Bellshill pensioner: I’m blinded by the light, councillor

The light on Councillor Baird's wall which is annoying pensioner neighbour.
The light on Councillor Baird's wall which is annoying pensioner neighbour.

It’s that time when twinkling Christmas lights are adding a touch of brightness amid the gloom as we approach midwinter.

But it’s not a star in the east that’s catching pensioner Jean Reid’s eye.

She’s calling on a councillor who lives yards away to show some festive goodwill and switch off a security light that’s shining directly into her living room and driving her up the wall.

Councillor David Baird says he had the light installed above his front door after his home in Hattonrigg Road, Bellshill, was targeted by vandals opposed to his Yes stand during the independence campaign.

However, it pivots searchlight-style and during its cycle the beam shines directly at his neighbour’s house which sits at a right angle to his.

Mrs Reid (72) said she complained to Councillor Baird’s wife, Linda, and she agreed the light was ‘annoying’.

The pensioner said: “It’s on from 3pm to 10.30am the next day and I have to keep my blinds down if I want to read or watch television.

“I take drops for an eye irritation and this light seems to be making it worse. Everybody who visits asks me how I can put up with it.

“I don’t see the need for it. Hattonrigg Road is well-lit anyway and the light doesn’t sweep over the Bairds’ house - just mine!”

Mrs Reid, a North Lanarkshire Council tenant, said she complained to the council, but was told the Bairds owned their home and nothing could be done.

Councillor Baird, who represents Mossend and Holytown, said he had adjusted the light after Mrs Reid complained to his wife, but was unaware she was still unhappy.

He added: “I’ll adjust it again and check the settings. It’s not on all day, but maybe passing traffic sets it off.”

Last month the SNP man hit the national headlines when a Yes group photo on Facebook showed him sitting next to a man with an air rifle. Political opponents branded him irresponsible, but he said he hadn’t seen the gun.

Now he finds himself embroiled in a row with an elderly neighbour. Councillor Baird said: “Does she want me to leave my house unprotected? The light is staying.”