From our postbag

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Postbox

Added stress if registrar’s shuts

Sir, – It was with concern that I heard last week of the proposed closure of the town’s registrar office.

It was with even more concern I was informed that Councillor Mahoney had indeed voted for this closure.

Am I getting something wrong here but is this councillor not supposed to be getting paid to fight for such things to remain open in the town?

It can be argued that perhaps this was the lesser of two evils as something like the library could have been closed in its place.

I would therefore like to know what important public service is being closed in Grangemouth, Falkirk or Camelon?

People struggle to get by at present without facing the added stress of having to find the transport charges to get to Grangemouth to register deaths, births and marriages. – Yours etc.,

Garry Chapman

2 Kinneil Drive

Bo’ness

Sir, – On behalf of Low Port Primary School parent council and our wider parent forum I would like to publically state our appreciation to Mrs Lynda Stobie and Mrs Linda Simpson who have recently left our school.

Lynda Stobie has been the face of Low Port school for over 20 years and countless children and parents/carers have benefitted from her personal and professional commitment to the school.

She leaves with our very warmest wishes in her new post.

Linda Simpson has been with us as an interim headteacher for the last year or so, returning to a school her own children attended, and leading us all through and beyond our Education Scotland inspection. We wish her all the very best in her retirement.

Can I also extend a warm welcome to Mrs Jane Livingston our new head-teacher and congratulations to Mrs Ramsay on her appointment as acting principal teacher. – Yours etc.,

Richard Payne, Chairman

Low Port Primary School parent council

Sir, – Terrence Higgins Trust’s new report HIV and Poverty (www.tht.org.uk/poverty) reveals a shocking picture of financial hardship among people with HIV in the UK.

The charity has seen a 15 per cent increase in people accessing its hardship fund which helps people with HIV in severe financial need cover basic living costs including food, clothing and heating costs.

As the full impact of the Government’s welfare reforms starts to be felt, it is vital that West Lothian Council considers the needs of local people with HIV and that support is available for those whose condition affects their ability to work and maintain financial stability.

HIV and poverty should not be linked but without adequate support, financial stress, poor diet, and other factors associated with poverty can lead to mental and physical ill health for people with HIV. Let’s do all we can to make sure that HIV and poverty no longer so often go hand in hand. – Yours etc.,

Amanda Richardson

Bathgate

Sir, – We would love to hear from readers about local National Lottery funded projects that deserve national recognition for their work.

The National Lottery Awards, the annual celebration of the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects, shine a light on the diverse range of organisations using funding to transform communities and change lives.

Seven projects will be recognised at a star-studded event broadcast on BBC One later this year and win a £2,000 cash prize.

Readers can visit www.nationallotteryawards.org.uk to nominate projects. All entries must be in by midnight on Wednesday March 12. – Yours etc.,

John Barrowman

The National Lottery Awards

C/o 1 Plough Place

London EC4A 1DE

Sir, – The National Union of Students (NUS) has found that international students come to the UK in good faith only to find the tuition fees for their course have increased without warning.

These rises threaten international students with hardship and non-completion of their studies. NUS research has found that at least 50 per cent of universities do not provide international students with a “fixed fee guarantee” and that their fees increase during their programme.

Our research has found that students who pay unexpected additional costs of £1000 or more are three times more likely to leave their programme. NUS is calling on every institution to guarantee fixed international student fees. International students should not have the goal posts moved by institutions while they are here. –Yours etc.,

Daniel Stevens

NUS international students’ 
officer

Sir, –I am writing to encourage readers with children under five to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Eric Carle’s beloved children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by hosting their own Giant Wiggle.

Action for Children is setting little ones in the Lothians a very wiggly challenge – to raise sponsorship by forming giant caterpillar conga lines at their children’s centre or nursery on March 20, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day.

It is an opportunity for tots to have fun, get some exercise and raise money for a great cause. Action for Children is a charity that does very important work with children and families, helping to give them a happy and healthy start in life.

For more information about The Giant Wiggle, including how to get involved, visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk/giantwiggle – Yours etc.,

Angellica Bell

Action for Children supporter

TV presenter