Glasgow is picking up the pieces after the storm. Teams of workers have been called back from holiday to deal with the hundreds of damaged buildings.
Winds of more than 90mph swept across the city in the first few days of 2012. Rail services were suspended and people advised not to travel. Two high sided vehicles were blown over on the Kingston Bridge causing it to be closed for the first time in most people’s memories. More than 180 trees were damaged as winds up to 95mph hit. The city’s Christmas Tree in George Square was blown over causing the square to be closed to the public for safety’s sake. The River Clyde broke its banks around the George V Bridge.
Many residents in the West End, in particular, woke to find their chimney stack blown off. In most instances debris fell to the ground and damaged cars below. In many cases, huge holes were left in the roof.
Workers were called back from holidays by David Hunter which is part of the long established Glasgow company Hugh Scott Builders and Slaters. Said Callum Hunter: ‘We have had between 500 and 600 calls to repair the damage done by the storm. We will get around to everyone but we have to prioritise and first make each place safe and make a temporary repair. Then we will have to come back.’
He said the properties most affected by the storm were traditional West End flats where the chimney heads had collapsed and flat roofed buildings from the 1970s and 1980s. ‘Often they were shoddily built and of poor design,’ he said. ‘As for the tenements; one top flat in the West End has a four metre square hole in the roof where the chimney head has been blown in. It will be at least three months before the owner can return home and he’s not alone in that situation.’
American student, Bill Baehr from St Louis, Missouri stopped to ponder one of the fallen trees in Kelvin Way as he walked to Glasgow University. He said: ‘I come from Missouri and we have tornadoes. We don’t associate Scotland with storms like this!’ But he added that it hasn’t put him off the city.
If you have experiences of the storm you’d like to retell on this website or if you have good pictures of the storm damage you’d like to show, please email this website : firstname.lastname@example.org The website is:www.localnewsglasgow.co.uk
FREE ‘Open Space’ event
‘THE IMPACT OF POVERTY ON WOMEN’
‘Poverty has a woman’s face’ The World Bank
Research shows us that poverty overwhelmingly affects women and children, having a major impact on their self esteem, potential and their physical, emotional and social health.
Glasgow Women’s Voluntary Sector Network events are open to all women and we invite you to come along to discuss, learn and share your opinions around ‘The Impact of Poverty on Women’ with other women in a safe, open and supportive space.
Date: Wednesday, 8th February 2012
Venue: The Teacher Building, St Enoch Square, Glasgow
Time: 10am to 4pm
What is Open Space? The Open Space way of working was created in 1985 and brings people together to discuss a common theme. Open Space is fully participative, there are no talking heads, and believes that the participants are the real experts. Just come along with an open mind and your thoughts and opinions.
To register for this event please contact Lorna at
Wise Women on 0141 550 7557 or Lorna@wisewomen.org.uk by Tuesday 31 January.
Creche is available although you must book your place /s
Travel expenses will be provided
Transport can be provided for women with physical and/or sensory impairments
This event is funded by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Community Planning Partnership
Theatre École are looking for new members. Beginning on Wednesday 18 January, the theatre school will offer magic workshops by one of Glasgow’s finest magicians. Rehearsals then start for the company’s June musical. Anyone aged from 9 to 25 may join.
Said founder Isobel Barrett: ‘This is a great opportunity to gain life skills, make new friends and have fun.’
A rare opportunity for people to learn the skills of the theatre is open right now with Theatre Ecole. Based in the Southside of Glasgow, the company has evolved from a youth and community group to a professional organisation – and registered charity – producing first class entertainment throughout the stage seasons.
The benefit to individuals is inestimable. But two of their graduates can tell their own success stories.
Garry Hogg joined the group in 2001 aged 14. Since then he has been an actor, tutor, stage manager, wardrobe assistant. Last year he took on the demanding role of Artistic Director for his first Pantomime.
Enthused by his leisure experiences, Garry gained his HND in acting and performance in 2008 and then his BA Honours in Performance for stage and film in 2010. Last summer he went global when he taught Drama and Directed numerous shows at Camp Taconic, a summer camp in Massachusetts in the United States. Garry says that: ‘Without the experience, training and support gained at Theatre École, I wouldn’t have the confidence or skills to be the person I am today or have had so many good experiences.’ Garry plans to continue working with young people and looks forward to Theatre École’s summer musical.
Michelle Gallagher joined the group in 2004 and showed great talent when cast as the Queen of Hearts in her very first Pantomime. She went on to play challenging roles such as Jinty, the Dame and Glinda the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz. Michelle gained her B.ED in 2010 and is now a successful primary school teacher. She said: ‘Being part of Ecole helped me realise that I enjoy working with children and gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams. I use a lot of what I learned at drama when teaching the children.’
Several other members who joined École have successfully gained their HND in Acting and Performance and have toured England and Scotland in various productions including Theatre in Education.
Commented Founder Isobel Barrett: ‘Being part of Theatre École breeds success for the future as can be seen from Garry and Michelle’s stories. The arts are a resource for overall development of the individual; fostering self-confidence, citizenship, creativity and decision-making as well as other life skills.’ She emphasised that not everyone aims to become a stage professional – many enjoy the Theatre Ecole experience as a life-enhancing hobby.
She extends the invitation to anyone aged from 9 to 26 who would like to become a part of the team for the June musical, to sign up for classes starting on Wednesday 18 January. There is also a job going with the company as a drama tutor/creative assistant involved with various aspects of work including webdesign.
Theatre Ecole headquarters and performance space is at Theatre at Queen’s within the Queen’s Park Parish Church complex and their website is: www.theatre-ecole.org.uk or www.facebook.com/theatreecole or tel 0141 423 6037.
École Enterprise will be holding an
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Tuesday 10th January 2012
Queen’s Park Parish Church
170 Queen’s Drive, G42 8QZ
École Enterprise has the following vacancy funded under Community Jobs Scotland. All applicants must abide with the CJS eligibility criteria and apply via Job Centre Plus or Skill Development Scotland Advisor.
Drama Tutor/Creative Assistant
To assist with drama activities within workshop/training and production projects. To maintain and develop web pages with associated administrative duties.
École Enterprise is a Social Enterprise Business, has Scottish Charitable Status and is a Company Ltd by Guarantee. The company is based at Theatre at Queens, 170 Queen’s Drive and offers training in the Performing Arts to young people and to youth organisations. The youth theatre caters for 9-25 year olds. Some of the team are pictured above.
The age limit for jurors in Scotland – set at 60 in 1825 and raised to 65 in 1980 – has been removed.
Reacting to the change which takes effect from 10 January 2011, Age Scotland’s Chief Executive David Manion said: ‘We heartily welcome this move which shows just how Scotland values the life skills and experience of its older citizens. Over the last 21 years, since 65 was set as the upper limit, Scots are increasingly living longer and leading active lives long after retirement.’
Another agency which welcomes the change, is Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association (GOPWA). The organisation is, itself about to celebrate 63 years of service to senior citizens with an ecumenical service at Glasgow Cathedral on Wednesday 23 February for which there is always a full house with people of all faiths attending.
Throughout the winter, staff of GOPWA continue to ensure that all service users are ok and that they have food and hot meals to see them through the bad weather.
Proud Director Sheena Glass, expressed a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone involved with GOPWA.
She said that three social welfare officers make sure pensioners across Glasgow are aware of their rights. In most cases the officers can double a pensioner’s income – as a lot of older people are not aware of what they are entitled to. Office staff are able to help older people over the telephone by just being there and being ready to listen.
In addition, almost 2000 volunteers run clubs which welcome seniors. For some people it is the only social contact they may have in a week. The day centres are loved by all who attend and the care received is praised. Centres are also the key place for seniors to contact in any emergency- especially if it occurs at a weekend.
Said Sheena: ‘We had donations of Christmas presents from Glasgow Inner Wheel, food parcels from Percy Bilton Charity and boxes of food from the pupils of Hillhead High School. All of those gifts were delivered with a Christmas card. For some this would have been the only card they receive.’ She added: ‘Every client is a friend, cared for and loved by all the staff and volunteers. Nor do we stop at Glasgow. We never refuse to help anyone who asks.’
Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association can be contacted on: 0141 221 9924
By Erik Geddes
The 2011 Scottish Parliament election is only five months away. The late winter and spring political landscape will be dominated by jostling, posturing and campaigning by all the main parties, and possibly the return of that well known independent, George Galloway.
Glasgow is divided into nine regional constituency areas; Anniesland, Cathcart, Kelvin, Maryhill & Springburn, Pollok, Provan, Shettleston, Glasgow Southside and – despite no longer being in the citiy’s council area – Rutherglen. Each one merits a seat in the Scottish Parliament. On top of this, there are seven Glasgow regional list seats where we will see a greater variation in the parties due to the second choices people make on their ballot papers.
After winning by the slimmest of margins in 2007, the SNP minority Scottish Government had an incredible, extended honeymoon of 18 months. But they have come under fire from all angles recently. If the bookmakers are anything to go by they will lose to Labour on Thursday 5 May 2011.
Despite Nicola Sturgeon’s Glasgow Southside seat being one of Labour’s key targets, the Nationalists have time, yet, to retain their standing and credibility both in Glasgow and across the nation.
Bill Aitken, a Conservative List MSP for Glasgow, who has been in office at Holyrood since the Parliament’s inception in 1999, will be retiring from Holyrood. Bill, a Partick Thistle supporter, is a name and character who will be sorely missed by the Tories who have never polled particularly well in Glasgow in recent times. The next time round is unlikely to be any different. Also calling it a day will be Labour’s Margaret Curran who will focus on her role as Glasgow East MP at Westminster.
The smaller parties, collectively known as ‘the others’ will be hoping to poll better than the three seats they won in 2007. Two of these went to the Scottish Green Party. In 2011, for the first time, the Scottish Green Party will stand on a ticket where the environment is not top of their agenda. Instead they will push for what they describe as ‘responsible revenue streams’ and a reduction in the cuts on public services programmes. They are hoping that Glasgow will not only return Patrick Harvie but also Councillor Martha Wardrop who will be second on the Green regional list.
Rumours of an internal rift at the Glasgow Lib Dems due to Katy Gordon being top of their list, were denied by the careers advisor who is hoping that she will be voted into the Scottish Parliament along with existing MSP Robert Brown. She narrowly lost Glasgow North to Ann McKechin in the 2010 general election.
What could be interesting is if – as expected – George Galloway confirms early in the New Year that he will be standing. Despite dozens of phonecalls and emails over the past couple of months, George hasn’t got back to us at the LOCAL NEWS yet. This may be due to his own busy schedule or his ties with other, far larger, Scottish media organisations. One thing is certain – the other parties won’t be welcoming George back to Scottish politics with open arms.
The return of Galloway won’t help the Scottish Socialist Party as it could split what remains in Glasgow of the left wing vote.
SSP spokesperson Ken Fergusson compared George Galloway’s expected return to the Scottish political arena to a character from Alan Bleasdale’s 1980s Boys From The Blackstuff drama. He said: ‘It looks a bit like ‘Gissa Job’. He tied his wagon to a political career in London – then lost it. His policy is George for Glasgow – but that doesn’t tell us too much about what he wants. I suspect we will be looking at just another Labour MSP if he gets elected.’ In 1987, Galloway won the Glasgow Hillhead seat at Westminster. In 1997 and 2001 elections he won Glasgow Kelvin.
Labour would feverishly refute any parallel between themselves and the former Big Brother contestant who was expelled from the Labour Party in 2003. There will be no love lost between the Labour candidates and George at the hustings, if he stands. And while George clearly has some respect for First Minister Alex Salmond, Glasgow SNP MSP Bob Doris who will stand in Maryhill and Springburn and on the list, isn’t too keen on George.
Bob said: ‘I don’t see George Galloway as a threat. He despises Scottish democracy and offers nothing more than personality politics to the people of Glasgow, who deserve better. ‘The Scottish Parliament is still in it’s infancy and the 2011 term will see the development of our working democracy, the last thing we need is George Galloway using it as a platform for his own ends.’
The LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW will interview all of the candidates standing at the May 2011 Holyrood elections so sign up for your weekly ENEWS by clicking on the last line of this one and entering your details. That way you will receive your weekly ENEWS letter direct to your inbox.
The Partick Thistle Supporters Association, The Jags Trust, today was today dealt a blow with the resignations of three key members.
Chair David Stewart along with board members Tom Hogg and Graeme Cowie have all stepped down from their positions with the fans group.
The Jags Trust have for over a decade been the key supporters voice with representation in the corridors of power and boardroom table at Firhill.
In September the Jags Trust were in some quarters recognised as orchestrating the boardroom reshuffle at 90 Firhill Road that saw Allan Cowan and Tom Hughes resign.
However, the Jags Trust loss could be PTFC’s gain as now David Stewart and Tom Hogg are keen to become more involved in with the running of Partick Thistle Football Club, although in what capacity remains to be seen.
Former Jags Trust Chair David Stewart took time to wish the Jags Trust well.
He said: ‘It’s been an honour being Chair of the Jags Trust over the past 18 months or so. ‘However, I feel that it has been increasingly difficult to produce tangible results for the football club and the supporters from within the structure of the Trust.
‘I hope that someone else can step forward and inject some forward momentum into the Trust, or whatever vehicle that the supporters choose to represent them.’
He added: ‘Despite increasing work commitments, I hope that I can continue to play a small role to assist Partick Thistle Football Club going forward.’
Tom Hogg explained there had been a difference of opinion at the Jags Trust board level. He said: ‘It became clear to me that my views on what the Jags Trust should do in terms of engaging with the supporters and the football club were significantly different to the majority of the Jags Trust board members.
‘I have radical views on refocusing the Trust that are not supported by the majority of its board and I feel that I can’t commit to continuing with an agenda that I consider to be misguided and not in the best interests of Partick Thistle.’
‘I have regrets about leaving with the job of reinvigorating the Trust incomplete, but I now want to concentrate on looking after interests of the club, not the Supporters Association.’