A call to moderate voters who are opposed both to independence and to a so called “hard Brexit” to back the Liberal Democrats at the General Election has come from Councillor Robert Brown, Liberal Democrat candidate for Rutherglen & Hamilton West seat 2017.
Robert Brown said that recent elections showed there was a strong majority in the constituency against independence and in favour of Europe – only the Liberal Democrats represented that majority and could unite both the constituency and the country.
Robert Brown said:
“Scotland badly needs the outward-looking, international approach of the Liberal Democrats, based on strong partnerships within the United Kingdom, the European Union, the Commonwealth and NATO. It is in our interests both to stay in the United Kingdom and to stop a hard Brexit.
The SNP want to break up Britain and the Conservatives are bent on breaking up Europe. The SNP and the Conservatives need each other – they are each other’s bogeymen. Our country needs neither of them!
The biggest threat to the United Kingdom comes from the Conservatives. The obsession of their fanatics with Europe gave us an unwanted referendum – the failure of that referendum gave Nicola Sturgeon an excuse to re-open the independence argument. In addition, they have misused the very narrow public majority for leaving the European Union to land us with a hard Brexit, falling out with our European friends along the line, and landing us with a potential exit bill of £60 billion even before we begin.
The Conservatives are a menace both to the unity of the United Kingdom and to our European future.
Only the Liberal Democrats stand four-square against independence and against a hard Brexit.”
Time for action on older council houses
A call for quicker action to upgrade the older houses in Rutherglen and Cambuslang was made by Rutherglen South Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown at South Lanarkshire’s Budget meeting on Thursday. Councillor Brown was speaking as the Council approved a major expansion of its new house building programme.
After the meeting, Robert Brown said:
“The Council has done good work with the regeneration packages in areas like Fernhill and Cathkin, with recladding and energy efficiency, and with internal improvements. But this has left behind a lot of older houses in Blairbeth, Spittal, Fernhill, Cathkin and Springhall in my ward as well as similar houses in Cambuslang and other areas. Some of these houses need renewal of things like roofs, windows and roughcasting. The old roughcasting is routinely grey and tired beside the new housing. Many people understood that this would be dealt with as part of the regeneration of these areas.
Springhall has a major challenge with the outside environment. We have got the Council to do comprehensive improvements to close mouths, bin shelter areas, back courts etc in some parts – but, at the present rate, it will take much more than a decade to complete. People pay rent and are entitled to a decent environment around their homes.
There is a strong demand for additional new housing, but it is important to give a fair deal too to existing householders. My call was for this to have a higher priority within the Council’s spending plans and for a faster rate of action on these older houses.”
Statement by Rutherglen South Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown on Rutherglen Reformer campaign against Dog fouling
Robert Brown said:
“I am delighted to support the Reformer campaign Nae Messin’ against dog fouling – many congratulations to the paper for running it.
I have long campaigned against the nuisance of dog fouling and irresponsible owners who don’t or won’t pick up after their pets. Most dog owners are highly responsible but a minority in all areas cause a disproportionate problem. Dog faeces are a danger to health, particularly of small children, as well as an unpleasant hazard in our streets in Rutherglen.
Blind people too, or people with sight loss, are particularly badly affected because they can’t see the dog droppings. This includes many elderly people whose eyesight is poor.
The Reformer campaign will match the Council’s forthcoming “Wanted” campaign to target dog fouling offenders. The Council are authorising more staff to impose on the spot penalties for offenders. I am particularly keen on the large correx posters which will go up in targeted areas. I have seen this work well in areas like North East Fife.
I hope local people and local groups will really get on board with these efforts to tackle the menace of dog fouling. The Helpline number is being widely publicised and information about offenders is hugely helpful in enforcement.”
Action Plan to tackle flooding
South Lanarkshire Council is tackling the problem of flooding both at a strategic level and at local flooding “hotspots”, according to a report by officials to the Council’s Enterprise Services Committee. The report had been prepared following a call by Rutherglen South Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown.
As well as clearing gullies, and giving priority attention to high risk locations, plans are being prepared for larger scale projects to tackle situations where there is a greater risk of larger scale flooding, not least for the Cathkin Braes.
Robert Brown said:
“Many parts of Rutherglen and Cambuslang have experienced repeated localised flooding after heavy rain – far more so than in most years past. It is clear that the effects of climate change are hitting our area with increased rainfall levels in recent years.
A lot of water pours off the Cathkin Braes after heaving rain and the road drainage system struggles to cope. I am glad there are plans being prepared to slow down the water flow off the Cathkin Braes but it is likely to require government funding to carry out. This work is feeding into the Local Flood Risk Management Plan being developed as part of a bid for government funding.
But there are also local situations where drains cannot cope – at Croftfoot Road at Spittal, Blairbeth Road, Burnside Road and East Kilbride Road amongst others. Some of these high risk gullies are clearer 4 times a year and monitored by the Roads department on top of that.
There are many causes – climate change causing heavier rainfall, more house building – which often means that water has nowhere to soak away, gullies and drains blocked by leaves or other debris, Victorian drains which are no longer adequate for the job. There are also a lot of burns, sometimes piped underground, running through most parts of Rutherglen.
My own view is that this is going to be an increasing problem in years to come and we must make sure that all possible precautions are taken by the Council, the Scottish Government and Scottish Water. Excess water can cause huge damage to roads and infrastructure as well as to private property.”