If tomorrow’s General Election is going to be all about Europe, then we can take it – if we can assume anything at all – that the majority of voters in West Dunbartonshire will vote for the candidates who want to remain part of the EU. The number of votes cast in the constituency for … More BILL HEANEY’S ELECTION NOTEBOOK
Army Veteran John Baillie visited The Erskine Home in Bishopton to present the Veterans’ Charity with an incredible cheque for £8,001.11 after completing his One Million Metres Row challenge in September. He presented the cheque to Erskine Community Fundraising Manager Karen McAulay. … More JOHN CHEQUES IN WITH £8000 FOR ERSKINE
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used an eve of poll campaign stop to say that now is the time to stop Brexit and independence and build a brighter future as the country heads to the polls.
Mr Rennie said: “At this election the Liberal Democrats are clear that a vote for us is a vote to stop Brexit, stop independence and build a brighter future for Scotland in the United Kingdom. … More LIBDEMS: TIME TO EXIT FROM BREXIT
THE true spirit of Christmas came to HM Naval Base Clyde on Tuesday when the Big Sing for Christmas Carol Service was held in the Naval Base Chaplaincy. Sailors, Marines and civilian personnel gathered in the Chaplaincy where there was the opportunity to enjoy bacon rolls, mince pies and a cuppa courtesy of Babcock, before joining colleagues in a seasonal sing-song. … More FASLANE STAFF JOIN IN THE BIG SING AT CHRISTMAS
It’s a testament to the chaos of Brexit that the banality of Irish politics is something to feel smug about. I’d opined that as Ireland became increasingly progressive, Britain seemed to be regressing. My English companion prickled at the suggestion. “What about the DUP?” she answered, defensively. “They’re totally backward, and they’re Irish.” Her eyes glazed over as I explained that the Democratic Unionist Party is a political party in the United Kingdom, not the Republic of Ireland. … More NORTHERN IRELAND IS A POISONED POLITICAL CHALICE
A Scheme of Integration was subsequently agreed in 2016 which provides information about which health and social care functions and services will be delivered by the HSCP. By law this must be reviewed every five years and submitted to the Scottish Government for approval. The current scheme has recently been updated by the Council and NHS Highland and it is important that we also consult with the public and our stakeholders to seek their views on any proposed changes and to consider all views expressed. … More HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE PARTNERSHIP – IS IT WORKING?
Police Scotland is launching a campaign to deter the public from buying potentially stolen goods, which fund serious and organised crime. With the festive period now underway, people across the country will begin their Christmas shopping, with many on the hunt for a bargain. However, officers are warning shoppers not to spend their money on any items that have been stolen from a home or business. … More DON’T BUY STOLEN GOODS THIS CHRISTMAS
UNITE trade union’s Faslane and Coulport branch have donated £600 to West Dunbartonshire Foodshare. Richie Calder and Andy Brown of UNITE are pictured with Jackie Baillie MSP and Carol and Mary from the Foodshare project packing bags of toys for children at Christmas. … More CHRISTMAS TOYS GIFT FROM BASE TRADE UNION
Luke-warm, watery beef mince swimming in butter beans and two scoops of lumpy mashed potatoes come to mind though. And lumpy custard with jam sponge. The kindly school dinner ladies tried to keep us going with extra helpings of slimy semolina and prunes and other epicurean delights such as that, but we weren’t old enough to appreciate their good deeds. As did retching afterwards in that god awful bog on the corner of the building they tried to pass off as the boys’ lavatory. … More PACKET OF CRISPS AND A HALF V IN ARANCI’S
“We need to ensure that every parent in Scotland has access to the support and information they need to give their child a healthy start in life. He maintains that the Liberal Democrats would invest in sport, support people to make informed choices and dodge junk food, as well as extend the rights of GPs to social prescribing, including free access to exercise programmes if they judge it will help a person’s health and well-being.” … More FAT’S NOT THE WAY TO GOOD HEALTH, SAY LIB DEMS
The fire broke out at the building on Lancefield Quay, on the north bank of the River Clyde, at about 18:40 on Monday.
Sixty firefighters and 15 appliances tackled the “well-developed” blaze in the second floor of the three-storey building. No-one was hurt.
One senior firefighter said they did a “remarkable job in very challenging circumstances”, due to wind and rain. … More 200 EVACUATED AS FIRE RIPS THROUGH FLATS
Ticking all the boxes, the founders of three of Scotland’s most exciting independent coffee roasters have joined forces to create an unique gift set, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to The Circle, a charity dedicated to empowering women right across the world. … More GATHER ROUND FOR A COFFEE, LADIES
Fiona McPhail, principal solicitor for Shelter Scotland, said the case is about “one of the most fundamental rights homeless people have in Scotland”. “When in the crisis of homelessness, our laws say that temporary accommodation should be provided. Too often Glasgow has failed in that most basic duty,” she added.
A petition with around 10,000 signatures, including Annie Lennox, Robert Carlyle, KT Tunstall and Val McDermid, calling for a law to secure a legal right to a home, will be presented to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday. … More SNP LET DOWN HOMELESS AT EVERY LEVEL
Christmas decoration making and Letters to Santa at the Pavilion Café Saturday 14 December ( 13:00 – 15:00 ) Levengrove Park , Dumbarton, G82 4AZ Christmas Decoration Making and Letters to Santa at the Pavilion Café, Levengrove Park. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
It’s wet and windy out there and unsafe for both motorists and pedestrians on the A82 Loch Lomondside road.
BBC Scotland are reporting that all train services have been cancelled between Dalmuir and Helensburgh after high winds drove waves over the sea wall at Craigendoran causing floods and making the railway line impassable. … More STORMY WEATHER CAUSES CHAOS ON ROADS AND RAILWAYS
When the island was inhabited, it didn’t have a church or public house and then the school closed. There was no electricity until 2003 to serve the population, which the census recorded was at one time as high as 128.
Some of the islanders who left return from time to time to attend to farming chores, and several of their houses have been purchased as holiday homes by people from Ireland and other European countries. The author, Bernadette Conroy, who quit once but returned later to her post as Inishturk shed the last members of its indigenous population, deserves great praise for her work and for the skilful way she has drawn together the fascinating material for this new book. The Clifden Festival’s Artistic Director, Dr Brendan Flynn, is to be congratulated for having the commendable good sense to promote this book.
• Waves on the Shore is available from The Clifden Bookshop, other good bookshops such as Kenny’s Bookshop and Charlie O’Beirne’s in Galway, and on-line from the usual outlets.
Nearly 10,000 calls to a helpline for rape victims went unanswered last year due to a lack of resources, according to Rape Crisis Scotland. A new report by the charity, which runs the helpline, also says that 1,150 people seeking help had attempted to take their own lives after a sexual attack. Such was the demand for help that rape crisis centres struggled to cope, with some even forced to close their waiting lists at times. … More FERRET INVESTIGATION ON RAPE CRIMES
Unfortunately anything covered in glitter or foil-based paper cannot be recycled. If you want to check if the paper is foil, scrunch the paper up. If it springs back, then please put it in the general waste bin. … More FESTIVE BIN COLLECTION DATES
Scottish Government funding for major environment bodies has been slashed by 40 per cent over the last decade putting nature and the climate at risk, according to a new expert analysis, according to The Ferret investigative bureau. Scottish Environment Link, a coalition of more than 35 wildlife, countryside and campaign groups, estimates that almost £100 million has been cut from the budgets of public agencies in Scotland between 2010-11 and 2019-20. Amongst those who’ve been hit are Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), Scotland’s Rural College, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and environmental research institutes. … More WILDLIFE SUFFER FROM SNP DECADE OF AUSTERITY
Hat tip MT Rainey
The Helensburgh Scout group will all be taking pictures throughout the year to put together a charity calendar. After giving a brief on life as a photographer in the Royal Navy, Stevie gave some practical lessons to the young Scouts. This involved showing them some tips and tricks using their camera phones and getting them to carry out some tasks together. … More HELENSBURGH SCOUTS GET SNAP SHOT OF LIFE AND WORK
I have been covering local government, national government and European government for the past half century almost, and I have never come across such a shambles as West Dunbartonshire Council. They couldn’t run a bath.” And such is their obsession with secrecy, that it wouldn’t raise an eyebrow if they were to suddenly switch their meetings to another hall across the road in Church Street. Don’t ask me which one. That really is a secret and, unlike the Council, its members are quite within their rights to keep it that way. … More BILL HEANEY’S NOTEBOOK COLUMN
Dumbarton Castle’s Monument Manager has received an award from his colleagues at the Scottish Thistle Awards. Joseph Sellors, who was promoted to his position at the Castle in 2017, received the Regional Rising Star Award at Òran Mór in Glasgow. He said: “I am delighted to have won the Regional Rising Star award. … More JOE IS KING OF THE CASTLE …
Dalmuir Park has been closed in West Dunbartonshire after a man’s body was found in a burn there. Police sealed off Dalmuir Park in Clydebank on Monday morning and are carrying out inquiries. … More MAN’S BODY FOUND IN BURN IN DALMUIR PARK
As well as being a famous local landmark, the Black Bridge was a handy crossing point at Place of Bonhill for people going from Renton to Bonhill and vice versa. The old bridge is now being replaced much to the delight of local people. … More NEW MILL BURN BRIDGE ARRIVES IN RENTON
Father Christmas has stopped by the Hill House to collect his order of Blackie children’s books for delivery on Christmas Eve. Bring your little ones along to meet Father Christmas in the Kitchen and receive a gift before he returns to his Christmas preparations. Our café will be open, serving a seasonal menu along with freshly baked scones and sweet treats. Tickets to Father Christmas are £7 per child and adults go free (2 adults per child). … More FATHER CHRISTMAS AT THE HILL HOUSE
The Gate to the Kingdom. In the small, silent chamber, by that fading candlelight, the archbishop read and reread the letter which had come to him from his nephew…
In his mind’s eye he could see the sails of the ships which would, one bright Spring morning, appear on the Firth of Clyde. Sails which would bear the crossed keys symbol of St. Peter – the keys of the kingdom. … More BALLOCH WRITER’S BOOK FOR CHRISTMAS
When he was 40, the renowned Bohemian novelist and short story writer FRANZ KAFKA (1883–1924), who never married and had no children, was strolling through Stieglitz Park in Berlin, when he chanced upon a young girl crying her eyes out because she had lost her favourite doll. She and Kafka looked for the doll without success. Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would look again. … More FRANZ KAFKA AND THE LOST DOLL
Familiar faces in front in this protest march along Dumbarton High Street in 1971 include Hugh McCartney MP, Ian Campbell MP, Tony Benn MP, Steve McElroy, reporter, Frank McElhone MP, Ian McKee, District Secretary, AUEW, Willie Ross, Secretary of State for Scotland and Jim White MP. Eddie McLaffery, Jack Green, Andy Hamill, John Diamond, Ian Bell and Pat McAllister are also in the picture for which we thank Donald Chisholm. … More UPPER CLYDE SHIPBUILDERS DEMO IN DUMBARTON 1971
A coastguard search and rescue helicopter, Police Scotland, Ministry of Defence police and coastguard teams from Kilgreggan and Greenock also joined the search. … More FATHER MISSING BUT SONS RESCUED IN FIRTH OF CLYDE
Hat tip to EJ King’s in Clifden, Connemara
The prize for the best election leaflet in West Dunbartonshire goes to the candidate who doesn’t have one. Independent Andrew Muir thought that instead of paying lip service to all the hot air about climate change and recycling, he would actually do something about it. … More ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL AND MAY THE BEST CANDIDATE WIN
Christmas song of 2019. Released back in 1987, the classic duet with the late, great Kirsty MacColl may have failed to hit the top of the festive charts that year but has remained a firm Christmas favourite in the decades since. … More TOP OF THE CHRISTMAS CHARTS
This event was very successful despite the appalling weather on Saturday morning. I took a table myself to raise funds for the Marie Curie Nurses. Ably assisted by my wife, Bernie, I signed copies of my latest book, Two Minutes Silence, which we gave away FREE in exchange for a donation to Marie Curie being placed in the big yellow bucket. We would like to thank the 1st Dumbarton Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, who gave us the table free of charge as a donation from them. … More THANKS TO 1ST DUMBARTON BEAVERS, CUBS AND SCOUTS FROM MARIE CURIE
West Dunbartonshire’s two MSPs, have come out in favour of extending the right to vote to people who were formerly excluded including prisoners serving jail sentences of less than 12 months. … More SNP AND LABOUR SUPPORT PRISONERS’ RIGHT TO VOTE
Cllr Bollan said the “sham” SNP consultation on what survey on what Departmental Budgets to cut next year were exposed again with the unemployed, council tenants and those with a disability under-represented in the returns from the flawed questionnaire which once again had no option to support a No Cuts Budget. … More ASSURANCE SOUGHT FOR CASH FOR NEW SOCIAL HOUSING
We are so grateful to everyone who thinks of Mary’s Meals at this special time of year. From setting a place at our virtual Christmas dinner, to giving a gift card, to sending one of our greeting cards… there are lots of ways you can support this beautiful mission. Together we feed more than 1.5 million hungry children every school day – and together we will continue to reach out with love to the next hungry child. … More GIVE TO MARY’S MEALS THIS CHRISTMAS
A Christmas scene featuring the Titan Crane which was created by a Clydebank youngster has been chosen as the winner of the Provost’s 2019 Christmas card competition. … More CLYDEBANK PUPIL WINS COUNCIL CARD COMPETITION
The Drumtartan Democrat’s investigative team have been working hard to establish whether, given the fact that he has made so many bad decisions as leader of the SNP group on West Dunbartonshire Council, the party have decided, as they have done with so many of their policy bloomers, to keep Cllr Jonathan McColl out of sight on the campaign trail for Martin Docherty Hughes, the SNP candidate for the SNP at the General Election on December 12 … More MCCOLL’S ELECTION COVER BLOWN ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Martin Docherty for West Dunbartonshire is feeling determined. Martin told his supporters: “My aim has always been to be the most accessible MP West Dunbartonshire’s ever had. By running at least eight surgeries each month I’ve met countless constituents who’ve been hit hard by Westminster austerity over the years. Helping constituents is the most rewarding part of being an MP … More SNP’S MARTIN DRAWS A CROWD IN CLYDEBANK
The collection of Greta Thunberg’s speeches, No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, is an unflinching plea to each one of us to face up to our fears. “Your silence is almost worst of all,” she says, and I am floored. Small enough for the Christmas stocking. … More THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019
This Christmas, the SNP deserve a lump of coal for the way they’ve mishandled these services. Our teachers, nurses and police officers are working hard day in day out but they don’t get the support they deserve from an SNP government which has independence on the brain. … More LIBERALS ATTACK SNP RECORD OF GOVERNMENT
Support for independence is waning in Scotland and swinging behind the Union despite the’s election push, an exclusive poll for The Times newspaper has revealed. … More BLOW TO SNP HOPES FOR FRESH REFERENDUM
Independent researchers found nearly three-quarters of cops went to work while “physically unwell” in the past six months – and over a third while “mentally unwell”. And the study – due to be published in full in the coming weeks – suggested one in ten of Scotland’s 17,000 officers drink alcohol or take prescription drugs “as a coping mechanism”. … More POLICE WITH DRINK PROBLEMS AND MENTAL ILLNESS
Glasgow Royal Infirmary has celebrated its 225th birthday with the unveiling of a commemorative mural documenting its rich history and positive impact on healthcare. … More ROYAL INFIRMARY CELEBRATES 225th ANNIVERSARY