Features

viewed resources, on our websites, are our features, which we use to publicise advice, up-to-date information and provide a one-stop shop on one particular topic, from budgets to schools. Have a look at our currently online features to learn more. 


2014 European Parliament elections

The European Union is a supranational level of government, above the Scottish and UK Governments. The E.U. is made up of the various organisations, including the European Council, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission. The European Parliament, however, is the only directly elected part of the European Union.

The European Parliament is the only body of the European Union which is directly elected by voters across the European continent, and elections to the Parliament take place every five years. And, in this feature, we aim to explain to aims, powers and purposes of the European Union, and attempt to help you better understand how to and why you should vote in this year's 2014 European Parliament elections.

In this feature we answer key questions, including 'What is the European Parliament?', 'What is European Parliament there for?', 'What political parties are in the European Parliament?', 'How do I vote?', and 'Who’s standing this year?'.

Learn more about this year's European Parliament elections; how to get registered, how to vote and the main functions of the European Parliament on Cumbernauld Media, here.

Bedroom Tax

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 seen the UK Government shake-up the British welfare system in a manner never before seen; almost every benefit will have at least one alteration made to the terms and conditions of receipt; peoples’ entitlement; and, payment details. And, perhaps the most well-known of the changes in the under-occupancy charge, dubbed the ‘bedroom tax’, colloquially. 

The bedroom tax was official as of April 2013 and sees social housing tenants’ housing benefit payments cut if they are deemed to be under-occupying their property. However, the new government measure only affects those in receipt of housing benefit or local housing allowance and the changes do not currently affect those of pensionable age.

The bedroom tax criteria takes into account the number of bedrooms in the property and the number of people living there, and if a property is deemed to be bigger than the tenant needs, the under-occupancy charge will be applied.

Under the current rules, a tenant assessed as having 1 extra bedroom they will be liable to pay 14% of their eligible rent – a 14% reduction in their housing benefit or local housing allowance, in other words. Otherwise, a tenant who is assessed as having 2 or more extra bedrooms will be liable to pay 25% of their eligible rent – a 25% reduction in their housing benefit or local housing allowance, in other words. Regardless, in both cases, the tenant will be expected to make up the difference themselves.

Learn more about the bedroom tax; who it applies to and get advice on Cumbernauld Media, here.

Cumbernauld Colts Football Club

The Cumbernauld Colts are now based at Broadwood Stadium, following capital investment from the Scottish Government’s ‘Cashback for Communities’ programme. Previous to this development they had spent many years at various venues in the Cumbernauld area and had no recognisable base. And, currently, the club is in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council and North Lanarkshire Leisure; a partnership which provides a platform for the club to progress to new levels. 

The Colts also hold the Scottish FA’s highest level of Quality Mark accreditation and has teams at all levels; both male and female. With team playing in the Scottish Woman’s Football, Scottish Amateur and Scottish Youth associations, to name but a few, with the club also running a range of community focussed programmes, throughout the year.

Read more about the Cumbernauld Colts on Cumbernauld Media, here

Cumbernauld Gala Day

The highlight of Cumbernauld’s calendar, the town’s local Gala Day is a colourful cavalcade of entertainment, festivities, fun and stalls, all held in the centre of Cumbernauld.

Organised by a sub-committee of Cumbernauld Community Forum, the annual Gala Day extravaganza is pulled together by a number of high-profile and hard-working local community groups, such as the Rotary Club, Keep Calm Events, Hope Community Garden, Cumbernauld Gardening Club and many more. The event is sponsored by corporate partners too, including the Cumbernauld campus of New College Lanarkshire, Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Water and Sanctuary Cumbernauld. 

Planning the near five hour Gala takes nearly one-year, and organisation of the annual occasion commences almost immediately after the preceding Gala Day is over, as individuals from various local groups pull together to deliver the Day, which has found a place in the calendars and hearts of many residents of Cumbernauld once again, after the town’s original Gala Days were wound up, along with the Cumbernauld Development Corporation and Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District Council. 

Learn more about Cumbernauld Gala Day on Cumbernauld Media, here

Cumbernauld Town Centre

It’s the mega-structure which looms over Cumbernauld; can be seen from miles away and has been critically acclaimed and heavily criticised. Yes, its Cumbernauld town centre; a building which divides architects, designers, landscapers, planners, residents and visitors, alike.

Built on a harsh rugged hillside, planners quickly released that their ‘utopian’ New Town needed something to make life easier for residents and be a central mapping point for the New Town – they chose to make Cumbernauld town centre that central point; a mega-structure that would house everything from communal areas, businesses, offices, flats, health services, leisure services and areas to encourage social cohesion. As with the rest of Cumbernauld, the town centre was part of a larger social experiment.

Even to this day Cumbernauld town centre stands as the town’s main focal point; dominating the landscape, engulfing the A8011 motorway – which runs directly underneath the complex – and housing most amenities, with additional amenities scattered around the centre complex. The centre has been compared to nothing but a house for wind tunnels, and a concrete monster on stilts. 

Read more about Cumbernauld Town Centre on Cumbernauld Media, here

North Lanarkshire Council budgets

North Lanarkshire Council’s budget comes from a number of sources. There are a number of budgets which people should concern themselves with; capital, income and revenue. 

A capital budget is the expenditure which the council chooses to dedicate to its assets, such as their buildings, schools, roads etc.; the income budget is the total monies given to North Lanarkshire Council from a number of sources; and, the council’s revenue budget is the total amount of funds which the council has at their discretion, and are able to spend on resources. 

Cumbernauld Media look at the council’s budgets since 2009. 

Read more about North Lanarkshire Council's budgets on Cumbernauld Media, here

Outlander TV series

Friday, July 19th, 2013 was the date when Scotland was unveiled as the filming location for a brand new US television production called ‘Outlander’.

The following day, The Glasgow Herald and Cumbernauld Media broke the news that the town which would be the main location for the TV show’s production is Cumbernauld.

Using a warehouse in Cumbernauld, producers Left Bank Pictures, Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company, and Sony Pictures Television, will make sixteen, one-hour long, episodes ahead of the show’s première, on US cable network, Starz, next year.

Shooting commences in September 2013, with the production expected to see 200 crew members lend a hand to bring the show together, accompanied by around 2,000 extras.

The show’s production is expected to bring £20million into the Scottish economy, with a number of famous faces behind the writing of the show.

Read more about Outlander's production, and follow the latest news, on Cumbernauld Media, here

Save Abronhill High School campaign

As aforementioned, North Lanarkshire Council approved recommendations, on Wednesday 6th February 2013, to close Abronhill High School in June 2014 and move the school's staff and students to Cumbernauld High School. The approved recommendations were as follows:
(i) at the end of school session 2013/14, the provision of education at Abronhill High School and Cumbernauld High School be discontinued and a new school be established and that all pupils currently attending both the current Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools will be provided with education at the existing Cumbernauld High School premises;

(ii) from the start of school session 2014/15 all primary school pupils who under the present arrangements would have transferred to Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools will be provided with secondary education at the existing Cumbernauld High School premises; and

(iii) as an early priority in the next phase of the Schools & Centres 21 Programme, a new build school will be constructed to replace the amalgamated schools on the existing Cumbernauld High School site.

Follow the campaign against the rationalisation and learn more on Cumbernauld Media, here.

Scottish independence referendum

Scots will go to the ballot boxes on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 to answer the question ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ Voters will be asked to vote once, marking either No or Yes, in a decision that will be the biggest decision to be made by Scots since the Act of Union itself. 

Until the referendum, a number of campaigns have set up shop, aiming to promote their messages for and against the prospect of Scottish separation from the United Kingdom. The two main umbrella camps are the pro-union group, Better Together and pro-independence group, Yes Scotland.

Both campaigns have said that the fight for Scotland’s constitutional future will be the biggest-ever community-led campaign, with both campaigns now locked in a bitter battle to persuade voters to mark No or Yes, next year, with voters in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth no exception. 

Learn who the main Cumbernauld campaigns names are and follow the local campaigns on Cumbernauld Media, here.

Yes Cumbernauld and Kilsyth

Scotland stands on the precipice of making history; few countries ever have a chance to take their future into their own hands through a referendum. 

On Thursday 18th September 2014 Scots will face the question 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'. On thing is will be historic regardless of the result will be the fifteen hours between 7am and 10pm, when the polls are open. In those 15 hours voters will decide on a monumental issue; stay part of the 307 year old United Kingdom or separate from the UK to become an independent country; a member of the international family of nations. 

Scots will say 'I endorse Westminster' or 'I endorse Holyrood'; either way, the vote is itself historic, and the ground wars between the pro-UK 'Better Together' and pro-independence 'Yes Scotland' campaigns are well under way as the clock counts down to 7am on September 18th, when we will all face 
a major decision.

We will have just 15 hours to vote but the rest of our lives to life with the consequences of the result, whether No or Yes; it's a decision too big to not record or promote so this page will follow the local pro-independence 'Yes' campaign as they set out their case for Scottish independence. 

Follow the Yes Cumbernauld campaign on Cumbernauld Media, here