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The Masonic Hall in Church Street, Dumbarton.

Thousands of senior citizens will have been for their winter ‘flu jag this week.

And that’s just one of the reasons why cars were parked everywhere and anywhere outside the Masonic Hall in Church Street.

Vehicles were nose to tail, up on the pavements and grass verges, sitting on double yellow lines.

There were cars parked everywhere from Denny’s Gates in Castle Street, round the back of the Burgh Hall, in Castle Street itself, down the Quay, behind the Masonic, round at the Rialto and in Bridge Street and the Artizan.

You couldn’t get a parking space anywhere, not even if you had a disabled badge.

That is why it was ill-advised for West Dunbartonshire Council to give planning permission to Lidl for a new supermarket in Castle Street.

For once, the planners themselves are not to blame for this madness.

The councillors are to blame. You know the ones, the nationalist SNP led by Jonathan (I’ve changed my mind) McColl backed by the unionist Tories and the so-called Independent Bailie Denis Agnew, who supports the SNP administration.

The elected members were wrong to go over the heads of their highly-paid planning officials and grant planning permission to Lidl.

The cut price supermarket chain is going into opposition with Marks and Spencer, Morrisons and ASDA in the St James Retail Park and what’s left of the shops in the High Street.

The planning officials were right and the councillors were wrong – again. Just as they were with the grass cutting stupidity. And much more.

One angry business person in the High Street told me: “The whole idea of bringing the council offices into Church Street was that it would increase business in the town centre.

“I realise it’s early days yet, but the council staff are parking their cars all over the place and there has been no significant increase in town centre trade since they arrived.

“Things are going to get worse – much worse – when the construction work starts on the new Lidl and then we’ll have the shoppers flocking to it – in their cars of course.”

What should happen now then?

There is only one way out for the elected members who stagger along from one crisis to the next.

In order to get out of the Lidl mess, they will have to suspend standing orders and have another vote on I soon.

If they don’t then Dumbarton’s posterior is out of the window and the elephant on our coat of arms has a very large backside.

Even if at the moment it’s a white one.


West Dunbartonshire Council claim our roads are in good nick. They must be kidding.

Has anyone pulled up at the Dumbuck lights and not thought to themselves that the pot holes there are getting bigger all the time.

You just have to look around you to see that the piece of propaganda recently foisted on us by the SNP’s finest was nonsense.

Would it be wrong for me to say these councillors should take a trip up the A82 to do an inspection of the main roads – and maybe not come back?


Diane 3

Di Cronin, whose author grandfather went to school at Dumbarton Academy.

AJ Cronin’s grand-daughter, Di Cronin, was in Dumbarton this week having a look at the town where great man set so many of the stories for his best-selling novels.

She didn’t say so, but I would imagine she was mightily relieved that neither Provost Willie Hendrie, Jonathan McColl or Bailie Denis Agnew were at Dumbarton Library to extend a Ceud Mile Failte to her.

This would have almost certainly given her a sore head worthy of inclusion in an episode of Dr Finlay’s Casebook.

Bill Heaney

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