A Week in Politics

SNP laughed as the meeting descended into a farce

Levengrove and the mess left behind by the travelling people.

By Bill Heaney

Dismay, disgust and disappointment are intertwined in the angry reactions on social media today to West Dunbartonshire SNP group’s council’s decision to go ahead with their hated austerity budget – and the behaviour of travelling people who left Levengrove Park looking more like a refuse tip than a leisure space.

The two are inextricably linked because apprentices who will be paid off by the council have been left to clean up the mess left by the travellers who parked themselves on Postie’s Park after having spent weeks blocking the shore road walkway at Havoc, where they also left a mess.

Leading trade unionist Margaret Wood said the three apprentices who were clearing up did the work, which included shovelling human excrement, without complaint despite the fact they were looking down the barrel of unemployment in a few weeks’ time.

She appealed to her fellow trade unionists to appeal to the SNP council to change its mind and keep them on.

She said: “Let’s get behind these boys and the long term seasonal guys and get the five posts reinstated in Greenspace to get it better staffed to help ease the pressure on the permanent staff who are being dragged all over the place.”

Carmen Lamont stood up for the travellers, but no one supported the council’s decision to defy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and carry on with the cuts.

Ms Lamont said: “I’m really fascinated by the comments regarding traveller’s waste and rubbish clearance problems. It’s obvious that they don’t have disposal facilities and areas to discard what they don’t want or need just like all us who live in a house and have these services. Maybe take a look in some back gardens and streets within WDC area before being derogatory about a minority group.”

Kate Doherty said that people who have back gardens pay council tax and so far as the apprentices were concerned “clearing up after the travellers shouldn’t be in their job description.”

Margaret Wood said the rubbish left behind was beyond belief – “They could use poo bags as we do for dogs. No one should have to clean up human waste.

“I have been off on holiday this week so I attended the Council meeting in a Garshake today. I am appalled at the behaviour of our Administration the use of body language and language was not becoming of a person elected to serve the electorate. Firstly, they spoke of the ‘hugely successful’ consultation, which the opposition went through in great detail. 2700 started the survey but by question two, 500 had dropped out and by the end only 1300 had completed it.

“In actual fact 1.5 % [of the population of West Dunbartonshire] actually took part in it.

“So, our administration have set their budget on a survey that has been proved to be flawed which in turn makes their budget flawed. They also said there was an option to choose no cuts, which there was not. They refer to a box at the end for comments which they have manipulated by choosing the comments that suited their agenda.

“They failed to answer what our green space would look like with [the new] £240,000 of funding [from the school uniform fund] because they didn’t know.

“We then heard they could not reverse the cuts because we basically would not be able to provide food for our children if the they did not have biodiversity areas for the bees to pollinate.

“Well, look out of the window we are surrounded by biodiversity. We do not live in an inner city neither do we need a lecture from anyone [Cllr Iain McLaren] on a subject they clearly knew nothing about and read straight from a piece of paper.

“They wanted to mud sling and on doing so the leader read out cuts that the opposition had made only to be told it was a management adjustment that was not taken.

McColl Jonathan“The leader [Cllr Jonathan McColl] stood up and called everyone liars which the provost appeared to approve of as he did not threaten to fling him out of the building as he had threatened the [people in the] public gallery.  It became very apparent that this administration think that they were elected because they are superior beings and have no intention of listening to the electorate as they “know better.

“It was said the amount of complaints received by councillors [about the failure to plant flowers and cut grass] is unprecedented.

“However, they do not want to hear this. They laughed when they were challenged on job losses in Greenspace.

“I came away in disgust at their lack of knowledge and accountability, but most of all the way they conducted themselves was beyond belief.

“I think a course on good manners and respect would go a long way. I was delighted to hear it put to them that they should listen to the electorate and reverse the cuts and fight from now until next year to get an appropriate amount of money, again this was laughed at.

“I think I know why, they [the SNP administration] are downright lazy!”

The SNP continue with their boycott of The Dumbarton Democrat, despite the fact that we have offered them the right to reply to everything that appears here.

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