Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor can be e-mailed to mbherald@jnscotland.co.uk

WE would like to express our utter disbelief, disappointment and resulting lack of confidence in those councillors involved in the decision not to retain or replace the existing sportsdrome at the Allander sports centre as well as, potentially, reducing the sports facilities which will be available within the replacement centre itself.

As parents of two young children, we have used the sportsdrome indoor facility for over six years and removing this would have a direct impact on our children who, may I add, are furious that their indoor football and tennis facilities may be taken away from them and their friends for the foreseeable future.

The Scottish climate itself provides the most valid of reasons for keeping the indoor astro-grass facility, which, following substantial public sector investment in 2007, was described by East Dunbartonshire Council as the “very best in sporting facilities”.

As far as we understand, the nearest similar, publicly owned, indoor sports facility is in Toryglen, which already serves the whole of the Glasgow area and is some eight or nine miles from Milngavie.

We would ask the council to reconsider, to draw comparison between sporting success and the provision of effective sporting facilities.

It would appear that our council’s decision fails to reflect the current Scottish Parliament policy in relation to health, well-being and the fight against obesity.

Therefore, we would strongly encourage our community, within which there are many families we know are extremely concerned, to contact their local councillors from each of the political parties and hold them to account for this potentially detrimental decision which will, without any doubt, affect the 106 already existing user groups and the wider community.

The McGarvey family

Milngavie

I WRITE in response to your article on page 3 of last week’s Milngavie and Bearsden Herald (30/12/11) regarding councillors voting unanimously at the Thursday, December 23 policy and resources meeting for a new Allander Leisure to be built on the centre’s existing car park.

This is a very positive development with all parties now backing a new Allander rather than the refurbishment option.

Labour has been the only political party consistent in our position that refurbishment may not be the best option.

Council Leader Rhonnda Geekie stated in the M & B Herald on July 8, 2011 “We thought the best option would be to go for a new Allander – nothing diluting the services in place, maybe even adding to them”.

The option put forward by Scottish National Party group leader Ian Mackay is for the construction of a new centre to current standards costing £18million, with the existing centre remaining open during construction.

This motion relies on developers Cala and Stewart Milne agreeing “to enter a legally binding agreement for their £10million contribution with no reduction conditions, and they will also be asked to make available suitable land for temporary parking facilities at the sports centre.”

It is vital that this agreement is formalised as soon as possible to secure the future new Allander.

All interested parties must now work together to secure the necessary finances, and maintain operation of the existing Allander until a new facility is built.

This position should not change (with reversion to the refurbishment option) regardless of the outcome of the 2012 local council elections.

Stewart Moohan

Labour Party Candidate

Bearsden North Ward

BAH humbug! It is shocking that Stirling Council is failing to support Edenmill Farm (M&B Herald, December 23) by requesting the removal of the amusing Christmas advertising.

Edenmill provides the local community the opportunity to purchase delicious food, all sourced ‘under 50 food miles’.

A council should surely help to encourage such enterprise, in view of health scares re over-travelled food.

Will Stirling Council request that menu adverts at Carbeth Inn be removed from the roadside?

We have been enjoying excellent meat from Edenmill Farm over the festive season.

Lila Ralston

Milngavie

I WAS delighted to win a recent competition in The Milngavie and Bearsden Herald - the prize was a meal for six people at the Burnbrae on New Year’s Day.

Our family had a lovely meal there on Sunday, the staff were extremely pleasant and helpful, the food was perfect and a very nice afternoon was had by all.

May I wish all your staff a very happy new year and thank you once again.

Hugh Livingston

Carnock Gardens

Milngavie

I WOULD like to say a thank you to all of your readers who have helped support the NSPCC throughout 2011.

Thanks to the public giving generously, we have made significant strides for children this year. At the start of the year we began to roll out the ChildLine Schools Service, particularly focusing on seven to 11 year olds.

The service visits primary schools and aims to help children understand abuse, including bullying, how to protect themselves and how to seek help.

By 2016 we aim to visit every primary school in the UK at least once every two years.

On October 30 ChildLine celebrated its 25th birthday and launched a year of fundraising. Over the past 25 years ChildLine has spoken to over 2.6 million children about concerns ranging from bullying to sexual abuse.

The number of ChildLine contacts from children troubled by suicide, depression and self-harm has significantly increased since the introduction of the online service, which means thankfully we are reaching more children and young people who need us.

In November we launched our ‘All Babies Count’ campaign to highlight the vulnerability of babies and to call for better and earlier support for new parents. Babies are more likely to suffer neglect and abuse and are eight times more likely to be killed than any other child.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to vulnerable babies to help us make All Babies Count. Pledge your support at nspcc.org.uk/allbabiescount.

You can also ‘like’ us at facebook.com/nspccscotland and follow us on Twitter @NSPCC_Scotland, for updates on our work with children and families and the various ways you can get involved.

2012 promises to be an exciting year for the NSPCC as we prepare to introduce a range of new services in Scotland.

These services will help us pioneer new approaches to address the significant child protection problems facing children in Scotland, complementing our existing work which makes a huge difference to the lives of children right across the UK.

We are always extremely grateful to everyone in East Dunbartonshire for their continued support and generosity.

We wish you all a happy new year and let’s make 2012 the year when all babies do count.

Sally Cameron

Fundraising Manager

NSPCC Scotland