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So unfortunately we’ve had some replies from our MSP’s and the Scottish Government.  These have not been too good so far and it looks like the Culture minister and her colleagues haven’t even bothered to read our message to them!

 

Letter from Cathy Craigie our MSP
Click on the letters to the right to read what they had to say.

 

Here was what we actually sent to the Culture Minister –

 

 

  

 
 

  

 

 

Dear Ms Hyslop

 

 
I am writing as the Chair of a recently formed charity which has been set up by people in the Cumbernauld community around Cumbernauld House.  The Cumbernauld House trust was set up by local people in Cumbernauld and received charity status 3 days before the house was purchased by external developers.Letter from Fiona Hyslop
This has caused distress across Cumbernauld and the people of Cumbernauld are becoming more and more worried that their facilities and recreational space is being encroached greatly.
We would love to enlist your help in our bid to restore the house to the public of Cumbernauld.  The developers plan to turn the house into flats and close access to the house.  This has been met with real concern amongst our 2700 members.  So far the developer has already gated off the house and removed the parking previously available around the park.  There is now very little in the way of car parking space around Cumbernauld House Park.  As this is the largest park in North Lanarkshire that is very worrying.
The group itself was formed from a Facebook campaign (www.facebook.com/cumbernauldhouse) back in February of this year and has already gained a large number of followers and publicity both locally and nationally.  The trust was given full charitable status in August  this year (Charity no SC041712).  We’ve gained a lot of support from the local community and have been a force of unity in a much maligned town.  A Flashmob we ran recently around the house had hundreds of residents turn out to show their support and political support across the spectrum with our Labour MP and SNP Councillor standing side by side on the steps of the building to show support.
More details on who we are and what we stand for can be found on our website www.cumbernauldhousetrust.org.uk.

The Trust is still in the process of scoping work and trying to solicit funds around the purchase of the house we have the length of the planning process to raise the necessary funds to bring this to fruition.  The developer has made it clear that they would be willing to listen to offers prior to this for the house.  We would draw your attention to the petition which has been running for the past 6 months – www.cumbernauldpetition.co.uk and would like you to look into what the Scottish Government can do to help the (currently) 1742 signatories.  Is there scope for the government to rent the property from the developer to open up the timescale for the Trust to raise the necessary funds and complete the feasibility studies etc which would be necessary for this?

Is the Scottish Government in a position to help the Trust to regain this valuable piece of our history for the people of Cumbernauld.  We have already approached the towns councillors for help but feel that the Government also has a responsibility to help the people of Cumbernauld in this endeavour.

We have made very great strides in the past 6 months around rallying support which you may be aware of but now is the crunch time and unfortunately the Trust had only a weekend in order to raise the funds before the developer moved in.  So we are asking for your help now to help the community help itself.

We are not asking for a long term commitment from the government but we are asking that the executive takes part in the work the community is already involved with.

So our questions are –

  1. Can the Scottish Executive help the Trust in some way to get the building back into public use?
  2. Could the government approach the developer to rent the building whilst the trust raises the funds in order to purchase, restore and revive the house for the use of the public?
  3. Can you as the Culture Minister please put pressure on the overall council to do something to help the people of Cumbernauld fulfil its ambition to gain access back to this building and use it as a symbol for Cumbernauld which will be something to be proud of.
  4. Can you leverage your influence on the likes of Historic Scotland and Heritage lottery to help on our behalf?

 

For your information the objects of the charity are as follows –

  • To advance citizenship and community spirit, positive citizenship and the engagement of the residents of Cumbernauld.
  • To advance citizenship in Cumbernauld by promoting the development of Cumbernauld House, outlining the priorities, aspirations, issues and concerns of Cumbernauld residents in relation to resources, facilities and services through consultation with individuals, groups and communities of interest in Cumbernauld.
  • To advance the heritage of Cumbernauld by working to protect, conserve and improve the environment of Cumbernauld House on a sustainable model, development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the abilities of future generations, for the benefit of the residents of Cumbernauld
  • To advance citizenship in Cumbernauld by working to support, develop and promote opportunities for social, recreational, sport and leisure activity and the development of community facilities and resources in Cumbernauld to meet the needs of the community.
  • To advance education for the residents of Cumbernauld by promoting and increasing trainingLetter from Alex Neilland learning opportunities.

So you’ll see from that that we’re very much committed not only to the house but to the overall community within Cumbernauld.  We’d be happy to share business plans etc with you also if you felt you needed that.

So on behalf of the 2700 members of our group (90% live in or around Cumbernauld) we’d like to ask for your help and anything you can give us would be gratefully received.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Robert McAllen, MInstF

Chair, Cumbernauld House Trust Group

Now given this letter why did we get the reply we got?  Really makes no sense to us.  We’ve replied back and will keep everyone updated on what comes back.  We’d also like to know your views on this.  Please feel free to comment on this story.

 

 

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About cumbernauldhouse

To save and preserve Cumbernauld House and allow Public Access to this piece of our National Heritage.

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