Labour Councillers were told they had ‘blood on their hands’ at a stormy meeting of Glasgow City Council today. (Thursday 31 October 2013)
Shouted from the public gallery after a motion to removed ATOS as a corporate sponsor of the 2014 Commonwealth Games was defeated, several people there loudly condemned the Councillors. One man was arrested and charged with alleged breach of the peace. Police Scotland (Strathclyde) say a report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal.
The motion was moved by SNP Councillor Billy McAllister from Canal Ward 16.
While recognising the ‘immense economic and social benefits’ to be derived from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and commending the international exposure which Scotland and Glasgow would receive from the Games, Councillor McAllister said: ‘ATOS must go as a sponsor. This is a company without any conscience. It is destroying lives.’
He gave details of individuals who had been assessed by ATOS Health Care as fit to work. One died within weeks of being declared fit for work. Another committed suicide. Said Councillor McAllister: ‘At least 10,000 people have been declared fit for work. ATOS is an ugly stain on our society. Their costly contract should be pulled. I do not wish to accept the shocking damage ATOS is doing to Glasgow’s citizens.
Even as people in the public gallery applauded him, the Lord Provost gave him a dressing down for being ‘disrespectful’ of her by continuing to speak well beyond the time permitted.
SNP Councillor John Letford of Maryhill/Kelvin Ward15, supported the motion to removed ATOS as a sponsor of the Games. He said ‘ATOS is the problem, not the solution.’ He called on people working for the health care assessment sector of the company who believed in social justice to follow their conscience and move to another job. ‘We must remove this monster called ATOS,’ he said.
But Labour Councillor Archie Graham for Langside Ward 7, who is Executive Member for the Games said: ‘You must separate ATOS health care from the Games sponsor ATOS which is a different arm of the company.’ He accused the SNP Councillors of attempting to damage the Commonwealth Games. He produced a picture of Nicola Sturgeon, SNP Deputy First Minister ‘enthusiastically participating’ in a Commonwealth Games lead-in event where she was being ‘cheered on’ by ‘the man from ATOS.’ He said it had been decided that ATOS was capable of delivering the Games’ services. ‘It is now impossible to distance ourselves from them. Where would the billions of pounds of sponsorship come from now?’ he queried.
Both Green Party Councillor Martha Wardrop for Hillhead Ward 11 and First Glasgow Councillor Stephen Dornan for Govan Ward 5 spoke out strongly against retaining ATOS as a sponsor for the Games.
Councillor Wardrop said she strongly criticised ATOS and the way it treated people being assessed. But challenged the Labour group that their concern was ‘All about the money they are bringing to the Games.’
Councillor Dornan urged Labour Group members to vote with their conscience. ‘Money can never replace people. That’s your choice.’
In his final response, Councillor McAllister said to Councillor Graham directly: ‘Shame on you if you put profit before people. You can’t say this is outwith your area. This is about our constituents in Glasgow. If you don’t vote with your conscience, this will come back to haunt you. This should not be about party politics,’ he warned.
The final vote was 29 for Councillor McAllister’s motion and 42 against.
At that point the public gallery erupted with people shouting down to the Councillors and throwing down handfuls of monopoly money.
One man shouted: ‘How will the disabled athletes look on this?’
As the police intervened in the public gallery the Lord Provost closed the Council session. Most Councillors re-assembled after a 20 minute break to continue the business of the day.
During the recess Councillor McAllister said he was very angry about the whole issue. ‘A lot of Labour Councillors said to me privately they’d like to support this motion but the Labour Group have whipped them into voting against it. It shows the state of Labour in Glasgow when they can’t vote with their conscience. We govern the city. If we don’t condemn the way ATOS goes about its health business we are condoning it.’
Before the Council meeting re-convened, Councillor Graham called Councillor McAllister’s conduct ‘an outrage.’
Rod Stewart will NOT be the first to perform in the SSE Hydro which opens on Monday 30 September 2013 in Glasgow. Two musicians and SoundSational Community Choir took the opening honours when they sang at the preview night for those who steered the venue to the on-time, on budget launch.
Singer songwriter Murdo Mitchell was busking when he was spotted by an SSE Hydro organiser and hired to entertain the crowd arriving for the preview. ‘It’s just fantastic to be here,’ said the teenager.
The other singer songwriter who has beaten Rod to the SSE Hydro first spot is Pete Westwater.
A seasoned performer, he was playing a gig in a Glasgow music spot when he was heard by another organiser of the venue opening events and hired on the spot. ‘It’s a great privilege to be here,’ said Pete.
The choir was followed by Admiral Fallow a group forecast by music pundits to be heading for stardom.
The venue seats 12,000 and is the only one of this size purpose built for world class concerts such as Rod Stewart. Even before it opens, it is ranked among the top five busiest venues in the world alongside Madison Square Gardens in New York and The O2 in London because 140 major entertainment and sports events are scheduled. Glasgow’s latest Waterfront building will also host the 2014 Commonwealth Games gymnastics and netball sports.
An iconic building which glows blue and green at night, it is expected to inject around £131 million into the local economy. It is part of the SECC complex and sits well alongside the Clyde Auditorium (the Armadillo) and the SECC.
The only off-note is that the cost of parking a car in the adjacent, purpose-built car park is £7.
There was no compulsion on the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) supporters, sufferers and specialists to cycle from Land’s End to John O’ Groats. But two of them elected to make the 1100 mile journey in 15 days to raise awareness of the condition.
That’s how OCD UK charity founder and sufferer Ashley Fulwood (39) and OCD specialist, and charity patron, Professor Paul Salkovskis (57) started. They were joined in Manchester by clinical psychologist Brynjar Halldorsson and stopped in Glasgow on Monday 26 August to say hallo to members of the Glasgow OCD group.
After a brief lunch at the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green with truly nutritional food provided by their back up van driver Lisa Marnell, the three wheeled off to find their way to Inverbeg at the top of Loch Lomond in time for tea.
Said Ashley: ‘I’ve suffered from OCD since I was a kid. Now I control it rather than it controlling me. This trip is a great way to challenge myself, raise awareness and show others that sufferers can achieve things.’ His extraordinary fear of being unclean after going to the toilet, dictated that he shower for 90 minutes afterwards. ‘I was unable to venture far from home because of that,’ said Ashley. ‘A journey of this magnitude would have been impossible before I reclaimed my life from OCD.’
When Ashley first told Paul that he planned to make the marathon cycle trip, Paul said: ‘I could never do that!’ But the man who tells his OCD patients ‘anything is possible,’ decided that he could take up the challenge. ‘I was overweight and have lost 20 kilo since I started training in December,’ said Paul. ‘OCD interferes with people’s lives. Sometimes they can lose 12 years when it takes over. There is effective treatment and this trip is one way to raise awareness of what is possible and available around the country.’
Brynjar, who is working on a PhD on OCD alongside Paul said: ‘I wanted to help raise awareness too, especially among those trying to get treatment.’
Among the Glasgow group welcome party was Elizabeth Mooney and Christine Muir. Said OCD sufferer Elizabeth: ‘We meet in the Charlie Reid Centre in Elmbank Street, off Bath Street near the King’s Theatre on the 1st Wednesday of every month and welcome anyone who suffers from OCD.’
Added Christine: ‘It is great to see the cyclists here in Glasgow. We think they’re doing a good job letting others know what can be done for OCD.’
Follow the cycling trio’s journey through the Ride4OCD page:
Glasgow Central Station is one of the star attractions during Glasgow Doors Open Day from Monday 16 to Sunday 22 September.
Some of the behind-the-scenes places which visiting member of the public will be able to see will be the famous glass roof of the Station.
More than 100 buildings, 54 walks and tours and 23 talks and events are included in the free programme which can be viewed online or picked up as a brochure in public places such as libraries.
Railways is one of the themes running through this ‘built heritage’ festival which is in its 24th year. The Commonwealth Games and Green City are the parallel themes.
Pollokshaws West is the oldest railway station in operation in Glasgow and its doors will be open. Talks will explore the early days of rail in the city as well as Glasgow’s Southside suburban railways and Glasgow’s railway heritage and the materials used. A ‘Subcrawl’ will offer a ride on the city’s underground with information about buildings around the circle.
An advance look at the changes being made to accommodate the Commonwealth Games will be available during Doors Open days. This will include the Athletes’ Village, Glasgow Green Hockey Centre, Hampden Park, Kelvingrove Park Tennis and Bowls Pavilion and Tollcross International Swimming Centre as well as a discovery tour of hidden Bridgeton. The architecture of sport and leisure will be explored in the talk: ‘Starting Blocks & Building Blocks.’
To co-incide with 2013, the Year of Natural Scotland, Doors Open will also have a green theme. The natural beauty of Glasgow and the ways in which everyone can help to keep it that way will be addressed. Among the Doors Open events will be – viewing the city from City of Glasgow College; visiting the Concrete Garden’s home grown Scottish fare and the Hidden Gardens’ native and exotic plant collection; discovering Eco-Friendly Glasgow at Caledonian University and The Tall Ship.
People will be invited to relax in a temporary park with SEDA PARK(ing) Glasgow, turning parking spaces into parks. And folk can learn about the seven lochs wetlands park and go on a journey through the History of Glasgow’s Parks.
Among the highlights will be a last chance to see the Henry Wood Hall which has been the RSNO Centre for many years; a costumed interpretation at Pollok House; discovering The Rome of the North – Springburn; sampling therapies at the Calman Cancer Support Centre; joining the Storytelling Tour of Pollok; seeing an exhibition of the world’s mosques at Madrasa Taleem ul Islam; learning to play the pipes at the National Piping Centre and Pipers’ Tryst Hotel; going behind the scenes at STV Studios – among hundreds of interesting visits and events.
Doors Open’s website is newly designed to enable visitors to plan their time to suit their interests. Try it! www.glasgowdoorsopenday.com
There are competitions and many special interest events, talks and venues to be enjoyed.
As Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) said: “The 2013 Doors Open Day programme features an exciting and diverse range of buildings and locations, offering the chance to explore Glasgow as never before. There are many discoveries to be made!”
Anne McChlery, Director of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust said: “We are absolutely delighted that it’s this time of year again and are so proud to be the organisers of this much loved event in Glasgow.”
Pauline McCloy, Events & Development Officer at Scottish Civic Trust said: “Doors Open Days continues to impress with its depth of variety and consistent quality. Glasgow’s programme effortlessly merges contemporary interventions in the city’s public space alongside the serenity of more tradition buildings.”
For the full national programme see: www.doorsopendays.org.uk
Glasgow’s programme is coordinated by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, a charity that focuses on saving the built heritage by establishing new uses for and restoring much loved old buildings. Last year more than 80,000 recorded visits were made in the city during Doors Open. Around 1,115 people – mostly volunteers – worked 7,004 hours on the events which brought an estimated £101,297 into Glasgow.
There is a peaceful occupation for Saturday 20 July – tidying up Calder Street Community Trust’s Peace Garden. All friends of the Trust are invited along to give a hand between 12 noon and 2 pm. Refreshments will be provided.
The Trust is in the process of re-opening the Govanhill Baths in Calder Street, for community use. This includes swimming and a wide variety of other activities. On Saturday 03 August they will have a coffee morning and cafe from 10 am till 2 pm in the main foyer in partnership with Strathclyde Theatre Group. All funds raised will be used to tidy up and paint the main pool area.
That same evening from 7 pm till 11pm they will hold “The Wee Summer Social.” Led by DJ Junkyard Dog and with activities for children and a “wee bar” it should be fun. Entry by donation.
For other details check their website or Facebook page.
Toryglen kids have started to roll out the bouncy castle to prepare for a family fun day on Saturday 13 July at the Geoff Shaw Centre at Kerrylamont Avenue G42. The free event runs from 11am till 4pm.
This will launch a summer programme of activities organised by Toryglen After School Service (TASS)
The children’s own fruit and herb gardens will be on show. There will be a climbing wall, team sports and a creative writing workshop. Face painting, live music and dance displays are also scheduled for Saturday along with films and relaxation sessions.
A key feature of the day will be an exhibition of treasured photographs of Toryglen of the past.
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: ‘The Geoff Shaw Centre is a key part of the Toryglen community and the Toryglen After School Service is an invaluable asset. The Open Family Fun Day and the summer programme at the centre offers local children the opportunity to try new things and continue their education through play during the summer holidays. I hope lots of the local people turn out to support this fantastic centre and take full advantage of all it has to offer.’
Among the summer sessions will be Street Dance and Hip Hop classes and Arts and Craft Classes. Team Games and Sports sessions will complete the three week activity programme.
More than 30 people took over the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome arena today to protest against the Atos company being a sponsor of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. They entered as a normal group touring the Emirate facility at Parkhead. As they reached the centre of the arena they unfurled banners and posters and shouted that ‘ATOS KILLS’
But for a few cyclists in training, the velodrome was empty.
One of the protest leaders said: ‘Both Glasgow Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and the STUC have spoken out about the inhumane way Atos Health Care treats people being sent to them by the Department of Work and Pension for assessment. More than 2200 people have died while going through the assessment process. Some of them have committed suicide. The stress is shocking. The treatment people receive during assessment is degrading. We want to highlight to the people of Glasgow and of Scotland that ATOS is not fit to be a sponsor of the Games.’
Atos Health Care is a different wing of the company from Atos SE which is the Games sponsor. The latter is an information technology company responsible for the accreditation systems for the 70,000 Games participants and for the volunteer systems and results delivery to the media.
Glasgow Life which runs some of the facilities within the Emirate stadium said it was a pity this had happened as it might impact on the hundreds of members of the public who use the premises on a daily basis. A response from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and from Atos is awaited.
Glasgow took cycling to its heart today when the 2013 British Cycling National Road Race Championships took place in the city centre.
An estimated crowd of 30,000 turned out to watch almost 200 elite athletes compete.
Former Road World Champion Mark Cavendish and London Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead were the winners.
Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quickstep) beat defending champion Ian Stannard (Sky Procyling) and 2007 champion David Millar in a sprint for the line to take his first national champion’s jersey, which he will wear during this year’s Tour de France. Simon Yates, World Points Race champion, won the Under 23 championships from 100% ME teammate Owain Doull and Team Raleigh’s Tom Moses.
Earlier in the day, Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) regained the title she won in 2011, beating the Wiggle Honda duo of Laura Trott and Dani King. Trott’s 2nd place saw her take the U23 women’s title, ahead of Emma Grant (Matrix Fitness Racing) and Elinor Barker (also of Wiggle Honda).
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said: ‘Glasgow was buzzing with excitement The success of today’s event and the fantastic public support stands us in very good stead for the portfolio of world-class events we have coming to the city prior to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and beyond.
‘As a city, we recognise how important cycling is not only to elite athletes, but to general health and wellbeing and this is why we are committed to developing cycling at all levels. I’m sure today’s event will be an inspiration for many of our stars of the future.’
Highlights of the British Cycling National Road Championships will be broadcast on ITV4 on Monday 24 June at 19:00 hours.
There were a few minor hiccups for some local residents who had not been notified of car parking restrictions. Their cars were not towed to the city pound but simply removed to a location outwith the race zones. The race brought major benefits to all road users as Glasgow City ensured that potholes along the race route were filled in.
Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway). It provides support and encouragement to get people riding their bikes for the first time. It is also home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team.
British Cycling also represents cyclists’ interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety.
As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides benefits and support to its members who currently number over 75,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling. British Cycling was named Governing Body of the Year at the 2013 Sports Industry Awards.
For more information, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk
Langside College student Stacey Morgan – entirely on her own initiative – has organised a major 7-a-side football tournament at Hampden to raise awareness of mental health.
Stacey, a 2nd year undergraduate doing a BA Degree\Diploma in Education and Social Services at Langside College and Strathclyde University, got the idea for the event – called The Charleston Cup – during her placement in the Community Development Service in the Charleston Centre in Paisley.
The tournament is being held at Lesser Hampden on Saturday 1 June and will kick off at 1pm, preceded by a speech by Tony McLaren from Breathing Space Scotland.
Ten teams will be competing from Sunday central amateur leagues and the local community. They include league winners Bellgrove Amateur F.C. The event is being supported by a number of major mental health charities and will also feature information on mental health and mental health services, provided by RAMH, Breathing Space Scotland and See Me. There will be mental health quizzes with prizes and a See Me project for people to participate in to help reduce the stigma of mental ill health.
Says Stacey: “I choose to promote mental health awareness not just because it was part of my course or placement but because it is something that I am passionate about and something that’s close to my heart. I lost a close family member to suicide. It was only through my course that I was educated about mental health and I realised how important it is to break down the stigma of mental ill health and openly talk about it to allow people to come forward and get support.”
The event will also feature a free raffle with prizes including Hampden Experience passes, signed Rangers Football Club goodies, hair and beauty vouchers, vouchers for Domino’s Pizza and gift vouchers for reflexology, Swedish massages and aromatherapy massages. There will be a bouncy castle for children as well as a penalty shoot-out for everyone to enjoy. Added Stacey: “The local community and shops and pubs have really got behind this. It should be fun so that everyone enjoys themselves and at the same time, learns something about mental health .’
Stacey, who is 28, worked for ten years in social care in Quarriers before adding to her knowledge by studying for a BA in Education and Social Services.
Unity, the independent support service for refugees and asylum seekers, invites any of Santa’s little helpers who might be available to show their support by meeting outside the Court at 9.45am.