The Govan Fair Association recently handed over a cheque for £200 to ‘We are Macmillan Cancer Support’ to help people living with cancer.
Though wheelchair bound, Linda Yates was the chief fund raiser for the Govan Fair Association. ‘I just did what I could to help,’ she said. This included sitting outside with a bucket on Govan Fair Day in June 2015 receiving money given by the crowd. On behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support, modern apprentice Calvin Lynch (17) was happy to receive the cheque for the formal ceremony in the Pearce Institute café in Govan which is run by Macmillan Cancer Support. Vice Chair Sandy Black, wearing the Govan Fair chain of office, officially represented the Association. He said: ‘The money given to Macmillan Cancer Support continues an ancient tradition of the Fair Association – to distribute any surplus from the Fair to those in need locally.’
A spokeswoman for the Macmillan support fundraising team which works upstairs in the Pearce Institute, said the money would be added to what the team raises for Macmillan work.
Later that day, Linda Yates was honoured by the Association – which has a tradition going back more than 300 years – and made a Life Member as was local Church of Scotland minister Moyna McGlynn. Said Chairman Lord James Stringfellow: ‘They have been given Life Membership out of gratitude for the support each has given the Govan Fair and the Govan Fair Association over the years.’
The Association has also ratified its 21st century working model as a company limited by guarantee with Charitable Status. Said Mr Stringfellow: ‘The whole process was managed by OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) who made sure all the legalities and constitutional procedures have been adhered to. We are now on a modern footing and the Govan Fair is protected for the people of Govan for the next 300 years. The current committee are the custodians of huge tradition and we take that role very seriously.’
Later that day, the Govan Fair Association re-elected their committee at a re-called annual general meeting. Solicitor John Flanagan reassured everyone that the legalities of becoming a company limited by guarantee with Charitable Status had been done correctly. He explained that this was to protect the people taking the responsibilities of the Association and was a normal process today. Chairman Lord James Stringfellow also moved an amendment to the standing orders to emphasis that the Govan Fair belongs to the people of Govan and those who are the custodians of the Association and formal supporters of it, are committed to that objective.
Glasgow East showed that 60.31% of the Constituency’s 70,378 people registered, voted.
Margaret Curran (LAB) 13 729
Kim Long (Green) 381
Natalie McGarry (SNP) 24 116
Liam McLaughlan (Scot Socialist ) 224
Gary McLelland (Scot Lib Dem) 318
Andy Morrison (Scot Con & Unionist) 2,544
Arthur Misty Thackeray (UKIP) 1,105
Total votes cast: 42,417
Glasgow North East showed that 56.91% of the Constituency’s 66,678 people registered, voted.
Willie Bain (LAB) 12,754
Eileen Baxendale (LIB DEM) 300
Jamie Cocozza (Scot Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) 218
Geoff Johnson (Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol) 225
Zara Kitson (GREEN) 615
Anne McLaughlin (SNP) 21,976
Annie Wells (CON) 1,769
Total votes cast: 37,945
Glasgow North West showed that 64.25% of the Constituency’s 68,418 people registered, voted.
Moira Crawford (GREEN) 1,167
James Harrison (LIB DEM) 1,194
Roger Lewis (CON) 3,692
Chris Mackenzie (Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol) 213
Carol Monaghan (SNP) 23,908
John Robertson (LAB) 13,544
Zoe Streatfield (Scot Communist Party) 136
Total votes cast: 43,961
Glasgow Central showed that 55.51% of the Constituency’s 70,945 people registered, voted.
Simon Bone (CON) 2,359
Andrew Elliot (Scot Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) 119
Cass MacGregor (GREEN) 1,559
James Marris (Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol) 171
Stuart Maskell (UKIP) 786
Katie Rhodes (Socialist Equality Party) 58
Anas Sarwar (LAB) 12,996
Alison Thewliss (SNP) 20,658
Chris Young (LIB DEM) 612
Total votes cast: 39,381
All of Glasgow Labour MPs were made redundant last night. Each of the city’s seven constituencies voted for the Scottish National Party to represent them at Westminster. But Conservative David Cameron remains secure in No 10 Downing Street. In the early hours of the morning he said he wanted to: ‘Bring Britain together and build on the sure foundations this government had created.’
The senior Labour figures who are now jobless in Glasgow are: Margaret Curran(Glasgow East) Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central) Ann McKechin(Glasgow North) Willie Bain (Glasgow North East) John Robertson (Glasgow North West) Tom Harris (Glasgow South) and Ian Davidson(Glasgow South West).
Said Ian Davidson: ‘I regret very much letting down Labour in the rest of the UK.’ He criticised Labour’s strategy in Scotland and added: ‘It needs to be clearer what Labour stands for. Labour is about challenging wealth and power. We’ve not been doing that strongly enough. We need to get back to our roots.’ He added that Jim Murphy’s position was untenable. Asked what he’d do himself, now, Mr Davidson replied: ‘I’ll not go to the House of Lords. But I’ve no idea really.’
Tom Harrison was clearly shocked at being out of a job after years representing his area but said: ‘That’s democracy. But I doubt that an SNP Scotland will welcome a former Labour MP looking for work.’ And he added: ‘That’s not a criticism. But that’s not the kind of politics I want to be involved in.’ However, SNP Stewart McDonald who won Tom Harris’ old seat, paid generous tribute to him in his victory speech.
The full results for Glasgow’s seven constituencies are recorded on this website.
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) were ahead of the vote at their hustings meeting in the Jurys Inn Hotel. They are planning for the Scottish elections next year. Each candidate emphasised that the progress towards a better future would only come through hard work and socialist principles. This general election campaign was a good opportunity to get their issues such as public ownership, anti cuts and anti racism, across to more people. TUSC are fielding 10 candidates in Scotland, four of them in Glasgow Constituencies. Said Glasgow South candidate Brian Smith: ‘We need to get busy on Friday morning. That’s when the real work starts.’ Jamie Cocozza, TUSC candidate for Glasgow North East said: ‘ We don’t agree with the SNP but Labour needs a kicking.’ Angela McCormick, TUSC candidate for Glasgow North said: ‘The rich are completely out of control. It feels as if we’re being ruled, not governed,’ adding ‘It would be nice to win a few seats in 2016.’ Andrew Elliott, TUSC candidate for Glasgow Central was unable to attend because of his trade union duties, said Chairperson Louise Donegan. Before the candidates took the floor, shop steward, Chris Sermanni and Stewart Graham, case worker for the homeless in Glasgow, informed the well-attended meeting of the progress of their six weeks strike for fair pay.
On a warm, sunny afternoon in Easterhouse a local Tenants’ Conference ended with a lively hustings with ‘numptie’ and ‘liar’ coming into play. All the candidates for Glasgow East Constituency were present but none was described as a ‘numptie.’
Kim Long the Scottish Green Party candidate used the ‘n’ word. She explained how getting involved in the Referendum campaign showed her how many ‘numpties’ were in positions of authority. ‘More of us have to step up and shape the new politics in a constructive and collaborative way,’ she said. ‘We need something better than cheap jibes and point scoring. That does not tackle the structural problems.’ Listing 17,500 people in Glasgow using food banks, she commented that austerity is NOT progress. Banning of zero hours contracts and making sure that a person’s pay was able to feed their family would guarantee that work would fight poverty. She said the Green Party was disgusted by the sanctions regime and it would make access to employment tribunals free. She also said that working with young offenders in community theatre arts helped her see how broken our justice system is.
Natalie McGarry , Scottish National Party candidate said her party was against zero hours contracts. ‘They are unreliable, unfair and disgraceful as you cannot run a household that way.’ She then read out figures from the Labour controlled Glasgow City Council which stated there were 563 people on zero hours contracts in 2013, 1436 in 2014 and 1689 in 2015. At this point the Labour Councillor for the area shouted from the audience: ‘lies, all lies’ But Natalie replied that the figures were from Glasgow City Council official sources and given to an SNP Councillor who had requested them. ‘You are calling Glasgow City administration liars,’ she said. Earlier she said that three years ago she wouldn’t have had the confidence to speak in public. ‘Thanks to the Referendum Campaign I got a voice. Now I say that politics is not something done TO people but BY people.’ Scandalised by foodbanks and with one in three children in poverty, she said that people deserved better. ‘If the SNP can present a strong opposition (at Westminster) we will challenge Labour and Tory to stop the cuts. We could hold the balance of power and make alliances across the UK parties. The SNP could provide the backbone for a Labour Party that needs one.’
Margaret Curran, Scottish Labour Party (Lab) – who has held the seat since 2010 and who was the local MSP before that – said this was a big election and a big decision which would be decided by people like the audience. ‘Even my fiercest critics say I work hard. I’ve held 1500 surgeries, have 18,000 constituents and helped save Lightburn Hospital,’ said Margaret. Once a welfare rights officer working in the area, she said Labour would increase the minimum and the living wage so that people who worked hard got a decent pay in return. Quizzed about the cuts Labour would make, she said the party would work to balance the books. ‘We would tax the better off who could shoulder the burden. We believe in redistribution so that the mansion tax from the South would be used in Scotland. ‘ At this point she was heckled and told the audience didn’t want to hear a manifesto. ‘This is an important question and an important issue and I should be entitled to reply,’ she responded.
Arthur Thackeray, UK Independence Party (UKIP) said he had worked and been raised in the area. He believe the area needed a local voice speaking for them. Dismissing the ‘legacy’ parties as he called Tory, Labour, Lib Dem and SNP, he said UKIP was the first party to bring new politics which would offer real change. Committed to ending the ‘bedroom tax’ his party would also scrap ATOS assessments, make the NHS free at the point of need, build more social housing, invest in the armed forces and get the UK out of Europe.
Andy Morrison , Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party (Con) said he, too was a local person. ‘I have to be honest – it hasn’t all been peace and light over the past five years. But we are dealing with the fundamentals: – we want to ensure our children and our children’s children can enjoy what we have.’ He said there were fewer university graduates in Scotland and that was a cause for concern. Europe had a higher youth unemployment rate than the UK. But he was proud of the Conservative Party’s record and of his efforts to defend the union.
Gary McLelland, Scottish Liberal Democratic Party (Lib Dem) said his party’s policies were geared to giving people the best possible opportunities to live happily. This included democracy especially at local level, human rights, building alliances and ending the House of Lords. He wanted Dungavel closed and praised the fact that the UK had committed 0.7% to the UN Development spending goal.
Liam McLaughlan, Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) said he might be the youngest candidate at 19, but he had been holding meetings across the constituency campaigning on things like the bedroom tax during the year when the Labour party was trying to make up its mind on its stance on the issue. ‘People here are disaffected. We need to get back to real values in society.’ He also said his party would ban zero hours contracts and make a £10 minimum wage.
The biggest round of applause of the hustings was when Natalie McGarry said the SNP would abolish the House of Lords where a person turning up got £300 for the day. She followed this with a comment about the cuts ripping the fabric of society. ‘Did the people here cause the bank crisis? No! So why are the people in this room paying the cost?’
And SSP Liam McLaughlan also got a lot of applause when he pointed out that at this time of austerity the FTSE financial index – which charts the value of top companies – was worth more than ever. ‘Just let that sink in,’ he said.
Blairtummock Housing Association hosted the event. David Bookbinder, Director of Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations was chairperson. He kept a tight rein on the candidates but had to deal with some feisty members of the otherwise attentive audience of around 150.
In true Presbyterian tradition, all six election candidates for the Glasgow South seat had their say in Cathcart Trinity Church. Each was listened to with respect by the audience of almost 200 people. Three people who wanted to have a shouting match were politely, but firmly dealt with by the Chairperson, Rev Wilma Pearson and chose to leave.
The format worked well. First, every candidate stating his case, then questions were asked by the Chairperson from those submitted some time before. Each candidate gave his answer. And a final response concluded an informative and carefully timed evening.
Tom Harris who has represented the area for Labour since 2001 when the seat was Glasgow Cathcart, left no one in doubt about his concerns should the SNP ‘sweep the board.’ He said: ‘That is the elephant in the room. There can never be a coalition between Scottish Labour and the SNP. The only sure way to stop them is to vote Labour.’
Stewart McDonald, the SNP candidate was equally certain: ‘If you want business as usual at Westminster, then I’m not your guy. If you want to move forward and hold politicians accountable, you should support me.’
Ewan Hoyle, the Scottish Liberal Democrat representative said that the Liberal Democrats were the major ‘green’ party championing climate change at Westminster. ‘If you want green issues to be on the table at Westminster you should vote Liberal Democrat,’ he said.
Kyle Thornton of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party said his party was the only one with a plan to make things better for everyone in Britain. ‘Everyone who wants a job should get a job. There will be help for the young people into jobs or college or university or an apprenticeship. This is not another Referendum. If you want the country to keep together you should vote Conservative.’
Scottish Green Party candidate, Alastair Whitelaw said it wouldn’t be a career disaster for him, personally, if he didn’t get elected. But he urged people to consider the international perspective so that this country cultivated better relationships all over the world. ‘This is the only way to secure our future by being better at the so-called ‘soft’ relationships and being able to speak other languages. Peace, disarmament, food production and climate change are the things that need to be done better in the next 30 to 50 years if we want to make this world a safer place.’
Brian Smith of the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) warned: ‘If you vote tactically, you’ll still get austerity. Think carefully and vote for what you really belive in. Dream dreams, that way you can change society.’
Photograph shows BACK ROW from left: Alastair Whitelaw (Scottish Green Party), Brian Smith (TUSC), Ewan Hoyle (Scottish Lib Dems), Kyle Thornton (Scottish Conservative and Unionist). FRONT ROW from left: Stewart McDonald (SNP), Rev Wilma Pearson, Tom Harris (Scottish Labour Party)
A woman with ‘178 daughters’ was an honoured guest at the Bangladesh Independence Celebration in Glasgow on Sunday 30 March.
Professor Barbara Parfitt who set up and was first Principal of the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing told the happy, national, gathering: ‘I had four wonderful years in Bangladesh. Now I feel I have 178 daughters – the students who have worked so hard and graduated from the College. They will help reduce child mortality and maternal mortality.’
She was accompanied by four of the College’s graduates who are studying, now, for their B.Sc in Nursing Studies at Glasgow Caledonian University. (see photograph)
Aged 22, Popi Bhowmik was one of the four at the celebration evening. She told this website: ‘After three years of study I know I am a totally responsible person. I have the patient’s life in my hand. They depend on me. I am very proud to be a nurse.’ She admits she was scared delivering her first baby at 3am with no doctor around. ‘But the mother was happy and the baby boy was healthy so I was happy.’ Popi’s dream it to ‘learn more’ and ‘reach the top of nursing.’
The University, in partnership with the Grameen Healthcare Trust, established the College of Nursing in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, in 2010.
Led by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate and Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing’s aim is to establish a nationally and internationally recognised institution for nursing and midwifery education in Bangladesh. Professor Parfitt was Professor and Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery and Community Health at Glasgow Caledonian University from 1995 till 2007 when she was appointed Director of the Caledonian Centre for Global Health. In that year she was also awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Honours List for services to international health development. She set up the College from scratch and became first Principal.
Two groups of young women have now graduated. ‘They are girls from poor backgrounds who are daughters of Grameen Bank borrowers,’ explained Professor Parfitt. ‘They borrow from the Bank and study for three years. Every one of the first group had offers of jobs before they finished their degree. They will pay back their loan over an agreed period as they earn. Without this education and training they would have married young, had children and continued in the cycle of poverty. But now they are able to break that cycle not only for themselves but also for the country while improving the health of other women and children.’
The 43rd Independence celebration showed a moving account of the fierce war in 1971 with what is now Pakistan. An estimated 3 million people died before Independence was declared. Speaker Dr Zasheem Ahmed, who is an Economist and Endowed Professor at Caledonian University, spoke eloquently of ‘my people who sacrificed their lives so that we could live in peace. We must honour them.’
He said he was proud of what Bangladesh had achieved since Independence. ‘We see economic growth thanks to things like the Grameen Bank – founded by Bangladeshi national, Professor Yunus and recognised world wide – and the College of Nursing.’
Bailie Phil Greene from Glasgow City Council, extended greetings on behalf of the City’s Lord Provost. He reflected on his visit by ship to what was East and West Pakistan before Bangladesh’s Independence. ‘It took three weeks to sail from West to East. I couldn’t understand how that was supposed to be the same country, being so far apart.’ As an SNP Councillor, he said he hoped to be able to invite everyone to a celebration of Scottish Independence after September.
The cultural programme for the evening had been organised by Dr Alvis Atique, who has recently gained her PhD in Civil Engineering from Strathclyde University while raising two young children. She sang and played the harmonium, others danced and sang and presented a fashion show. Children also performed to the delight of the audience. The event finished with a grand dinner.
A petition asking for Atos to be removed as a sponsor of the 2014 Commonwealth Games moved to the next stage of the Scottish Parliament process without one question being asked of the people presenting it.
Evidence for the proposed action was given to the Petitions Committee today (Tuesday 18 March 2014) by Sean Clerkin, spokesperson and fellow campaigner, Iain MacInnes of the Glasgow Against Atos campaign.
In his presentation to the six MSPs attending the Petitions Committee, Sean said Atos was a ‘toxic brand’ and it was morally wrong for the company to profit from the misery they imposed on the hundreds of thousands of people they were assessing on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions and declaring fit to work.
‘This company pays not one penny in corporation tax,’ said Sean. ‘During the assessment process at least 22,000 people have died. One man, in Prime Minister David Cameron’s constituency, was taken off benefits and found, months later, having starved to death weighing only five stones.’
He concluded: ‘MSPs with a moral conscience should do the right thing and terminate the Atos contract as a sponsor of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. If not, the Games will be tarnished for ever.’
Answering the unspoken question of why Atos Healthcare should be targeted when it was Atos IT which was the Games sponsoring company, Iain MacInnes said: ‘The health care company and the IT company are part of the same Atos group. The so-called health care company is not in any shape or form caring for people’s health. It is working to a mathematical formula to get a target percentage of people off disability benefit. It is dealing with numbers in the same way an IT company deals in numbers.’
He offered the Petitions Committee fact packs detailing people who had suffered great hardship because of the Atos assessments processes. ‘Some of them are living in fear of losing the small amount of benefits they receive, so don’t want their names revealed,’ he stressed. ‘That’s why we don’t always give their names.’
After expressing his ‘great disappointment’ to the Petitions Committee that no questions were asked on their presentation, Sean told this website afterwards: ‘They are a disgrace. These people are supposed to be working on behalf of the people of this country. We have brought this Petition here in good faith believing they would scrutinise what we are saying and then make a decision to act. What they are doing is sending out our petition to many relevant bodies – including the Scottish Government, the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, ATOS, the Department for Work and Pensions, Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), Scottish Disability Sport and sportscotland and so on – to get their feedback. Before the responses are likely to be collated, the Games will be over.’
The Committee was chaired by David Stewart (Convener) with the others in attendance being: Chic Brodie (Deputy Convener) Jackson Carlaw, Jim Eadie, David Torrance and John Wilson. The only woman at the table was one of four civil servants.
The full Petitions hearing can be seen on the Scottish Parliament website/videos/ 18 March. It is after that of Jackie Watt and Jane Plumb, Chief Executive of the Group B Strep Support. Both women have personal experience of babies dying from the condition.Their petition was to raise awareness of Strep B in pregnancy and ways to prevent it affecting mothers and infants during birth. It was screened at 1.07.56 and the Anti-Atos Petition PE1508 was heard at the end of the Group B Strep petition at around 34.56
GLASGOW HOME OWNERS
Thursday 27 February 2014
Jurys Inn Hotel
Jamaica Street, Glasgow
ALL HOME OWNERS WELCOME
Agenda – Campaign strategy + Home owners’ help surgery
A large number of people are being wrongly evicted for rent arrears when part of their arrears has been bedroom tax.
In the first case of its kind in Scotland, a tenant in Glasgow was saved from eviction last week, thanks to overlooked legislation.
It took an ordinary member of the public and a community minded lawyer to bring this scandal to the notice of Glasgow Sheriff Court.
An average of 150 people a week are now being ‘ejected’ – the court term for eviction – because social landlords take them to court for non-payment of rent.
This number has risen dramatically since the bedroom tax has kicked in.
Accountant Theresa Stirling, who has been studying this area of law, was in Glasgow Sheriff Court recently to offer help to people about to be evicted. She said: “One tenant clearly did not understand what the Sheriff meant when he told her she would be ‘ejected.’ The lady – who has a teenage granddaughter living with her – told him that she was paying off her arrears. And then she asked him: ‘Do I get to keep my house, now?’ This highlighted to me she did not understand what the Sheriff was saying because she certainly would not be keeping her house if she was ejected.’’
At this point Theresa jumped up from her seat in the public gallery and persuaded the Sheriff to re-look at the case. “By law, a person paying money towards a debt of arrears should not be in the eviction process, far less have a decree granted against them,” said Theresa.
She found lawyer John Flanagan willing to take on the case.
When he investigated the tenant’s situation he found several reasons to stop eviction. He said:‘I was able to show that eviction should not go ahead because part of the tenant’s arrears was caused by the bedroom tax and as this particular person had been a tenant in the property since 1996 her Housing Benefit should not have been cut for under-occupancy of a spare bedroom. There is legislation which says that tenants in that situation are exempt from such cuts. This seems to have been overlooked by Government and Local Authorities.’
A former Glasgow City Councillor, John Flanagan formally requested the Court to allow his client time to apply for a housing benefit review because in this tenant’s case, her rent arrears were wrongly calculated. Her case will be re-presented to the Court in a few weeks.
‘This is the first time the legislation around the bedroom tax has been tested in Scotland. Some lawyers are referring to this as a ‘loophole’ but it is not. It is there in law,’ he said.
Theresa Stirling has been so incensed by the large number of people she’s seen wrongly in line for eviction because of the so-called loophole that she has brought the situation to the notice of the Court of Session and every elected representative she could think of in Scotland, the UK and Europe.
She added: ‘It is an extremely worrying state of affairs. Actions are being taken to Court prematurely, based on wrong and misleading information and causing great distress to an increasing number of people. It needs to stop and this case may be the first sign that justice will be done.’