Window on the Past

Photo courtesy of East Dunbartonshire Archives and Local Studies
Photo courtesy of East Dunbartonshire Archives and Local Studies

20 years ago

Councillors had once again rejected a controversial plan for a new access from Switchback Road into the Garscube estate.

Around 100 objectors to the application by Glasgow University, appealing against a previous refusal, applauded when the planning meeting threw out the scheme by four votes to three.

This was the second time the proposals had been rejected by the committee on the grounds of visual amenity. But the university said they were merely seeking to comply with a condition previously imposed by the planning committee.

And a spokesman said: “The university is obviously very disappointed with the decision and we will be continuing the appeal to the Secretary of State.”

And the spokesman pointed out that the access was being sought because the district’s planners required it.

The committee heard from the three objectors speaking on behalf of local residents.

Doctor David Bowes, an emeritus professor and resident of Bute Crescent, said he was speaking as an expert on environmental pollution.

He warned that traffic using the Switchback emitted dangerous substances, including asbestos, when forced to brake because of unseen traffic in the dip at the new lights and junction at Larchfield Road. Exhaust fumes were also a factor, adding to potential health hazards.

The problem was already serious, he said, and could only be heightened with the increased traffic.

15 years ago

The spiralling problem of vandalism was to be tackled under a new police initiative.

An officer had been appointed for East Dunbartonshire and the North West Glasgow area to assist the community safety department.

A police spokesman said: “This is a unique position in the force. The aim is to address all the issues surrounding crimes of vandalism and the officer will assist rather than replace the safety department.

“In the short term the aim is to raise the profile of the crime among officers, improve enquiry and as a consequence detect and charge offenders.”

Sergeant Gary Vezza, 39, was charged with overseeing efforts to turn around the trend in vandalism and officers had dubbed him the vandalism tsar.

He had been in the force for 15 years, three of them as sergeant and after relocating from Baird Street to C Division served as shift sergeant in Milngavie and Bishopbriggs.

He explained: “This is a challenging job. I intend to spend the first few months making sure vandals know the police are after them. Prevention and education have not been forgotten, but the time is right to send the message out ‘if you commit the crime we will be looking for you’. And I know I have the support of the community in this.”

The appointment was made personally by the divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Gordon Irving.

10 years ago

A new weapon in the war against street disorder and violence was in the hands of the police in Bearsden and Milngavie.

Officers were on the streets with camcorders filming groups or individuals they suspected might cause trouble.

Known hotspots were to be targeted and police said ordinary citizens had nothing to fear as they went about their business.

But those intent on causing trouble had everything to fear.

The move had been welcomed by community councils and the local branch of the Crime Prevention Panel in the wake of the previous month’s double stabbing in woods near Westerton and serious assaults in and around Milngavie town centre.

Police said the cameras were part of an ongoing push to combat such violence, in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council’s community safety programme.

A similar camera scheme had been in operation elsewhere in the Strathclyde force.

Maryhill officers said youth disorder had been cut significantly in just three weeks - simply by filming groups of potential troublemakers.

Inspector David Brown, of Milngavie police office, said: “We are delighted to be one of the first offices to use the cameras in the curbing of street disorder. We can assure residents we have protocols in place to ensure the cameras are used responsibly. We see them as useful tools to deter crime.”