Why I believe Cumbernauld is still a fantastic town, despite what the media say

Written by Scott Campbell. Scott Campbell
Published at 09:45 on 25 February 2013.
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WHEN I went to the Cumbernauld News, in 2010, to talk about the launch of my website - the then, Cumbernauldnl.info, their article talked of how ‘Civic pride is something not normally found in sixteen year olds’. Now, however, I feel somewhat bewildered by the coverage of news within Cumbernauld.

It seems that whenever something bad happens here Cumbernauld the media see it as an opportunity to tear us down. By contrast, when good things happen, only the local media report it. It’s shocking.

Everyone knows the slogan ‘What’s it called?’ and, equally, everyone knows the answer – ‘Cumbernauld!’ It was the slogan that was easy to remember, repetitive and, of course, worldly famous.

Now, though, ‘What’s it called?’ is often followed by a sturdy and continual response of slurs, namely ‘Scumbernauld’- a smear used against the town, which spreads like fire online via hash-tags – thanks for that, Twitter!

Then comes the inevitable; media coverage. Bloggers, Facebook users and Tweeters pounce on the opportunity to help fan the flames of Cumbernauld’s abysmal media image.

Cumbernauld’s great history as a town that thousands wanted to see; that many had as a place to visit on their bucket list; a town which was revered the world over for its unique artwork, structures and first UK indoor shopping complex disappears, like the sun during an eclipse. The Cumbernauld dream has gone sour.

As with all Utopian idealistic promises, Cumbernauld went from well-respected to the bad punch line in the amateur sociologist’s musings, after a few too many at the pub. At least our wee town is still being talked about though, eh?

News wrapped in scandal dominates our town. Whether it’s the council’s closure of the Gregory’s Girl school; the fatal crash on Wilderness Brae; the discovery of horsemeat in burgers at Cumbernauld High School or the town’s ‘carbuncle’ award winning success , the fact is that we pull the headlines; the wrong sort of headlines.

I still love this town. I started Cumbernauldnl.info, in 2010, to show off my love of our great town and no matter what anyone says I respect this town. I walk its paths as the first town residents once did, I marvel at the artwork, decoration and structures of the town, which blend seamlessly in with the roaming landscape which envelopes Cumbernauld cosily. This is a great town to those who have the imagination to see it that way.

As I have said before, I feel bewildered by the coverage of Cumbernauld in the media. Perhaps we should hold a town-wide press conference and show the world the excellence that Cumbernauld always has, and hopefully always will, have. Excellence in our community groups and civic pride, demonstrated through our numerous community councils, our town Forum, numerous area committees and other community-run groups dedicated to the town; Cumbernauld-Bron Association, Cumbernauld Community Forum, Cumbernauld Community Park, Cumbernauld Environmental Society, Cumbernauld House Trust and Friends of Cumbernauld Glen, to name but a few.

So we have many wonderful residents dedicated to keeping this town running. The council run our town into the ground but our community groups dig our town up and revive it over and over.

The power of community in our town should be the envy of towns all over. Yet, we are side-lined, in the media, when it comes to positive news, in order to make way for the bad news that gets your agency the space on social media and the most Google hits – all to appease your advertisers and sponsors.

For once people, realise that moaning doesn’t make a difference. Complain to the right people and take action where you can. Promote your town’s positive side and soon you’ll see what I see. Soon you’ll forget your old ways and realise that to make a difference you should stop moaning, get off the internet and head out into the town to see what you can do to make a positive impact.

Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Be the change you want to see in the world." Come on then, what are you waiting for? Get out there and let’s make Cumbernauld great again.