It’s time for coun­cil to lis­ten to peo­ple

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From The Pews -

South La­nark­shire has elected a new coun­cil but the ma­jor is­sues re­main.

Far too of­ten lo­cal peo­ple have no say in ma­jor de­ci­sions which af­fect their com­mu­ni­ties.

In talk­ing to lo­cal Green ac­tivists this is cer­tainly the case in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, with sev­eral ex­am­ples of lo­cal wishes be­ing ig­nored.

One ex­am­ple I have men­tioned pre­vi­ously is the Cathkin Re­lief Road which has re­cently opened af­ter sev­eral de­lays.

As Greens we have long recog­nised that con­tin­u­ally build­ing more and more roads only leads to higher traf­fic lev­els in the long term.

The lo­cal com­mu­nity op­posed the build­ing of this road, pre­fer­ring to keep their lo­cal park, but their wishes were ig­nored.

Lo­cal Green ac­tivist Laura Martin brought an­other ex­am­ple to my at­ten­tion re­cently, this time from Half­way and Drum­sagard.

The area has seen a large in­crease in pop­u­la­tion yet lo­cal fa­cil­i­ties have lagged be­hind.

Re­cent pro­jec­tions es­ti­mate that the three cur­rent sec­ondary schools in the area will be over ca­pac­ity within the next decade and all three schools are poorly lo­cated for serv­ing the area. The lo­cal com­mu­nity has de­manded a new sec­ondary school be built, but the pre­vi­ous coun­cil seemed con­tent to bus chil­dren to Ud­dingston rather than lis­ten to the con­cern of the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Yet an­other ex­am­ple is in the con­tin­ued de­cline of Cam­bus­lang Main Street.

Like many other main streets, it has suf­fered from the rapid growth of out-oftown shop­ping cen­tres and the move to­wards on­line trad­ing.

How­ever, these trends only em­pha­sise the need for coun­cils to be proac­tive to pre­serve our lo­cal shop­ping streets rather than stand by and watch them de­cline.

The lo­cal com­mu­nity have be­gun to rally to re­verse this de­cline and I call on the new SNP ad­min­is­tra­tion in South La­nark­shire to sup­port them in their ef­forts.

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