Rubbish piling up at the thoughtlessly placed recycling site at the entrance to Tontine Park in Renton?
NOTEBOOK by Bill Heaney
Maybe it’s just me and my bitterness about the way I have been disrespected, threatened, banned and boycotted by the SNP and West Dunbartonshire Council in recent times.
But here is yet another example of why business owners in Balloch, beset by roadworks which cost them many thousands of pounds, were frustrated to the extent that they claimed the council “could not run a bath”.
And why so many local organisations and local people generally feel the council is not fit for purpose.
The latest group to turn on our local gauleiters for their lack of vision and crass incompetence are the organisers of Renton Craigandro youth club, who have had a great deal to put up with in recent months.
This is an admirable organisation who were destined to lose all their facilities at Tontine Park in Renton if the SNP’s austerity budget had gone through.
They would have found themselves left without their pavilion and football pitches if SNP leader Jonathan McColl and his SNP colleagues had not done a U-turn and agreed to Renton Craigandro taking charge of their own affairs.
But this thoughtless bunch of amateur politicians, not appreciating how much good work is done by this club in an area of sometimes desperate deprivation, said if the club wanted to keep Tontine, they would have to look after it themselves.
Deprivation or no deprivation, they would have to dig into their own pockets and fund something that was perfectly entitled to support from the Council.
Renton Craigandro took on the challenge with gusto. The public service they had been receiving was second rate and poorly financed anyway.
They even bought the village Christmas tree which had been axed by the Scrooge McColl and his SNP cronies.
But they haven’t had their troubles to seek.
All sorts of mindless vandalism has taken place at the refurbished pavilion and even on the football pitches, where the Craigandro organisers have taken over cutting the grass themselves.
Thoughtless dog owners allowed their pets to defecate all over the place apparently not giving a care that their children and grandchildren would be playing football and falling on their backsides there at the weekend.
Selfish doesn’t cut it with these ignorant people.
And now we have this, the disgraceful scenes depicted in the photographs accompanying this article, which show the periphery of Tontine Park being treated as a dump.
Dismayed by it all, Craigandro’ s chairman, Brian, wrote this on social media: “Recently we have noticed that SOME (not all) of the dog walkers at Tontine have been picking up their dogs’ dirt and then proceeding to leave the bags at the fence next to the railway.
“This is totally unacceptable as there are bins for these bags.
“Also, at some point over the last couple of days, there has been someone fly tipping, leaving us with a wardrobe, drawers and boxes of shit to get rid of at the club’s expense.
“We have recently been working with local residents and the council regarding car parking issues that are now hopefully sorted.
“We have the right to put a fence and gates up around the park which is a last resort.
“But if the issues keep happening then we will have no choice but to go ahead with a fence and gate.
“The park is for everyone in Renton, but this can’t go on any longer. Anyone with any information regarding these issues please contact us ASAP.”
The Council would probably say that this has nothing to do with them – but it has, and very much so.
Where was the vision when they decided to place these skip-like receptacles where they did? Why are they in Renton?
It couldn’t be because most of the people of Renton don’t vote for any of the mainstream political parties, or could it?
Ask yourself why similar facilities are not placed Levengrove Park in Dumbarton or the Moss O ‘Balloch in Balloch or Balloch Park itself.
Or any other area where the Council must know there would be uproar from the residents.
Ask yourself why Renton doesn’t have a public library or wouldn’t have had their village hall if they hadn’t taken these over themselves.
Those are also questions for the Labour Party, who were then in power and pursued these policies.
Cllrs Jonathan McColl and Sally Page – the SNP/Tory alliance – all pals together.
The Conservatives can be written off, or at least we thought they could, until the lady from the Lochside won the Lomond seat alongside Jonathan McColl.
The votes of Sally Page and her silent partner are now responsible for forcing through the SNP policies as the Tories and Nats collaborate in a special relationship.
Ask yourself why when the SNP got into power one of the first promises they made, which was to keep open St Martin’s Primary School in Renton, was ditched.
And while the Renton children were being sent to a second hand school in Alexandria, the children in the Lomond Ward were re-housed in a newly-built super campus in Balloch, where everything but the school bell works perfectly.
No wonder the people of Renton are resilient. They have to be, especially now when they are faced with a council whose only policies for the village are to close the primary school and withdraw cash funding from public services.