The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their first formal visit to Glasgow yesterday.
They spent the morning meeting young people at the city’s recently opened £113 million Emirates Arena. The flagship venue will host badminton and track cycling events in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It is a key part of the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. Later this year the Junior Track World Championships and World Youth Netball Championships will take place there.
During their tour of the state-of-the-art facility the Royal couple watched pupils from the Glasgow School of Sports and other aspiring athletes, training in athletics, track cycling, badminton, football and netball. They then viewed a Glasgow 2014 exhibition where they met young people including Beth Gilmour who designed Glasgow 2014 mascot Clyde and apprentices who were employed as part of the Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative. They also met Mahad Ahmed and Jasmine Main – young ambassadors for Glasgow’s bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games – and some City Building apprentices who worked on the construction of the Emirates Arena.
Next they went to Drumchapel’s Glasgow Club Donald Dewar. There they launched a Scottish pilot of the innovative Coach Core project. Launched last July just before the London 2012 Olympic Games, Coach Core aims to inspire and train the next generation of sports coaches across the UK.
It is hoped that the Glasgow project will form an important part of the legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.
The Royal Foundation is partnering with Glasgow Life and the Hunter Foundation on the initiative.
Chair of Glasgow Life and the Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “This visit highlights our shared vision and commitment to sport in Glasgow, from investing in world-class facilities such as the stunning new Emirates Arena through to our partnership with The Royal Foundation, which will create coaching opportunities at a grassroots level. Sports coaches are at the very heart of sport in Glasgow and we are honoured that their Royal Highnesses chose the city to launch the Scottish pilot of the Coach Core initiative. London 2012 inspired a generation and we want to continue that journey through the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Coach Core will help us do that.”
Sir Tom Hunter, Chairman of The Hunter Foundation which has provided funding to The Royal Foundation to enable the delivery of the Coach Core programme in Glasgow, said: “Coach Core is an exceptional model of positive social intervention because it uses sport to enable lasting change at grassroots, community level. We are delighted to have supported The Royal Foundation in bringing this important initiative to Scotland. Our hope is that the apprentice coaches employed by Glasgow Life each year will deliver transformational change in their communities through sports development. We’d also like to see Coach Core in every local authority in Scotland through the leadership of The Royal Foundation and Glasgow Life.”
Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said: “We were absolutely delighted to show the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge how young people are an integral part of the journey towards the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the biggest multi-sport event Scotland has ever seen.
“Young people have been involved in all of our major milestones from the creation of our official games mascot, called Clyde,
to the design of the official Glasgow 2014 tartan and right through to the Commonwealth apprentices who work on delivering the Games at our Glasgow headquarters.”
Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games ambassador Jasmine Main said: “It was a fantastic experience being able to tell the Duchess of Cambridge about the city’s plans to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.”
One of the privileges of being Lord Provost is that, as First Citizen, I have the opportunity of meeting and greeting people from all corners of the world on behalf of the people of Glasgow. And I have to say that the overwhelming reaction I receive is that they love Glasgow and its people. I also regularly meet and work on behalf of my constituents as one of their council representatives. The people of Glasgow are unique and, as a proud Glaswegian myself, I have witnessed our city change and reinvent itself from a place of heavy industry to a modern and thriving metropolitan centre. Indeed George Galster, Professor of Urban Affairs at Detroit’s Wayne State University, this month, comparing the fortunes of Detroit and Glasgow, praised local government, the social welfare system and regional planning arrangements for allowing our city to prosper. New Year is traditionally a time to gather friends and family together and reflect on the year that has passed. It will be a year to remember. We as proud hosts of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and have been working hard with our partners including the Scottish Government to ensure that this event leaves Glaswegians with a lasting, positive, legacy. We are consulting widely with them to achieve this. Despite the global economic downturn, we have committed ourselves to projects that will deliver a sensational Games: the M74 extension which will be completed in June next year and the development of the Athletes’ Village and the National Indoor Sports Arena. We’ve also just reclaimed the title of UK Curry Capital and are working hard to promote our city as a UNESCO City of Music and a City of Science.We also have a Royal Wedding to look forward to. The credit crunch is the bad news that all of us will remember this year. We are all having to spend less and make our money go further – including the Council. We, like you, want to make sure that businesses and jobs stay in Glasgow for the benefit of the people of the city and the wider economy. Let us hope that the New Year brings better news on the economic front. In the mean time, I wish you all a Happy New Year.
An estimated 70,000 people flooded into Bellahouston park for Pope Benedict XVI’s mass on Thursday 16 September. The day went without any trouble and was seen as a great success.
Glasgow set the standard for the rest of the papal visit, said Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council.
He said: ‘The Papal Mass in Bellahouston Park was an incredible event that showed what Glasgow can do. It was a wonderfully joyous occasion for the thousands of people who were there and everyone else who watched it on television. The park looked magnificent, the weather was fantastic, and the ceremony and spectacle of the Mass was awe inspiring.’
Councillor Matheson had earlier met the Pope and the Queen at a State Reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Later, he greeted the Holy Father when he arrived in Glasgow and waved him off as he left the city after the Mass.
He said: ‘On a personal level, to have met the Pope three times during the day was an enormous honour and the memories of the day will live with me for the rest of my life. I think he won a lot of hearts in Scotland just because he is self-evidently a very thoughtful and holy man.
‘I was a 15-year-old schoolboy when I saw Pope John Paul II with my family in Bellahouston Park in 1982. I never thought for a minute then that I’d one day welcome his successor to our city.
‘It was an historic honour and I am so proud of the work done by the council staff who were involved in the project and helped make the day a huge success. It proves once again that we are more than capable of organising and staging major events of worldwide significance. It also boosted the reputation of the city in a way that money can’t buy and stands us in very good stead for staging the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.’
He added: ‘In 1982, we had two years to prepare. This time we had only six months. To stage an event like that in such a short space of time was an outstanding achievement.’
Words and picture: Erik Geddes
Residents in the East End are up in arms claiming they have been kept in the dark over plans for a 50-foot chimney at the site for the proposed Athletes Village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The plans they were shown, dating from September 2009, didn’t mention any energy centre.
Now a special meeting between Glasgow City Councillors, the planners and Belvidere Village Residents Committee has been arranged.
City Legacy, the consortium behind the plan, has applied to build more than 750 homes and a care home in Dalmarnock, to be used by athletes during the Games.
The development is to be powered by a state-of-the-art energy centre where the chimney will be located.
Angry residents feel it is being dumped right outside their homes.
Angela Phillips, 32, a member of the Belvidere Village Residents Committee, was at the meeting in Glasgow City Chambers.
She said: ‘Our objection is not with the planning application but with the location of the energy centre and its chimney.
‘What annoys me is that the developers keep saying that energy centres are often in the middle of developments.
‘But this one isn’t. It’s on the boundary – almost in our back garden. And why were we not told about this from the start?
‘I feel like they have dumped it in the corner nearest us. It’s just not on.’
The Council’s Planning Committee met on Tuesday August 17 and approved the proposal but it has yet to be rubber-stamped by the full Council.
As a graduate from Caledonian University in MSc Real Estate Management, Angela knows how housing developments work.
Following the session in the City Chambers, LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW caught up with Angela at home with her husband Lee and two-year-old son Reggie.
She said: ‘At the special meeting I’ll want to find out why we were never told about the chimney. I also want to find out for the residents exactly how far away it’s going to be.
‘They said roughly 30 metres but have not made it clear if that is 30 metres from the house, the wall or the fence that separates our houses from the land they are working on.’
Councillor George Redmond confirmed that he will facilitate the meeting between Angela who is representing the Belvidere residents and City Legacy.
He said: ‘My role is about trying to find some compromise. I’ll make sure my constituents who have made an investment in the area, get the right support that they need.’
A spokesperson from City Legacy said: ‘The exact appearance and size of the building has still to be finalised.’
They also confirmed that: ‘The chimney will be located at least 34 metres away from the nearest house in the Belvidere housing development.’
And while there was no clear indication as to why the 2009 plans don’t show any energy centre near the residents, the representative from City Legacy confirmed: ‘The Energy Centre has been shown in its current location since our planning application was submitted at the beginning of May 2010, which was available for viewing at Glasgow City Council offices’
photograph by Stuart Maxwell
Glasgow’s £18m re-vamped sports stadium at Scotstoun got off to a flying start on Wednesday 7 July with the Super8 athletics meeting. And while the eight cities competing were welcomed by Councillor Archie Graham inside the stadium, Glasgow city workers were on picket duty outside.
Councillor Graham informed the sparse crowd in the 5000 capacity stadium, that Glasgow has invested more than £100 m in the city in the past decade. Scotstoun stadium was part of its plan to become the Scottish Capital of Sports and would be a venue during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
A fun relay race launched the evening with Glasgow Warriors rugby Club, Scottish Rocks basketball club, Wildcats netball Club and the city’s own Athletics Club competing and the athletes winning the trophy.
But there will be no trophies – and no bonuses or overtime pay – for the Culture and Sport Glasgow workers who stood in solidarity at the gates. Four unions – Unison, Unite, GMB and BECTU – are taking strike action in a dispute over a wage cut of up to 10% for more than 150 of their members, a pay freeze for other colleagues and cuts in public holidays and overtime rates for all. Said spokesman Sam Macartney: ‘We are here to let the public be aware of the dispute. Some staff have lost between £1000 and £2000 a year. Glasgowlife, as Culture and Sport is now called, is prepared to spend thousands of pounds bringing in a security company for this athletics meeting, but it is not prepared to spend a few pounds to resolve this dispute.’
A spokesman for Glasgowlife said: ‘This dispute is not about job losses. We have promised to protect jobs and services at a time when many other staff in public and private sectors are facing redundancy. But Glasgowlife must make savings of £3.4 million in the current financial year. As a seven-day-a-week service, enhanced overtime payments – such as effectively triple time on a bank holiday – have been replaced with plain-time overtime payments.’