It’s old news really, and it’s certainly not good news. The Lennox Herald is clinging to its position as the leading local newspaper even though the lights are going out all over West Dunbartonshire. Well done them for being amongst the survivors.
We don’t even have Christmas lights in Dumbarton and the Vale this year, which is disgraceful really since the Council just trousered £50,000 by refusing to keep Balloch Library open for the children, young mothers and elderly people who use it regularly and consider it to be a valuable community resource.
Happy Helensburgh has put us in the shade with festive events, lights and late night shopping.
It was a decision taken years ago by Dumbarton District Council to close Helensburgh Library that led to our friends down the Firth splitting from Dumbarton for local government purposes.
That library stayed open of course when Helensburgh joined Argyll and Bute Council and we lost all the revenue that would have come to Dunbartonshire from Council tax.
Good idea, this was not.
Scrooge doesn’t cut it at West Dunbartonshire Council this year.
As well as the 50 grand they claim they’ll save by shunting the library across the street to a smaller space within the Balloch Schools Campus – it’s going to be some crush, so I hope Pauline and “the team” who take the (large number) of complaints about the Council on Facebook on a Monday morning, are ready for the rush.
There will be quite a queue waiting for “the team” to take their calls which too often end up with them being referred to the appropriate department, which they should have been told to phone in the first place.
No wonder they’re raging by the time they get to speak – if at all – to someone who can do something for them.
It’s not a clever thing to do to have a column on social media which invites people to tell you what’s wrong with the place you live in and the services you are paid to provide.
At least not if the purpose of your role in life is make to make things look good for the Council.
It’s such a waste of valuable time to have to wait hanging on the phone for Pauline and Amanda and Co when all that’s going to happen is that you will be referred somewhere else.
I expect the Council will also be receiving some calls about the Council’s decision not to have Christmas lights in all the usual places this year.
Dumbarton, where the miseryguts council won’t even switch on the Christmas lights.
But it won’t be jingle bells “the team” will be hearing ringing in their ears this December.
Dear old Dumbarton and the Vale will have nothing going for it lights-wise unless some philanthropic resident comes up with the cash.
This is DIY Dumbarton. If you want anything done, do it yourself. And pay for it yourself too.
It’s alright for the Council to light up their offices in Church Street on what they consider to be high days or holidays.
National No Smoking Day or whatever.
But Christmas? It seems that’s not special anymore.
Dear God, even the SNP when they were in charge of the Council considered Christmas merited them giving us something to light up our lives.
However, Cllr Rooney, McBride and those other Labour councillors now arrogantly strutting around staring at people such as the women and kids protesting about Balloch Library really need to get a grip.
These good people had the audacity to complain that their library was being closed to save money when there was more than enough money to keep it going.
But the public (shall we call them the electorate?) felt they were treated like second class citizens by their civic representatives. If they weren’t then they must have felt they were when they decided to complain. Perception is everything in politics.
And we are supposed to be living in a democracy.
What the people of Balloch, Haldane, Jamestown and Old Bonhill need now is an apology and an announcement that their library will remain open for the foreseeable future.
What our arrogant councillors should be given in their Christmas stocking this year is an injection of humility, an antidote to hubris.
And the people of Haldane? All they want for Christmas is their library.