Lenzie & Kirkintilloch South – guest post

(Election Day minus 14)

I was asked by a standing candidate to write about the local issues of Lenzie and Kirkintilloch South. I was reluctant, because I think local politics shouldn’t be about pushing our own views, but instead finding out from others what matters to them. However, it’s not long till the election, so apologies to all those affected by issues I do not mention or am unaware of.

ROADS

First is the absolutely criminal state of the roads. Some roads like Almond Drive, have been full of potholes for years, and others like Oak Drive are going the same way. It doesn’t seem possible to drive anywhere in Lenzie without risking another trip to the garage to repair the suspension.

The council clearly do not care what happens and, instead of mending the road, we keep finding more and more speed bumps, and double yellow lines. Also, what madness led to the reduction in parking around Lenzie station and especially spaces for pickup? Lenzie is a village built around the station, if people cannot use the station because they cannot park or pick up people, the station may moved, and what will that do to house prices around the station and in general in Lenzie? No, the answer is not to encroach more on Lenzie moss.

FLOODING

Isn’t it time that Lenzie Academy had a new building? My children regularly told me about the problems of the building throughout their time there and, it’s just got worse. Also, what a state the playing fields on the Greens are in! As for the total appalling debacle of the “playing field” (pool?) where they built the new houses on Lenzie Moss at Blackthorn Grove! That made an already bad situation worse, causing not only more flooding to the playing field, but also to the poor people who now have streams of water coming through their property – because the council put in huge numbers of pointless dams and drains on the Moss pushing the water toward the new houses. Then the developers blocked all the drainage so it had nowhere to go but over the path going to Laburnum Gardens and into the properties. As for the pitches, I think the council intentionally flooded them to stop them being used so the land could be sold off for more housing.

Talking of flooding, people in those houses along Boghead road next to N&S Motors also bent my ear about the frequent flooding they have through their properties which again the council was ignoring. I haven’t seen flooding in Myrtle Drive recently, but I better mention that in case, because that episode went on for years and that flooding and the potholes everywhere shows how little the Council cares.

PARK BURN & “SHARED SPACE”

Back to the Greens and the state of Park burn. Numerous trolleys, bikes and all kinds of rubbish have been sitting in the stream for many years. I’m not sure it is in the ward, but I will mention the “shared space” in Kirkintilloch. WHAT A DISASTER! What daft idiot in the council imagined that having most of the traffic going to the main car park crossing a supposed “pedestrian zone” was a good idea? Pedestrian zones can work, but they work when money is put in to take most cars away from the pedestrian zone by a ring road with good car parks and only when the traffic is reduced putting in the pedestrian zone. But as usual, the Council did it on the cheap and I hate it.

LENZIE MOSS

However, I agreed to write this so I could say something about Lenzie Moss. Lenzie Moss is a very rare example of a lowland “mountain moss”. It exists, because Lenzie has so much rain, that as most gardeners know, moss grows in abundance in our lawns. That is what is so special about Lenzie Moss: it sits on the top of high ground with relatively free drainage to all sides. Unlike the fens of Norfolk, where there is so little rain that even a few trees can dry them up. Lenzie Moss will never dry up except for a few weeks in the summer and that is not enough to harm it. So, unlike the fens which seem to be the council’s model of how to manage Lenzie Moss, trees are not a problem. I repeat: TREES ARE NOT A PROBLEM! Indeed, there have been trees around the central moss area from the oldest maps. So, what happened when the Council took over? They started cutting down the trees!!! Turning the once beautiful area into something that looks as barren as a municipal car park. A car park might look good to the council, but not to me, and it certainly makes it difficult for the deer to find places to hide from dogs.

LEAVE THE TREES ON LENZIE MOSS ALONE!

The natural form of these lowland bogs is that there is a central area of bog surrounded by a ring of trees. The Forth valley has many such bogs. Most are in depressions, whereas Lenzie Moss, once called “the Mountain Moss” is quite special as it is on high ground. As for the Council playing with their diggers in the sandpits around the moss, again, what is wrong with leaving nature alone to do what nature does best? If you have thousands of pounds of money to spend, spend it on repairing the boardwalk across the moss, and not on chainsaws, more plastic dams or excavators on the Moss. Lenzie Moss is a fantastic place, but the boardwalk desperately needs repairing, and let’s restore the Lady’s Mile walk to the south of the railway – where it used to run all the way to Glasgow, but that right of way was then ignored and blocked. What about connecting the footpath on the south side of the moss to the north to make a circular walk? Indeed, why are there so few footpaths to escape Lenzie? Surely there should be a path around the Gadloch?

BUS STOPS & NEW BUILDINGS

Back to Boghead Road and I want to mention the bus stops. We in Lenzie get charged a fortune to use them to travel the short distance to the retail park at Bishopbriggs, yet whilst Kirkintilloch road has had electronic information signs for years, Boghead bus stops have none. And, when the Special Needs school moves (as someone said was planned), please NO MORE HOUSING. The same for Lenzie Public Halls. Let’s have some business units, or shops, or a new Public Halls, I’d even tolerate Council offices. Please Council, use your imagination! Just stop making Lenzie into one massive monotonous housing estate.

HERITAGE

Finally, (and perhaps a rather personal passion) let’s get some of the history of the area recognised. The tunnel from the old Lumloch (now known as Gadloch from its habit of disappearing after the tunnel), is quite unique, and arguably key to the early industrial revolution in Scotland. Why is that ignored? If you don’t know where runs, it goes from below the railway bridge near Gadloch (where there was a distillery (and about time we got a new bridge there as well!) under the football pitches at the end of Boghead, where the hill to the back of the changing rooms is the spoil heap from the tunnel, and down into the dip in Boghead wood, where there used to be a Lint Mill, with ponds for lint processing. Then, there are the Bell Pit mines, probably for early coal mining, in the woods beside the railway. Again, part of the industrial heritage of Lenzie. (It would have been in my book, which I never finished, because I could never complete the map, because the Council kept dumping more of their largely pointless plastic dams on the moss.)

CANAL

Finally, the Forth and Clyde canal. What idiot thought it would be a good idea to have a canal that cannot be traversed except by phoning up the council to get through the bridges at Hillhead Road and Croy? Penny pinching (in terms of the total budget) has created another costly disaster. Something that could have created a lot of tourism as people used the canal for day cruises has fallen flat on its face, because the canal is effectively cut in two by the penny pinching.

VOTE FOR CHANGE

I’m sorry, If I sound sick to death with the local Council it is because I am. It doesn’t seem to matter who gets in, the story is the same. The potholes remain, the roads are in a mess, playing fields unusable and it basically looks like the Council doesn’t care about us. And, when anything is done, from the changes at the Station, to the “shared space” in Kirkintilloch, to the canal or Lenzie Moss, they seem to have a penchant for getting it wrong. I support the Freedom Alliance candidates: James Watson for Lenzie & Kirkintilloch South and Dr Alan McManus for Kirkintilloch East & North & Twechar. Freedom Alliance is a new party and, while I cannot absolutely guarantee they will be better, it would be very hard to be worse!

Mossy branches of trees lying in a bog

Thanks to George Hodan for releasing his image Trees Moss Wrapped into the Public Domain.

Promoted by Lance Burkitt of Freedom Alliance – Integrity, Society, Economy of P.O. Box 215, Clayton, West Huddersfield, HD8 1FF.

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