NEWS IN BRIEF

McColl JonathanTake me to your leader

He’s some boy, our Jonathan. I speak of Councillor Jonathan McColl, leader of the Tory-propped-up SNP administration on West Dunbartonshire Council.

When he is not doing U-turns on cuts, which he and his Chuckle Brothers mate, Iain Dickson, the finance convener, appear to take so much pleasure from, Jonathan takes on an air of superiority which doesn’t suit him at all.

He has neither the style nor the erudition for it. Nor the political nous.

No one with any respect for the electorate would, as he and Cllr Dickson did at the last monthly meeting, sit with their shoulders heaving with laughter when ever yet another cut went through with the assistance of their Tory friends.

Jonathan has made so many mistakes that he should have a portfolio to keep them all in. 

While up to his usual game of making life a misery for West Dunbartonshire’s old folk by doubling the cost of community alarms which, if they don’t have them, will make them even more vulnerable than they are now, Jonathan has this week had the temerity to take on Cllr Jim Bollan, of the Community Party.

Cllr Bollan, father of the Council with 20 years in a seat, considers it to be unfair morally and unwise politically to increase the cost of an alarm from £2.62 to £5 a week. That is £20 for a four-week month to keep yourself safe.

That’s a big chunk out of an old person’s pension.

Attempting to play the smart ass, Jonathan says that is only 72 pence per day which he deems “perfectly reasonable” and does not merit the flood of complaints and cancellation threats currently being received by councillors and the MSP.

Anyway, whatever Cllr Bollan knows about community alarms, Jonathan knows better. It used to be his job to respond to them. In his past life, he was a community alarm responder.

And here was me thinking, given his hubris, Jonathan was a rocket scientist or maybe a professor of some kind in his previous life.

“As someone who covered shifts working as a community alarm responder before I was a councillor, I have a far greater appreciation of the need and value of this service than Cllr Bollan, and his use of vulnerable people to get a headline is shameful,” he said.

I’ll bet the new President of Ukraine didn’t have lines like that in his previous life – and he’s the one who was a comedian.

The Shows are coming to the Common soon. Let’s hope there are staff vacancies for clowns.

Away with the birds

Pigeons are about as popular as rats around hospitals and health centres. That’s why they make such a good story for journalists. It seems someone left a window open to let in some air at the Vale of Leven Hospital this week. And horror, shock, probe a pigeon or two got into the waiting room area. Big story then, certainly worth the front page and the fact that recent infection problems at the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital MAY have been caused by pigeon droppings. If only the pigeons had manners they could have gone through the front doors, which are open all hours.

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Happy 100th birthday

Chrissie Watson is a lady with a big heart, and now she has a big age to match it. Chrissie has just celebrated her 100th birthday at Crosslet House old people’s home in Dumbarton. She was presented with her telegram from the Queen by Deputy Lieutenant Lumsden Mathieson.  Mrs Watson, whose son, David, lives in Dumbarton at Roundriding Road worked for the Health Board for many years. He lives with his wife, Rosemary, and family in Round Riding Road. His mother moved from her home in Aberdeen to Dumbarton last year.  She likes to keep herself busy knitting and made 100 cosy caps for premature babies, one for every year of the century during which she has been around.

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A man appeared in private and on petition at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Thursday in connection with an attack on an 85-year-old woman in her home at Hawthornhill Road, Castlehill, on Sunday, April 14. He has been charged with housebreaking and assault to the woman’s severe injury as well as attempting to pervert the course of justice. No plea or declaration was made and he was remanded in custody for further examination.

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Docherty Hughes Martin MP

The House of Commons was the venue for a meeting between the family of Jagtar Singh Johal, 32, who has been locked up in an Indian jail for the past 16 months and Mark Field, Minister for Asia in the UK government.  Mr Johal, whose family live in Oxhill Road, Dumbarton, claims he is innocent of terrorist offences with which he has now been charged. He was represented at the meeting in the Palace of Westminster by Martin Docherty Hughes, the MP for West Dunbartonshire, pictured above.

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STOP PRESS: Tuesday at 11am. Flights in and out of Glasgow Airport have been temporarily suspended due to an ongoing incident.  The runway is not operational and emergency services are in attendance.  A spokesperson for Glasgow Airport tweeted: “Operations have been temporarily suspended due to an incident declared on an inbound flight. Emergency services are currently in attendance.” The incident was declared at 10.25 am.  More to follow on this story as soon as we have it.

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On the road again – and very welcome at last. The work on the Central Station Bridge in Church Street/Townend Road/Bankend Road, Dumbarton, appears to be near completion  and the road open again, at least partially. You would not have thought that West Dunbartonshire Council would have kept this quiet since there have been so many complaints about the temporary road diversion that was in place while the work was ongoing. However, local residents are complaining on social media that they were told nothing about the re-opening, which was in force with traffic lights in place on Monday evening. Fortunately, there was just one bad accident while the work was being done. There are complaints now that the street level walls have been left as they were and “they look terrible,” according to one contributor on social media.

 

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