SWEEPING reductions to public spending and local authority budgets have wreaked havoc across communities up and down the country as hospitals, schools, and emergency services are forced to make cuts, libraries and youth clubs close, and specialist services are withdrawn.

Add the rise in food bank use and Universal Credit causing universal misery and you get the picture of the wretched existence many in our country and community experience.

For workers in these crippled services it means stress and misery caused by the intensification of work schedules, lack of secure jobs, low pay, and the work-till-you-drop culture, all destroying lives.

The failed models of phony “partnership working” with employers, “working smarter” etc have not delivered for working people in the workplace or community.

We need a co-ordinated, far more assertive approach to industrial relations in our view, with a move away from fragmented, localised campaigning. We need joint working, not with employers but with other trade union branches and shop steward committees in the surrounding areas – as a start, in line with STUC policy.

We need that collective strength to take our campaigning forward with demands for investment in our public services rather than so-called “savings”. We need to go on the offensive, supporting the TUC call for a shorter working week without loss of pay, earlier retirement, reverse the intensification of work, as part of a determined drive to raise living standards. We are sick of West Dunbartonshire Council managing decline. We are not going to accept attacks on hard-earned terms and conditions, more so while budgets are not fully spent.

We call for support for our rally prior to the council meeting on August 28, 5pm at Clydebank Town Hall. To the community at large – support us, don’t lose your services that you are paying for through your taxes. Be there!

Val Jennings, UNISON Convenor, West Dunbartonshire branch; Margaret Wood, UNITE Convenor, West Dunbartonshire branch; David Scott, GMB Convenor, West Dunbartonshire branch; Tom Morrison, Secretary, Clydebank Trades Union Council

COLIN Fox (Letters, August 6) exhorts us all to support the Venezuelan Government in their struggle. It seems strange that at such a crucial phase of our struggle for self-determination Comrade Fox wishes us to divert our energies to South America.

Venezuela, Palestine, Kurdistan, Cuba, Catalonia. Are these struggles not peripheral? Our struggles should be in the housing schemes, villages and towns of Scotland.

It might be that we can see in that letter one of the many reasons for the collapse of the Scottish Socialist Party as a political force in Scotland.

Hamish Kirk

LESLEY Riddoch dismisses BBC Scotland far too rapidly (Scotland needs incisive journalism, not irrelevant BBC network fodder, August 8).

Watch The Nine (we’re missing Debate Night since its summer break) and you will see some impressive coverage of the kind of Scottish society which the mainstream BBC would probably look down their noses at.

READ MORE: Scotland needs incisive journalism, not irrelevant BBC network fodder

I can imagine that there are struggles in the newsroom over political coverage, but deeper matters are aired. In particular, individual altruistic initiatives are regularly discussed: the ex-prisoner refurbishing an outreach bus to support the recently released; others helping people with drug addictions or running school uniform banks.

To see our fellow citizens discussing their initiatives in an appreciated environment affirms our steps to self-determination.

Aside from the established team of familiar faces, The Nine seems to offer a comprehensive opportunity for young reporters. Outstanding is Rajdeep Sandhu, whose ironic take on Westminster is refreshingly irreverent.

BBC Scotland isn’t perfect, but it is providing some building blocks for the kind of coverage we need to be planning for an independent future.

Cathie Lloyd
Letters, Lochbroom

THE apologist for BBC Scotland, Ian Small (Letters, August 8),

could take out a two-page spread in the National defending the BBC record, but we have the evidence of our eyes and ears.

Richard Walthew

READ MORE: From the BBC: 'Coverage of Ofcom report was cherry picked'​

GIVEN the reluctance by BBC Scotland to cover the latest poll on Scottish independence, I would suggest that the corporation is renamed the Biased Boris Cheerleaders in Scotland.

I would love to see if any other readers of the National have other alternative names for the broadcaster.

Alan Laing