by Jackie Baillie MSP
MANY of you will be aware of the removal of local bus services and the alteration to routes in Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven which were recently introduced by First Bus.
These alterations have had a negative impact on some passengers and appear to have been made with little consultation.
Elderly people in areas of Dumbarton no longer have a direct link to the Vale of Leven Hospital or St James' Retail Park and there is no longer a First Bus service that stops at Loch Lomond Shores.
Unfortunately this situation illustrates a problem in the provision of local bus services, and this is not limited to Dumbarton.
Whilst bus companies maintain that they are making improvements to services, it is the case that local communities have very little input into the bus routes and bus companies are choosing to prioritise the most lucrative routes, leaving many passengers with a sub-standard service.
That's why Scottish Labour has campaigned for the re-regulation of buses. Better regulation would give communities a say in how their local bus service is delivered. It is a matter of regret that the SNP do not share this view.
It has been suggested that the SNP is simply listening to the views of Sir Brian Souter, owner of Stagecoach, who happens to be a large donor to their party.
The fact is buses are an essential service that are meant to serve the public.
Let's make sure that they do.
TODAY (Wednesday) the lay members who resigned from the Vale of Leven Monitoring Group will be attending a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing which I have arranged at the Scottish Parliament.
You can be assured that we will raise the very real concerns we have about the closure of the Christie Ward which was recently recommended by the board members of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The lay members and I have consistently argued for the retention of the ward on the basis that we do not feel the case for closure has been made and are worried that patient well-being will be compromised.
I hope that the meeting with the Cabinet Secretary will be productive and she will listen to our concerns and reject the recommendation of the board to close the ward.
I WILL be attending services throughout the constituency on Sunday (November 13) to remember those who have served in the armed forces.
For more than ninety years, organisations like the British Legion and Erskine have worked tirelessly to ensure that veterans are looked after and never forgotten. Remembrance Sunday gives us a chance to reflect on the sacrifices made by individuals and their families in our local area.
We are grateful to those who continue to serve our country, but also to those who provide support for veterans, young and old.
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 09 Nov 11
Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter Poll
Are you prepared for another onslaught of snow?
This Poll is now closed.