NOTEBOOK

Santa in a kiltHundreds of old people in West Dunbartonshire are forecast to have a lonely Christmas this year. Figures from Age concern say that an epidemic of loneliness is sweeping through the area and having a serious effect on the health of elderly people.  The Lennox Herald in conjunction with the Benview Centre’s befriending service has launched a campaign to ensure old folk are not left alone over the festive season. Alison McCurley at Benview in Strethleven Place, Dumbarton, is the person to contact if you require more details.

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Lomond Rugby Club held a minute’s silence to respect the memory of their fellow player, Niven Murchison, 14, who was tragically found dying in Christie Park, Alexandria. Niven, a pupil at Dumbarton Academy, was taken taken to hospital by ambulance but died later.  Police have confirmed that Niven’s death is still unexplained.

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West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare reports that the number of people relying on foodbanks for their weekly groceries and other items has increased to 330. As the winter freeze set in last night and the temperature dropped to minus 5C, hundreds of people were dreading the thought of Christmas around the corner with no money for heating their homes never mind buying presents. Meanwhile, West Dunbartonshire Council have run up an estimated overspend of £5 million on a community home heating project at Queens Quay in Clydebank.

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Dumbarton FC stadium from the air 1

The moves to shift Dumbarton FC from the prime piece of real estate that is their home at the Rock Stadium, which was purchased with oodles of public money, have moved forward.  The owners, Brabco, have submitted planning permission for luxury villas on the periphery of the site. They also want planning permission for 32 flats. Brabco want to see the club rehoused at a site on the Renton Road. Next to an old scrapyard and composting plant.  This has rightly received the thumbs down from most Sons’ fans. Many people feel that if Neil Rankine, a wee bookie frae Falkirk and long-time controversial shareholder, gets his way in this, then the old club will fold and he and his pals will walk away with £ millions. Mr Rankine should be told to go jump in the nearby River Clyde. Or taken in chains to the French Prison up above in the Castle before his defenestration from the topmost window of the Governor’s House.

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Pearson Alastair (2)West Dunbartonshire’s basket case council didn’t realise that to benefit from money from the old Royal Burgh’s Common Good Fund, beneficiaries would have to be connected with Dumbarton, despite the fact that this is a no-brainer. And that’s why an application from the Tullochan Trust, set up in honour of war hero Brigadier Alistair Pearson, of Gartocharn, are being told they will have to wait for an answer to a request for £46,000 from the fund, which mentors 1,000 young people locally. Effectively, this means – as things stand – that if you are from Vale of Leven, you are not allowed to benefit. Unsurprisingly, Stephen West, the council’s finance officer, complained to the secrecy-obsessed council that information about the application for funds had been divulged to some people before the official report was due out. No one appears to have told Mr West that in Dumbarton a secret is something you tell one person at a time. Or he didn’t hear what was going on in the acoustically challenged council chamber? Not for the first time, Cllr Jonathan McColl, the SNP group leader, got things wrong when he informed a committee that the Tullochan applicants had been refused. He was scolded in suitably schoolmarmly fashion by the Chief Executive, Joyce White, who told him there was “a robust process” which had to be gone through before that could happen. No one who knows anything about these “robust processes” would have the slightest doubt they would be securely in place. As never. Hopefully, Tullochan will get an answer to their request in the affirmative before Christmas. Vale folk would fair enjoy spending Dumbarton people’s money this year. Jeely pieces all round.

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John and Jack McGinn with the Scottish CupThere is no greater attraction in football, apart from playing yourself, than going along to a game where someone you know is playing. That is why it has been a great delight to see John McGinn in a Scotland strip in recent times. Not only playing in the team but scoring important goals. McGinn’s grandfather is Dumbarton man Jack McGinn, a one-time Scottish junior international player, and a really nice person, who was sadly involved in an accident recently when he was struck by a reversing vehicle in Levengrove Park. We wish Jack a speedy recovery – and Scotland a victory tonight in the European Championship qualifiers. McGinn’s granny, Mary Quinn McGinn, who is from Hill Street in Brucehill, was a niece of the great Johnny Madden, the man they called “The Rooter” because his shot was so strong that it was said it could uproot a goalpost. You can read all about him in Bill Heaney’s book about local places and local people ‘All Our Yesterdays’. The follow-up Two Minutes Silence will be on sale at a Scouts Christmas Fayre in St Patrick’s Church Hall on Saturday, December 7.

Scotland v Kazakhstan
UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
19:45
Sky Sports Football

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coat of arms of WDCFAKE NEWS DEPARTMENT: There is no truth in the rumour that the West Dunbartonshire branch of the SNP and all the other parties on West Dunbartonshire Council, with the exception of the Community Party, have called in Prince Andrew’s public relations advisers to assist in their anti-democratic battle with The Democrat. Or that the Prince himself will be sailing up the Clyde on the bridge of HMS Dumbarton Castle in the company of  Cllr Jonathan McColl – ‘I thought it the honourable thing to do’ – giving the V-sign to saltire-waving SNP supporters lined up along the banks of the river. He (Cllr McColl) may change his mind, however. That’s become par for the course for the great leader, not.


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