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will having a Conservative Provost be good for West Lothian?
West Lothian NEWS - news as it happens in West Lothian

Put simply, plain English is best
Monday, 27 November 2006
SIR, I would like to thank Mr Lard for his comments, although he laid it on a little thick. I feel he has taken someone else's writings and inserted my initials where someone else's name was.

I have been told by other people to try and base my writings on facts, something Mr Lard seems to have skipped over and let rip with a tirade of misinformation.

I have never been a reader of the Sun, nor the Daily Record, Mirror, Star or any other daily comical. I am educated, but I think because I think differently to Mr Lard, he thinks otherwise, his opinion.

If you thought I was uneducated, why did you go to great lengths to put in so many Dictionary words as possible, was this to prove you right or me wrong? I know what all of these "big" words mean, they learn you a lot in Bathgate Academy, I would never have gotten 5 O'levels if I hadn't. I never sat A'levels as that was my choice, I decided to go into the big world and work beside people who could understand small common words, Yes the working man.

Over the years I have learned to switch off when people start using dictionary words, the reason being they obviously want people to think that they are something they aren't, that they think they know what they are talking about. Plain speaking is what it is all about, nothing more nothing less. People know what I am saying without having to grab the Oxford English, it is so boring.

Modern day politicians seem to forget who put them there, who they are there to represent. Most of the legislation and laws in the last 10 years have been designed to the undermine Christian beliefs, make it more difficult for the masses to have a life without being in fear of victimisation or racist claims. The minorities got on well with their lives before all this came into force. All it has done is alienate them by the masses. Something that wasn't there before.

I have worked all my life, contributed to the chancellor, treat people with respect, something our politicians both locally and nationally have forgotten. If this makes me uneducated then there is a lot of us out there.
S.J  West Lothian

At least SJ lives in the real world
Monday, 27 November 2006
SIR, K Lard is obviously one of those self satisfied little twerps that think
themselves above the rest of us.

JS might not be that good at expressing his views - but he is living in the real world not cloud cuckoo land.

I bet Mr Lard is some kind of social worker - the type who takes young thugs on trips to Spain as a reward for beating up OAPs.

William Stewart, Broxburn

Last Updated ( Monday, 27 November 2006 )
Smell of gas still in Deans South
Monday, 27 November 2006
SIR, last Friday coming back from the primary school there was a strong smell of gas in the Deans South area.

I called Transco and they said they would check it out, but the smell is still about.

Tom, Deans South

Life's not a gas for residents of Deans South
Friday, 24 November 2006
SIR, The public of West Lothian may have read the article in yesterday's West Lothian Courier in relation to the gas leaks on the troubled Deans South Estate.

A council spokesperson for West Lothian Council Claims the gas leaks are in no way connected to the vacant properties, and the maintenance to the Gas sub station located at number 118 Deans South is routine.

Incident Details 7th November 2006

On Tuesday 7th November 2006 a Homeowner contacted the emergency gas services reporting a strong smell of gas at Deans South, they advised an engineer would be out to investigate with an hour, on his arrival he checked the area and advised that the gas leak was located on the main road throughout Deans South and was not priority as the readings were low.

Later that evening a team of gas engineers were digging up the road at the area between 110 and 112 Deans South as the gas leak had been detected in that area and not the area identified by the engineer that morning.  The engineer had to access a Homeowners Property and connect test equipment to assist in locating the gas mains between the properties; I find this to be extremely alarming that the gas mains could not be located.  The work on this leak carried on until the early hours of Wednesday morning which involved digging and drilling until the leak was located.

A further team of engineers arrived in the area and began to lift slabs on the path adjacent to the mentioned properties.

Incident Details 9th November 2006

A further strong smell of gas was reported again on Thursday night 9th November 2006 at the back of some garages, an engineer appeared at 3.00am and once again a Homeowner had to direct him to were the smell of gas was. Routine maintenance I would have thought routine maintenance would be carried out during day light hours.

The engineer did advise that there was a leak and this area was then cordoned off.  Engineers appeared on the 13th November 2006 to repair a faulty valve which is adjacent to a gas sub station located at the back of Deans South garages.

Deans South has a number of empty properties in the area and on several occasions the remaining residents have raised there concerns with West Lothian Council regarding the supply of gas still connected to the emptied properties, WLC have informed Residents on numerous occasions that all Gas supplies were disconnected when the properties became vacant.

This is not the case as a number of properties in Deans South have been vacant for several months and the work to disconnect the supply has only been carried out from the13th November 2006.

West Lothian Council as far back as 2004, 2005 had assured the residents of this estate, that the gas supply for the vacant properties had been disconnected, and Issue 5 2005 of The Deans South update and further updates on the councils own web site will confirm all the piping was removed from the vacant properties. However this is not the case.

Only last year the emergency services and Gas engineers were called to an incident in the Deans South estate and the estate was cordoned off, due to an act of vandalism were a youth kicked a Gas meter from the wall of a vacant property resulting a major Gas leak.

Whilst the homeowners remain within the Deans South Estate, and these houses are still occupied West Lothian Council will have to continue to maintain the estate to a standard compatible with the health and safety of the occupants which remain within the estate.

It is quite clear that the Gas supply to the vacant properties has NOT been disconnected and further confirmation of this was clarified on the 14/11/06 when a fleet of Gas Vehicles arrived on the estate to attempt to disconnect the gas supplies to the vacant properties.

Gas engineers are still facing major problems within the Deans South estate locating Gas pipes and work is ongoing.

Open, Honest, Accountable,?

Sean De Burca Milligan Chairman DSHA

I sleep easier knowing SJ's views are ignored
Friday, 24 November 2006
SIR, I totally sympathise with SJ and his family. The viscous assault he describes would make me angry, bitter, and under certain circumstance inclined to consider revenge.

Nevertheless I don't think this terrible attack on an individual can be used to deflect appropriate criticism of SJ uneducated views or that changes are required to the criminal justice system. To argue this displays limited knowledge of politics and moral philosophy.

Liberal democracy is not just about goody goody political correctness or letting criminals off.

At its hearts Liberal democracy is devised to prevent SJ and his ilk having any real say on important matters. Great liberal thought is and was geared to wards stopping the "tyranny of the masses" and the uneducated and ill informed looking for simplistic solutions based on gut reaction.

When universal suffrage was introduced, although not devised specifically to prevent Sun reader's form influencing the body politic, Government certainly recognised the inherent weakness of a system that asked important questions of uneducated people.

The check on the modern tyranny of the masses ( Sun reading philosophers) is provided via representative democracy and a solid education system. A state that concentrates on how understanding is formulated and puts emphasis on the importance of history, politics and philosophy (both moral and political) is crucial.

A true understanding of the world is required to make important decisions, hence the need for representatives. Fortunately these representatives will accept your vote SJ but don't necessarily listen too carefully to your idiotic views.

In short political actions need to be underpinned by a solid theoretical and moral framework. Although I agree with SJ's view on free speech and for the record SJ that concept sits comfortably within this liberal framework. Nevertheless, I sleep easier at night knowing that politicians will accept SJ's vote, but at the end of the day his views will be ignored.

Getting back to the original point I expect our political system to act appropriately at all times. I don't expect it to respond to uneducated noise. Tragically however there is little weakness in that people can be so angered there is a desire to demonstrate or take revenge (defined as individual actions independent from the state). On balance this is a small price to pay for a solid political system. A system designed to withstand such pressures.

Ironically the more SJ and his ilk moan about the system being poor or not representing their views the more liberal our state appears. The checks and balances against the abuse of power are clearly working.

Ken Lard, Kirk Road, Bathgate

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