Calling halt after 25 years

Members of Thorniewood Labour Party wish all the best to retiring chairman John Stark
Members of Thorniewood Labour Party wish all the best to retiring chairman John Stark

Long-standing Labour Party stalwart John Stark has stepped down after 25 years as chairman of his local branch.

Members of Thorniewood Labour Party made a special presentation to him at their recent meeting in recognition of his work over a quarter of a century.

He has been the longest running chairman of the branch which previously operated under a number of guises, most notable Viewpark, Fallside and Tannochside Labour Party branch.

John has always been an active chairman within the party and the branch which now operates as part of the Uddingston and Bellshill Constituency Labour Party.

Councillors past and present - including North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe and finance convener Bob Burrows - thanked John for his support and praised his work as a strong chairman who allowed everyone to voice their opinion and ensured that everyone was treated equally.

Locally John is well known as a community activist and has been involved within the area as a driver for housing improvements, new build and care for the elderly.

He has also been involved in issues such as efforts to secure improvements in health, including the Health Centre in Viewpark which he was actively involved in getting, and opposition to the Monklands hospital closure proposals.

He is also well known for support to education issues such as new schools and the nursery improvements on age entrance and intake increase.

Members were reminded that John has always been on the frontline of local politics, working outside the limelight but actively involved in pushing and driving changes for his community.

Branch secretary Hugh Gaffney also thanked John for his hard work and support and said he had no doubt that John Stark had run and organised the best and most active local Labour Party Branch. He said he was also delighted that John will remain active in membership.

After receiving his gift John said he very humbled by the kind words given to him and thanked all for their support. He also wished all the best to his successor Angela Campbell.

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Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes