Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf spent Monday afternoon with Peter, a Big Issue vendor as part of International Street Paper Vendor Week. He stood outside Morrisons store in Crossmyloof, to find out what it’s really like to sell the magazine.
Vendors buy the magazine themselves at 50% of the cover price, and then sell the magazines on to earn money.
As well as a number of other ‘guest’ vendors to raise the profile of street vendors and the challenges that they face, International Street Paper Vendor Week will also see the International Network of Street Papers, a Glasgow-based charity, organising a variety of events from photography to vendor parties.
Said Humza:“Today I was able to experience first-hand the work of a Big Issue vendor, and had the opportunity to understand how important selling the magazine is to vendors.
“For Peter, the Big Issue offered him a lifeline and has allowed him to turn his life around. Selling the Big Issue allows the vendors to help themselves, and take control of what is essentiall, a small business.
“Today’s experience has shown me what a massive difference it makes when people take the time to stop and chat with vendors, even if they don’t buy the magazine. Peter has a great relationship with the staff and customers at the store. It was a pleasure to work alongside him.
“I encourage everyone to find out the name of their Big Issue vendor and to have a chat with and buy the magazine.”
Families enjoyed an exciting Flame Celebration at Glasgow’s Tramway on Sunday as part of the nationwide Torch relay to mark the Paralympic Games which start in London on Wednesday 29 August 2012 till Sunday 9 September.
Glasgow’s two Ambassadors, Jodie Taylor and Maggie McEleny, collected the flame from the lighting ceremony in Edinburgh and brought it, safely, to Glasgow where it was officially welcomed by the Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty.
Visual artists helped waiting families at the Tramway and its Hidden Gardens, create torches and flower garlands to line the route of the torch procession. They also made a collage inspired by The Flame and The Games. Sporting events included boccia, basketball and other sports.
Glasgow’s Lord Provost said: ‘We have provided an amazing welcome for the flame. Sport and activity is for all. Now we will be cheering on our Team GB athletes.’
Locog chair Lord Coe said: ‘Created at the summit of Ben Nevis, the Scottish Flame represents an achievement of human endeavour, which is something that every Paralympian represents.’
Four scouts and climber Kevin Shields lit the flame on Ben Nevis. It was then placed in a lantern, brought down the mountain and taken to Edinburgh. It will continue around the UK – including visiting the home of the Paralympic movement at Stoke Mandeville – before being carried in a 24-hour relay into the opening ceremony.
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: ‘The talents, dedication and hard work of Scotland’s torch bearers and Paralympians GB is, quite simply, inspirational. I’d especially like to send my best wishes to the 26 Scottish Paralympians. I know the whole country will be cheering them on throughout the Games.’
Scottish sport minister Shona Robison added her welcome: ‘I have no doubt the Paralympics will encourage disabled people’s participation in sport and significantly transform disabled people’s lives, leading to a more inclusive society for everyone.’
Performances at the Tramway included the Limelight Band and Maggie Riley. Visitors also heard Joseph Delaney, the first disabled musician to graduate from a University music course in Scotland.
Indepen-dance brought all weathers to the Hidden Gardens with their beautiful performance of Forecast and Solar Bear’s Deaf Youth Theatre signing choir performed a brilliant rendition of Sunscreen.
What better way to celebrate 15 years of Glasgow Film Office (GFO) bringing stars of screen to the city than having the latest film which has used the place for locations, up for an award at Cannes Film Festival.
‘The Angels’ Share’ directed by Ken Loach, will know on Sunday 27 May whether it wins an accolade or not. It will have its UK premiere in Glasgow next week.
The producer, Rebecca O’Brien, said: ‘Ken Loach, Paul Laverty and I have made four films in Glasgow in the past 15 years and have had the support of the Glasgow Film Office on every one. They’ve been terrifically helpful and often made difficult things happen for us. So we salute the GFO on their 15th birthday and will raise a glass in celebration!’
Offering a free service to all types of productions from feature films to tv commercials, the GFO works closely with other council services, Strathclyde Police and the productions to make sure their activities have minimum impact on local residents and businesses while delivering maximum economic impact to the city.
Established in 1997, the GFO has attracted around £200 million worth of film business to Glasgow.
Last year was a vintage time when major productions World War Z, Cloud Atlas and Under The Skin alone, brought in £20.15 million with stars such as Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and Scarlett Johansson working in town.
Other notable film which have used Glasgow for a backdrop included: Burnistoun, Gary: Tank Commander, Lip Service, My Name Is Joe, Rab C Nesbitt, Red Road, River City, Sony Bravia ‘Paint’ commercial, Still Game, Sweet Sixteen, Taggart, The House of Mirth.
Gerard Butler was named GFO’s Ambassador in 2009 to help raise the city’s profile and demonstrate its capability as a production base. Around 50 organisations have now signed up to the Glasgow Film Partnership – to promote Glasgow’s ‘film-friendly’ reputation – details at : http://www.glasgowfilm.com/filming_in_glasgow/film_partnership.asp.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: ‘Glasgow Film Office has been a tremendous success over the past 15 years, bringing more than £200 million to our economy. The list of familiar productions, shows how it has been an industry hub since 1997. We look forward to its continued success in bringing many more productions here.’
Seeing Scotland on film or television was important in the decision of 1 in 5 visitors to come here. With more than 530 locations in its database, the city can serve all types of companies.
Senior figures in the film industry – such as Jeremy Kleiner, the producer of World War Z – have praised the work of the GFO in facilitating the smooth running of their productions.
For more information on the Glasgow Film Office, see: www.glasgowfilm.com.
Of the 21 people retiring as Councillors from Glasgow City Council, around ten attended a poignant farewell earlier this week. Hosted by Lord Provost Bob Winter, who is, himself, standing down, it brought closure to many of the participants.
Said Jean McFadden who represented Garscadden-Scotstounhill and has served the city for 41 years: ‘Everyone felt it was a really nice touch to honour those of us leaving. Each person was presented with a personalised plaque which has the city’s coat of arms and the dates they’ve served. I have similar plaques from Glasgow Corporation but this is the only one which has my name on it.’
She has no plans to retired. Among her many ongoing activities she is an official examiner for work submitted by honours law students at Strathclyde University; she will get back to studying Advanced Italian for herself; she will mentor girls in a secondary school to help them achieve their potential; and she might go for an HGV licence!
‘I’ve always fancied driving one of those heavy goods vehicles round a tight corner!’ she said quite seriously. These are all outwith her commitments serving on the Legal Services Clinic and the Scottish Planning and Environment Law’s editorial board among others. She has also set herself to correct fundamental errors in some newspaper archives about who did what and when in the revival of Glasgow. ‘I just want to put the record straight. I was council leader from 1979 to 1986. That is when the team decided to change the direction of the city to move it into the creative industries and the financial sector. The minutes are there so I want the facts to be known.’
One of her future students will be former Drumchapel- Anniesland Councillor Matt Kerr, who leaves the Council to read law at Strathclyde University. He was selected after the resignation of Steven Purcell. He also attended the Lord Provost’s farewell event and said it was a very pleasant occasion.
Councillor Alex Glass who represented Greater Pollok for 13 years, told this website: ‘The evening and the presentation of the plaques was a good way to close off my time as a Councillor.’ Latterly he had been business manager for the city, overseeing many of the negotiations which kept Glasgow’s coffers from being emptied. One of the ways he saved the city money was to recommend cutting the fresh flowers budget. ‘That saved £50,000,’ he said. ‘ Stopping newspapers for every Councillor saved another £30,000 and at least that was saved on print bills when we cut back on paperwork.’ Aged only 52, he said this will be the first time in his life he’s been made redundant and he has, so far, no job offer. ‘I’ve work to do at home which I’ve long promised to complete for my wife,’ he said with a smile. ‘So I’ll do that and wait and see what happens. Everything is in the hands of fate,’ he commented philosophically.
Latterly a Bailie, Councillor Catherine McMaster has served Glasgow North East for several terms and said: ‘The event was not an obituary! It was really important to have something to say you’ve been here. Our training records were also included for every Councillor was expected to have extensive training in many areas of the work we do. That is the kind of record that was ignored by the Labour Party and dismissed in our interviews with them,’ she said pointedly. She was one of the Labour Councillors who did not take it kindly that she was de-selected by the party. She admitted she was still angry with the party for deciding she was ‘past the sell by date’ – ‘that is pure ageism,’ she commented. Her plan is to re-commence her private practice as a psychotherapist. ‘I’ll update my accreditation first,’ she added. The leading thinker behind the celebration of Glasgow’s medieval history, which has excited much attention and creative talent, she plans to continue to use her history knowledge within her local community in Easterhouse where Provan Hall Trust operates a building considered to pre-date the Provand’s Lordship on High Street. She said that her community had been generous in their appreciation of her work for them. ‘It has been a great privilege to serve this community. I’ll leave the new team to get on with the job and hope they will work to ‘let Glasgow flourish.’ But that will depend on how many voters turn out on Thursday.’
Glasgow’s annual Orchid Fair takes place on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April, 2012 in the Kibble Palace at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. In its 15th year, it is eagerly-awaited by followers.
Entry is free and open from 10am until 6pm on Saturday and 10am until 5pm on Sunday.
Specialist orchid nurseries from all over the UK will tempt visitors with their exquisite flowers and plants and offer advice on how to keep them. In addition, there will be displays by the Scottish Orchid Society, the British Cactus and Succulent Society and the Glasgow and District Beekeepers Association.
The main range of glasshouses will be open, as usual, for visitors to enjoy the extensive tropical plant displays including the orchid collection. At the same time, there will be a book fair in the nearby Hopkirk Building.
Brian Devlin, executive director for Land and Environmental Services, said: ‘The Orchid Fair is certainly one of our most popular horticultural events of the year, bringing thousands of people to the Botanic Gardens. It is a great opportunity to view a wide range of exotic plants not so easily found anywhere else in Scotland. Whether you want to buy, ask advice or simply just look and learn, the event guarantees an enjoyable day out.’
New childcare Services in Gorbals were described as ‘brilliant’ by Linda de Caestacker, Director of Public Health NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on Saturday (31 March 2012) when she formally opened them.
Operated by TASK Childcare Services, the Family Support and Learning Centre is at 347 Caledonia Road and was in past times, the Gaelic nursery.
Established in 1993, TASK provides high quality, flexible, affordable and accessible services and amenities. The organisation takes a holistic view of what they offer so that the broad needs of the families and individuals who come to their door, can be addresses.
Thanks to a cocktail of funding from Big Lottery- Growing Community Assets – European Regional Development Funding, Glasgow City Council’s Development and Regeneration Services, New Gorbals Housing Association and other sources; the £1.7 million required to re-develop the former nursery school building was secured.
More than 60 people heard Linda de Caestacker say the facility was ‘brilliant for Gorbals community and beyond.’
Said Margaret Gunning, the TASK Centre manager: ‘We aim to enable parents and carers to sustain employment or training and we offer support networks to disadvantaged groups. This will improve, significantly, the social and economic welfare of their families.’
In the new premises TASK can extend other services to children and young people and increase community and family services by extending respite care, offering community meeting space and programmes and building family capacity and parenting skills. The new centre has created six new jobs.
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, will be the keynote speaker at The Social Enterprise Exchange, the world’s biggest social enterprise event on Tuesday 27 March 2012 at the SECC.
This unique forum brings together social enterprises and those wanting to do good business with Scotland and the UK’s innovative social business movement. It has been organised by Social Enterprise Scotland, Social Enterprise UK and CEiS Events.
First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, said:In advance of the event, First Minister Alex Salmond said: ‘Social enterprises as part of an enterprising third sector are making a significant contribution to supporting a strong and sustainable return to growth for Scotland’s economy. We are committed to doing all we can to enable the sector to develop and evolve to deliver its full potential. The Social Enterprise Exchange event is providing an opportunity for social enterprises to learn from each other as well as from best practice around the world. It will enable organisations to innovate together and pick up new business. I am confident it will have a positive impact on the growth of the sector and the Scottish economy as a whole.’ Said Laurie Russell of Social Enterprise Scotland: ‘Scotland is probably the best country in the world for social enterprise. We have a tradition of being creative, enterprising and we are passionate about community empowerment and social inclusion. We are hosting the world’s biggest social enterprise event this year in Glasgow and I am delighted that the First Minister, Alex Salmond, will be making the keynote address at this unique event. The Scottish Government’s support has helped nurture the growth of social enterprises to make a real impact in communities across Scotland.’
Social Enterprise Scotland is an independent, Scottish, member-led organisation, built and controlled by social enterprises. Membership is open to anyone. For more information see website: www.socialenterpriseexchange.com.
During its inquiry to the Scotland Bill, the Scottish Affairs Committee received a significant amount of evidence, which identified a number of concerns and issues in relation to the administration of the Crown Estate in Scotland. Following an inquiry, the Committee will launch its major report into The Crown Estate in Scotland, at 1.00pm, on Monday 19 March, at the Kingsmill Hotel, Inverness.
Members of the public are welcome to attend this event.
The Committee Chair is Ian Davidson MP Lab/Co-op MP for Glasgow South West. The other Scottish MPs on the committee are: Jim McGovern MP (Lab, Dundee West), Iain McKenzie MP (Lab, Inverclyde), Pamela Nash MP (Lab, Airdrie and Shotts), Mr Alan Reid MP (LD, Argyll and Bute), Lindsay Roy MP (Lab, Glenrothes), and Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP (SNP, Banff and Buchan)
An enterprising university student has launched workshops to learn how to DJ. The skills are usually only taught through college HND courses. But Elaine Jappy has other ideas. The third year Commercial Music student at the University of the West of Scotland said: ‘The project is entitled ‘Everyone’s a DJ’. Each course will provide practical tutorial sessions on areas such as beat matching, scratching and using DJ software ‘Serato Scratch Live.’ I wanted something that allowed people to interact with music and take away practical skills. These workshops will give people who are not on HNDs, the chance to learn how to DJ.’
Tutors will include Derek Rollins, known as ‘DJ Dark D’. Derek has been DJing professionally since the age of 16. He has headlined Drum and Bass nights in Glasgow and Edinburgh as part of the ‘Pangea’ events held at Glasgow School of Art. He can also be seen frequently Djing in Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh.
The workshops will take place on the Saturday 17 and Saturday 24 of March at Berkeley 2 Studios, in Lancefield Street, Glasgow from 1pm till 5pm. For further information or to book a place see: www.everyonesadj.co.uk or call Elaine on 07597929309.
The sharp disparity between jobs and joblessness was highlighted this week in Springburn. A government announcement on Wednesday said Remploy’s Springburn factory will close with the loss of 46 jobs of which 43 are held by people with disabilities.
On Friday, Scotland’s First Minister visited the nearby manufacturing base of Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft’s (RSBi) to pay tribute to its 240 award winning staff – of whom more than half have a disability.
The two establishments are within a five minute drive of each other.
On his visit, First Minister Alex Salmond said: ‘Jobs are this government’s top priority, and a major part of that is investing in workforce training and development.
Employers, workers, union and communities working in partnership with government to promote workplace learning, benefits all of us – which is why it’s so important to recognise achievements like those of the STUC award winners at Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries here in Darnick Street, Springburn.’
He went on: ‘Scottish Union Learning is supported financially by the Scottish Government and I’m proud of what our efforts are helping to achieve. But of course, the real credit lies with the staff here who work so hard to develop not only their own personal potential but the effectiveness of their teams. Each and every one of them has my very best wishes.’
RSBi is operated by City Building, Glasgow City Council’s arm’s-length construction firm.
City Building managing director John Foley said: ‘The First Minister’s visit today is recognition of the great job our staff are doing every day at RSBi, producing quality products for the public, private and third sectors. RSBi is a commercially successful organisation because we continue to adapt our product range to suit the evolving needs of our customers. That’s why we can employ 240 people. RSBi is not run as a charity but as a thriving social enterprise.’
Community Union – the largest trade union within RSBi – provides funding for a range of training courses via the Scottish Union Learning Fund, which is administered by the STUC.
Many RSBi staff have benefitted from training through the Fund, which has brought a direct economic benefit to individual employees and to the company as a whole.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, said: ‘The STUC Union Rep Awards highlight the invaluable contribution that trade union members make in the workplace.’
The First Minister’s visit was organised after Robert Mooney, a development officer at RSBi, was awarded the STUC One Workplace Equality Award by the First Minister in November 2011.
A registered blind person, Robert invited the First Minister to visit his workplace and witness the state-of-the-art manufacturing taking place at Springburn.
RSBi has had a presence in Glasgow for more than 200 years. The business has continued to evolve to meet the changing needs of the marketplace and currently specialises in manufacturing a wide range of products from office, domestic and educational furniture to timber kits for houses and schools and beds among many other items.
In Remploy’s factory in Edgefauld Road, the impact of the closure announcement was just sinking in. Established since 1976, it is one of the 36 out of 54 Remploy factories expected to be closed this year as not commercially viable. This is because of the Westminster Government’s decision to reduce current funding as part of a package of reforms ‘to maximise the number of disabled people supported into work.’ Of the 46 workers at Remploy in Springburn, 43 have disabilities. They manufacture steel wheelchairs. Government funding for the entire Remploy network is expected to be reduced during 2012/13 with the aim of completing changes by autumn 2013. Soon, Remploy will start discussions with trade unions and management forums to begin the formal consultation on the proposals.
After the announcement William Bain, Labour MP for Glasgow North East said: ‘This is devastating news. In my constituency there are almost 20 people chasing every vacancy. It is incredibly tough out there. There is a big enough shortage of jobs without placing strain and pressure on some of the most vulnerable members of the workforce. The way this has been sneaked out is unacceptable.’
In Glasgow last year, Employment Services found 534 jobs for disabled and disadvantaged people.