I NOTE with some dismay the time taken by the council to adapt/repair housing for disabled people.

However, I should like to point out that these adaptations/repairs are not just done for ‘medical’ reasons.

They are mostly done because housing is not built to the standards required for disabled and elderly people.

These are called ‘Lifetime Homes Standards,’ and the cost of implementing them have been well researched over the last 20 years.

They vary between £500 to £2,500 per house; far less than the cost of adapting many inaccessible houses.

See http://www.ilis.co.uk/uploads/docs/6324%20ILIS%20Summit%20Report.PDF for a recent report of a Summit between the Scottish Government and disabled people on housing, where such standards were discussed.

More noteworthy is the fact that not only do most disabled people have to pay their share of the cost of such adaptations, but, if they require support to participate equally within society (be that working, education, etc) in West Dunbartonshire they have to pay a care tax (they call it a ‘contribution’) equivalent to 50% of their ‘disposable income’.

That’s higher than the top rate of income tax.

See: http://www.scotlandagainstthecaretax.com/

Dr Jim Elder-Woodward, OBE, Alexandria.

AS the holiday season draws to a close the local trade union movement is stepping up their campaign to bring class politics into the community of West Dunbartonshire.

UNISON, UNITE, GMB, EIS, branches and CLYDEBANK Trade Union Council are sponsoring the film “Belonging”, which has received praise from the likes of top film maker Ken Loach.

It is not on general release yet but can be seen locally, for free thanks to the trade union movement.

“Belonging” is an investigative feature length documentary about where power lies in Britain.

It re-examines events surrounding three industrial disputes, Wapping, the privatisation of Royal Mail, and the dispute at Grangemouth Oil Refinery.

Three governments over three decades, showing the impact of government and corporate power on democracy and human rights not just for trade unionists, but for all.

Personal stories are told by those at the centre of the disputes not only highlighting the impact of the actions of those in power on individuals and communities, but also raising the question of what lies ahead.

Pertinent indeed when we could have a socialist Prime Minister in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn before long.

What will be the response of corporate Britain and the state be to that development?

“Belonging” will be shown on Thursday, September 7 at 7pm in Clydebank Town Hall, 5 Hall St, G81 1UB.

This is open to all trade unionists and the community at large.

We hope to have someone associated with the film along on the night to say a few words.

Tom Morrison, on behalf of local branches of UNISON, UNITE, GMB, EIS and Clydebank TUC.

EVERY year, 3,700 people in Scotland are diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Luckily, when my mum was diagnosed with the disease it was spotted early when survival rates are higher and she has now recovered.

Physical activity plays an important part in stacking the odds against a bowel cancer diagnosis and as a keen walker myself, I’m delighted to support Bowel Cancer UK’s Walk Together.

Walk Together is a sponsored five mile walk to bring people together so that they can show their support for those undergoing treatment, remember loved ones we have lost and raise funds to help stop bowel cancer. It’s for people of all ages and abilities.

Sign up to Walk Together in Edinburgh on Saturday, September 23 2017 or to receive a fundraising pack with everything you need to hold your own memorable walk. Visit: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/walktogether

Julia Bradbury, TV presenter and Bowel Cancer UK patron

THE school summer holiday in Scotland has sadly come to an end, and now that children are back in school it’s important that parents of children with asthma keep an eye out for the early warning signs of an asthma attack.

Children are at a much greater risk of having an asthma attack when they’re back at school, partly due to exposure to triggers such as cold and flu viruses.

In fact, the latest hospital admissions data showed that children in Scotland were 68 per cent more likely to be rushed to hospital following an asthma attack in August than in July.

Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK, and three people die from asthma every day, so it's important for parents to spot the signs of an asthma attack early.

You should book an urgent appointment with the GP or asthma nurse if your child is: using their reliever inhaler (usually blue) more than three times a week; coughing or wheezing at night; feeling out of breath and struggling to keep up with their friends.

Parents who have any concerns about their child’s asthma can speak to our expert nurses by calling the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri; 9am-5pm), and can find more information on how to protect their child when they’re back in school this August by visiting https://www.asthma.org.uk/back-to-school

Sonia Munde, head of helpline and nurse manager at Asthma UK

AS one team campaigning for a pro-European future, we are stronger.

That is why we are delighted to announce that Open Britain and the European Movement will be working side by side for the pro-European Action Day on Saturday, September 2.

All across the country volunteers from both campaign groups will take to the streets to talk to local people about the risks of Brexit; what leaving with no deal will mean for local communities; and our vision for an open, inclusive and tolerant Britain.

You can be a part of it by clicking here to find out how to join in with your local campaign event.

You can also show your support for the Action Day by wearing an Open Britain t-shirt, popping to the shops with one of our branded bags or making yourself a cuppa in one of our new Open Britain mugs. All of which are available from our new shop. Click here to check out what else you can pick up- https://ob-shop.co.uk/UserContentQuickOrder.aspx?category=2.

Thank you for all your support.

Caroline Kuipers, volunteer team leader, Open Britain Reading

WITH America still reeling from the horror we saw last week in Charlottesville, Virginia, we are all once again made starkly aware of the ongoing realities of hatred and violence.

Please join us in praying for the victims-remembering those that lost their lives, lost someone they loved, or their life as they knew it.

Pray for those that survived the trauma and, by the grace of God, pray that they will commit to change hatred into love.

At PJTN, we are committed to change the growing violence and hatred we are witnessing on college campuses with the rise of anti-Semitism that is increasing at alarming rates. We must be vigilant against cultural hatred in all its forms.

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, PJTN, via email.

HOW nice it was to see sectarianism being shown the red card, with so many elected members of the Council and our Parliaments attending the Kirking ceremonies recently.

Where were the Labour representatives, though? During their election campaign they weren't shy in seeking the votes of church-goers, but not one of them could set aside an hour or two on a Sunday to represent their party and their constituents? How disappointing.

Cathy Bell, Dumbarton.

CHILDHOOD obesity is one of the biggest health threats that the UK faces and a year on from the Government’s published childhood obesity strategy we are no closer to having a solution to the problem.

We agree with Cancer Research UK; more needs to be done. Today’s announcement on cracking down on calories in popular foods is something, but it’s not the whole picture.

What about the amount of physical activity our children are getting each day? The recommended amount is 60 minutes but just one in five are achieving this.

The Obesity Strategy refers to the recently published Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.

But this only commits to increasing the number of primary school children normally walking to school to 55%. Although an increase, it’s a small one.

We want to see more ambitious targets around increasing everyday physical activity in our young children so that more are walking and learning vital lifetime healthy habits.

We are Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

We want to create a walking nation, free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illness and social isolation and making walking the natural choice.

We believe that a walking nation means progress for everyone.

Our ambition is to get people of all generations to enjoy the benefits that this simple act brings and to ensure all our streets are fit for walking.

For more than 85 years we’ve been a beacon for walking.

In our early days our campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossings and speed limits.

Now our campaigns and local projects deliver real change to overcome barriers to walking and our groundbreaking initiatives such as the world’s biggest Walk to School campaign encourage millions of people to walk.

Steve Chambers, policy & research co-ordinator, Living Streets.

FOR the absence of doubt, Jim Clark was Scotland's most famous racing driver.

Indeed, a 2009 Times poll named Jim Clark as the world's greatest driver.

I was at school with Jim Clark in Chirnside, Berwickshire and am prepared to defend his record against the wee pretender (Jackie Stewart- 'Hope for quick sale of F1 hero's former Home' (Dumbarton Reporter, August 15).

Jackie Stewart is obsessed with money and has enough loose change down the back of the sofa to buy the property if he wants to enjoy his cheese and chutney sandwiches.

John Black, Helensburgh.