Gail's Gab: our elderly deserve free access to their local day centres

I read my good friend Vivienne Nicoll's column in last night's Evening Times and I was full of rage.

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As usual Vivienne brought to our attention to a story which deserves to be told and talked about. The Glasgow City Council decision to charge senior citizens to attend their local day centres is simply a disgrace. For many pensioners within our communities these centres are their only contact with other people and the outside world. Some have no family locally to pop in for a chat and cup of tea so these centres play a crucial role in their lives.

Vivienne highlighted one pensioner of 93 years of age who attends the Thornliebank centre on the south side and faces a £45 a week bill to keep in touch with his friends and, in his words, so he doesn't "vegetate". This charging decision has to be reversed. Don't these councillors realise that the treatment of our elderly and our children determines just how civilised a society we are.

If millions can be found to help promote and facilitate events like the Commonwealth Games then the relative pennies required to keep access to day centres for our elderly free must surely be found. If this decision is not reversed then every councillor who voted for it should be named and shamed. I certainly intend raising it at my local community council and I encourage all of you to also raise it with your local councillors. Our elderly deserve free access to their local day centres. It is the 21st century not the 19th.

Tommy's #HopeOverFear public meeting in support of the YES campaign attracted over 500 folk to Lourdes Primary school last Thursday. It really was a smashing meeting with David Hayman and Jim Sillars on top form. Even Tommy was quite good. However a remarkable man asked if I would draw attention to his cause through my column and I am honoured to do so. He is cycling an incredible 25,000 miles over 4 years to raise money for childhood cancer victims of neuroblastoma. Please take the time to visit the site and support his cause, LifeCycleForNeuroblastoma.com and the ncca.uk site.

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