion from £19.3 mil­lion.

I think the cen­tral­i­sa­tion of the po­lice as Po­lice Scot­land has been a ma­jor mis­take.

The Au­di­tor Gen­eral has now laid bare the size of the black hole in po­lice fund­ing.

No won­der the po­lice are propos­ing to close po­lice of­fices all over South La­nark­shire and across Scot­land.

This is the third con­sec­u­tive year that the au­di­tors have high­lighted the dire fi­nan­cial man­age­ment by Po­lice Scot­land.

The IT fail­ure is a ma­jor botch up of the kind we have seen with other over­large or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The Po­lice Scot­land fund­ing sit­u­a­tion must be sorted out by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment very ur­gently as it is clearly go­ing to hit front line ser­vices in com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try.

As a lo­cal coun­cil­lor, I find the is­sue hugely wor­ry­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown, Ruther­glen What stress?? Writ­ing in a na­tional news­pa­per last week, psy­chol­o­gist Gra­ham Price said “there is more stress around to­day than there ever has been.” Oh re­ally?

I re­mem­ber my late father Jack Con­nor who served in Burma dur­ing WW2 be­ing to­tally flum­moxed by this modern idea of ‘stress’. Peo­ple nowa­days are liv­ing in unimag­in­able lux­ury and yet they are all so dis­con­tented - how much more do they want? In­deed. I agree with him.

All any­one needs are the ba­sics of life - a roof over your head, food in your belly and clothes on your back - ev­ery­thing else is ex­tra.

Now here we are “stressed” out, ac­cord­ing to the psy­chol­o­gist with all the driv­ing round in comfy cars, mak­ing vis­its to and from friends and relatives, over­spend­ing and overeat­ing and drink­ing.

Well, I have news for him - what about those who are ill, lonely, home­less, unloved - tell them about stress!

There are folk wor­ship­ping the great god shop­ping at the altar of ma­te­ri­al­ism gone mad.

When not do­ing that, folk young and old are press­ing but­tons on ma­chines in­stead of ac­tu­ally talk­ing to one other.

Most folk have all the com­forts un­heard of even in the 1950s when I was born - cen­trally heated, dou­ble glazed houses, dozens of chan­nels on TV, ev­ery elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ance, food taken from the freezer and ready in mo­ments in the mi­crowave.

My dad was an en­gi­neer and al­ways worked, of­ten away from home.

But we never had a car, had only one or two sea­side hol­i­days in Scot­land and the pin­na­cle of achieve­ment which thrilled us all was when we got a colour telly, a fridge, a wash­ing ma­chine and fitted car­pets and they were not un­til the 1970s when all the fam­ily were work­ing.

Time to pause as the year comes to an end and be still, grate­ful for all we have, in­clud­ing all the ad­vances in modern medicine, and take a mo­ment to count our bless­ings in­stead of count­ing how much stuff we have ac­cu­mu­lated.

Save the worry and stress for the re­ally big is­sues in life which come to ev­ery­one sooner or later.

Hope ev­ery­one has a peace­ful, happy and healthy new year.

Dorothy Con­nor, Flat 0/2, 72 Wood­end Road Lib­eral democ­racy In re­cent days, SNP MPs keep men­tion­ing they are “lib­eral.” Ms Stur­geon her­self has even de­clared she will de­fend “lib­eral democ­racy” in 2017.

It is al­most as if Na­tion­al­ism might be­come a tainted brand in the com­ing year.

But some­one needs to ad­vise Ni­cola Stur­geon ac­cu­rately.

As a rule, lib­er­als don’t march upon and in­tim­i­date in­de­pen­dent me­dia. Lib­er­als don’t de­mand pub­lic broad­cast­ers are bought un­der their con­trol, as the SNP does. Also, First Min­is­ter, seek­ing the sack­ing of crit­i­cal jour­nal­ists, like Stephen Dais­ley, is re­ally not very lib­eral ei­ther.

Lib­er­als don’t ban foot­ball songs. A lib­eral places free speech above of­fence. And lib­er­als don’t or­gan­ise the state mon­i­tor­ing of pri­vate fam­ily life.

Note to Miss Stur­geon: You may be many things. But you are not a de­fender of lib­eral free­dom. Mrs. C. S. Smith, Via email

Barnardo’s thanks As the year draws to a close, I wanted to take this op­por­tu­nity to say a big ‘thank you’ to your read­ers and our sup­port­ers for help­ing to make this, our 150th year, a huge suc­cess for Barnardo’s Scot­land.

Many of your read­ers have taken part in a host of chal­lenge events and raised funds through, sweat, tears and sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion.

Oth­ers have sup­ported events as vol­un­teers, and with­out this army of sup­port we sim­ply wouldn’t be able to func­tion.

Vol­un­teers are the lifeblood of our char­ity, sup­port­ing fundrais­ing, work­ing in our ser­vices and shops.

By shop­ping and do­nat­ing to our Barnardo’s Scot­land stores in Ruther­glen, East Kil­bride, Ud­dingston, Mother­well, Coat­bridge and Wishaw, your read­ers have helped our lo­cal ser­vices.

The prof­its from our re­tail sec­tor go di­rectly to sup­port the char­ity’s work with some of Scot­land’s most dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren and young peo­ple.

And fi­nally thanks to you for sup­port­ing us by telling your read­ers about our events, news and cam­paigns and help­ing to raise aware­ness of the work we do across La­nark­shire.

So a big ‘thank you’ to you and your read­ers for help­ing us.

We look for­ward to their con­tin­ued sup­port in 2017. Martin Crewe, Di­rec­tor, Barnardo’s Scot­land

Book bowel can­cer talk Bowel Can­cer UK is look­ing for work places and com­mu­nity groups in Ruther­glen to host a free bowel can­cer aware­ness talk.

The free 30-minute talk is de­liv­ered by a trained a health pro­mo­tion vol­un­teer, who of­ten has a per­sonal con­nec­tion to bowel can­cer.

The award-win­ning pro­gramme raises aware­ness of the dis­ease and good bowel health, high­lights the symp­toms and risks, and stresses the im­por­tance of those who are of screen­ing age to take the bowel can­cer screen­ing test when they re­ceive it in the post.

To book email sco­tad­min@bow­el­canceruk.org.uk or call 0131 225 5333.

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