Notebook

Dumbarton is turning into a rust belt

Rust is all around. Having turned down the street lights, the Council has let the lamp posts go to rack and ruin – and rust.

Do the SNP, Tory and Independent councillors of West Dunbartonshire listen to the electorate and respect their views?

They haven’t given any indication so far that they will do so.

Our elected members have instead adopted a clear No Surrender stance on their decision to cease cutting grass and planting out flower beds in parks, cemeteries and open spaces.

The independence movement has taken a serious knock from its association with these SNP councillors.

They have come under considerable fire for turning already seriously deprived West Dunbartonshire into a Rust Belt.

Since, in the true spirit of democracy [not], the SNP have boycotted The Dumbarton Democrat and don’t speak to us, we are left to speculate about their policies and practices, which change often, suddenly and unpredictably.

The “trade union” U-turn in their budget plans is a case in point.

Next Wednesday’s education committee will be a significant test of whether this council listens or places its hands over its ears and remains an example of the kind of intransigence Scotland could expect from its elected representatives if ever the country were to become independent.

A three-letter abbreviation for their name is not the only thing the SNP appears to share with the notoriously intransigent DUP, who keep the Conservatives in power at Westminster.

The question of a new Catholic primary school for Renton is due to come up at the education committee meeting.

 

Who will open the the new Burgh Hall? Will it be Nicola Sturgeon or the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton?

Nicola Sturgeon has just embarked on a new invigorated campaign for a second referendum on independence.

The First Minister has already brought the SNP’s West Dunbartonshire branch to heel over the trade union convener cuts debacle.

Nicola is no Celtic warrior queen as was Aoife, the Gaelic leader of mythology and legend, but she has shown she can bite tenaciously as well as bark.

It’s time for the First Minister to sink her teeth into council leader Jonathan McColl and company and bring some of the common sense she is herself accredited with into play at this council.

Otherwise the Flower of Scotland will wither on a stem of stupidity and intransigence firmly rooted in this grass cutting saga, the early closing of libraries, the hiking up of music fees and so much else.

I am told Nicola’s local colleagues want her to do the honours at the official opening of the new Council Offices in the old Burgh Hall in Church Street.

That it is to be either the First Minister or the new Earl and Countess of Dumbarton.

Right this very minute, Harry and Meghan are odds on to win the public vote for that bound-to-be spectacular event given the Castle backdrop to it.

I have myself done a quick consultation on this – the most successful consultation ever in the history of such things at home here – and my calculation is that at least three per cent of the people I have spoken with are in favour of the royals.

They’re sure to have some blooms left over from the wedding and Princess Anne, who opened the Meadow Centre and the Erskine Bridge, is already coaching Meghan on the words of Flower of Scotland.

BILL HEANEY

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