Last year my husband reported one of many potholes in Linden Drive where we live, along with mentioning that the very drains are in a dreadful state of disrepair. He was contacted swiftly enough by the council only to be told that no repairs could be carried out as our street is considered ‘private’.

Apparently when the houses were built here it was understood that the road would also be completed to a standard high enough for the council to ‘adopt’ it. The work was never carried out. Why on earth was this allowed to happen? We don’t even get the bulbs replaced in our street lampposts. A resident electrician has been good enough to change the light bulbs for us and we reimburse him for the costs.

When we moved into our home in 1996 we received a letter from the council saying that on a visit one of their employees had noticed we had cut down a tree. They informed us that as our house was in a conservation area we were not allowed to do so. What he had seen was a tree stump belonging to a tree removed by the previous owner.

Last summer we almost got excited when we realised a council vehicle was parked in the street and it looked as though re-surfacing was taking place. Not so, unfortunately. The council workmen had parked it there we presume whilst they had their lunch break. The work was in fact being carried out in the adjoining Old Mill Road. So what we have in Linden Drive, on the one hand, is an area of conservation which disallows its residents to carry out certain work without receiving permission from the council whilst on the other the road is left to disintegrate.

I assume some of the taxes ‘we’ pay in some way go to pay for other residents roads being repaired.

Isn’t it grand that WDC can fork out £800,000 for a crane whilst refusing to repair a crumbling road. Mrs M McElwaine Duntocher ON your letters page last week Councillor John Mooney wrote about the bad news regarding the Scottish Government starving West Dunbartonshire Council of funds to provide services.I must take issue with Councillor Mooney it is unfair to criticise politicians in Holyrood when the agreement or concordat is not between West Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government, but between COSLA and the Scottish Government. These facts are well known to Councillor Mooney,but it probably gets in the way of a good alibi from his point of view.

Councillor Mooney also fails to mention that although the Nationalist government has an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, COSLA is still predominately run by Scottish Labour figures. So perhaps Councillor Mooney could have a word with his own party members regarding our share of the Scottish Government settlement allotted to us by COSLA with a view to having it increased.

Our membership of COSLA costs us £62,000 a year and it looks as if Councillor Mooney agrees with me that our return does not meet the test of best value, perhaps he will join me in my pursuit of an agreement that we leave COSLA with a growing band of other authorities which feel the same.

The other interesting point is that in his good news budget he supported an additional spend as a “growth item” of £800,000 pounds of your money into Clydebank Rebuilt, the regeneration company that has not — in the opinion of many Bankies — done much for the town in the way of regeneration.

This company over a 10-year period has had £54 million of public money pumped in to it yet has failed to break even.

Councillor Mooney said in relation to the additional money “it is a no brainer” we must agree to pay the £800,000”. This comment, I believe, demands an explanation from Councillor Mooney. Does he mean that £54 million was just £800,000 short of the sum required to ensure success for Clydebank Rebuilt? I hope not, but would like more than a soundbite on the subject.

I think lots of questions remain to be answered and we should not have pumped what amounts to almost £1 million of funding that could have been better used in creating sustainable jobs for our communities.

Councillor George M Black Independent Dumbarton AS we all know the country is in tough financial times. As a consequence of the times we live in unemployment is very high (contrary to what the Westminster Government would have you believe) and one of the groups hardest hit by unemployment is the young.

The Government, however, are partly responsible for the large numbers of unemployed young people.

People who are currently in jobs are naturally working all the hours they can get(to try and live a decent lifestyle) and older people are being forced to stay on even longer in their jobs and the retirement age appears to be getting higher and higher with each generation.

A consequence of this is that there are very few jobs on the market for young people and their task of finding a job is made even harder thanks to the Government.

The Government are constantly drilling it in to us that education is so important and that it is imperative we are educated to a high standard.

This means that schools issue a huge volume of homework and revision daily. This means that senior school children(16-18) have hardly any available time to have a part-time job.

Furthermore the level of qualifications expected for even the simplest of jobs are, at times, mind boggling and everyone these days is expected to go to University to study some pointless course with no relevant life skills involved.

Another issue is the ludicrous laws and regulations the Government has implemented which stop many 16/17 year olds from getting a job. Many items are age restricted which is understandable. Alcohol, cigarettes, blades, aerosols and glues are commonly found in many local shops (the place where “back in the day” many people had their first job).

The issue is that these items can only be bought or sold by a person over the age of 18.It is understandable why the Government don’t want young people buying these products but the rules have inadvertently blocked many young people from gaining employment.

Licenses are required to sell age restricted products and staff must sit courses every so often. Many shops want someone who can serve everyone when the shop is busy and stack shelves when it’s quieter.

The vast majority of store managers are going to hire the person who can do both not a person who can just pack shelves.(16/17 year olds) The Government really are the architects of their own downfall sometimes!

Mark Mcluckie Dalmuir