Saturday 2 March 2013
Two McColl’s newsagent shops on Glasgow’s Southsider were robbed within hours of each other this weekend. And a similar incident occured in Symington, Ayrshire, too.
The first robbery was at 29 Eaglesham Road, Clarkston on Friday 1 March around 9.30 pm when two men entered the store. One carried a firearm and demanded money from the 18-year-old male shop assistant. They got away with a small sum of money and a quantity of cigarettes. The firearm was not discharged but the shop worker suffered a minor injury to his head and was treated at the Victoria Infirmary. The robber with the firearm is white, late 20s, wearing a dark ‘Fred Perry’ waterproof jacket with a logo on the left breast area, a white hoody underneath, a balaclava and blue jeans. The second robber is white, late 20s, wearing a dark hoody, jeans and white ‘Nike Air Max’ trainers.
Detectives from Pollok CID are checking all available CCTV from the area and appeal for more information. Said Detective Sergeant Mark McLennan: ‘This was undoubtedly a terrifying experience for the young man who was working in the newsagents. Thankfully, he was not seriously injured but he has been left very shaken as a result. The newsagents is situated on a very busy road, and there are several takeaways and off-licences nearby. On a Friday night, this would have been more busy than usual so I appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of this part of Eaglesham Road to get in touch with police. We need people to come forward with any information they may have.’
Anyone who saw men fitting the descriptions or acting suspiciously in the area, is asked to contact Pollok CID on 0141 532 5600. Said DS McLennan: ‘We know they left on foot. However it is possible they had a vehicle, so I’d ask anyone who may have seen a vehicle parked nearby that may have been driven erratically or at speed, to get in touch.’
Alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be passed in confidence.
The second incident happened at RS McColl’s newsagent on Carmunnock Road, Cathcart around 7am on Saturday 2 March. Two women aged 50 and 52 had just opened up the store when a man entered and threatened them with violence and a weapon. He demanded money and keys to the safe. He stole a four figure sum and keys to a white Volkswagen Polo which was parked outside. He then stole the car which was later found burnt out nearby in Linn Park. The women were uninjured but very shaken.
The man is described as around 5ft 10 inches, slim build, with a thin/gaunt unkempt appearance and ‘yellowing’ teeth. He was wearing a black jacket, with a blue hoody underneath and dirty blue jeans with dark shoes.
Detective Constable Stephen McGrath of Aikenhead Road CID said: ‘This was a brazen act by this man who went into the shop, literally, as it opened for the day. I’d like to reassure the public that we’re making extensive enquiries into the incident. A man apparently entered the shop just prior to the suspect entering but left as the incident occurred. We would urge this man to contact us as he may have information that could help.
‘We’re carrying out door to door enquiries and speaking to shop owners nearby. I’d like to speak to anyone who may have seen a white Volkswagen Polo being driven at speed just after the incident taking place, and anyone who saw it around Linn Park, which is a short drive away, before being set alight. I know the area is busy with dog walkers and on a Saturday morning this would have been no different with people coming and going to buy their morning papers.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact Aikenhead Road CID on 0141 532 4900 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be passed confidentially.
Earlier on Saturday morning – around 6.20am – an attempted robbery took place at a newsagents in Symington, Ayrshire. A 77 year old man was working on his own within TD Kirkland newsagents when a man with a bladed weapon entered the store and demanded money. This was refused by the shop owner and the man left, empty-handed.
The suspect is described as around 5ft 10 inches in height, of slim build wearing black clothes, a black balaclava and black gloves. Detective Inspector Stevie Wallace said: ‘The shop owner had just opened up his shop when the suspect entered, demanding money. Although the suspect had a weapon, the shop owner was uninjured.
‘Symington is a quiet village, and the area in which the attempted robbery took place is quite remote. We will be carrying out door to door enquiries. But I’d like to speak to anyone who may have been heading to the shop to get their daily paper or their breakfast rolls and ask them to get in touch. They may have information which could assist with our enquiries.’
The number to call is Ayr CID on 01292 664000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be passed confidentially.
Several MSPs spent time over the Christmas holiday seeing, for themselves, what is being done by volunteers to help homeless people.
This week, Humza Yousaf, SNP MSP for Glasgow, went out with a street team run by the charity Al-Khair working in conjunction with the Simon Community and Emmaus in the city. Said Humza: ‘The street team help people with addiction, mental health, social exclusion, employability, literacy and numeracy problems. The Muslim community spends a lot of time and effort tackling social problems. I was privileged to join those volunteering over the festive period. And am always touched by the amount of work people do to help others at this time of year.’
A few days earlier, James Dornan, Glasgow SNP MSP for Cathcart spent a night patrolling Glasgow city centre with the Street Pastors. He said: ‘Seeing first-hand the work these volunteers do and how positively they are received by people of all ages, was an eye-opener. Their support of those in most need, particularly the homeless, was fantastic – from giving out blankets, gloves and socks to ensuring they were welcome at Glasgow’s City Mission.
‘At this time of year we should give a thought to those unfortunate people who find themselves on the streets. But we should also pay tribute to the volunteers and organisations that do so much to make life as bearable as possible for them.’
In Aberdeen, Mark McDonald, SNP MSP for North East Scotland, visited a winter shelter run by the Bethany Christian Trust. He said: ‘The experience was deeply humbling. I heard the stories of some of the individuals using the shelter; how they became homeless and how important the services provided by the Trust are to them at this time of year. I spoke at length with the volunteers, including a group from a local recruitment firm who were giving up their time, and making a donation, to assist the work of the Trust. It is important we take time to remember the many people who face real hardship. I commend the work of organisations such as the Bethany Trust, for what they are doing to help homeless people.’
Cathcart resident, Chris Muldoon, has conquered one of the world’s toughest amateur cycling challenges, along with 11 of his colleagues from Sky in Scotland.
They took part in the Etape du Tour – a race for amateur cyclists covering the same route as one stage of the iconic Tour de France only days after the professionals.
Chris and the Sky team covered the gruelling Issoire to Saint-Flour route in the Auvergne region – one of the toughest sections of the Tour de France. Each cyclist who completed the course clocked up a total of 130 miles across the mountainous terrain in the worst weather in the history of the event. Organisers even withdrew many of the cyclists for their own safety.
A manager at Sky’s Livingston site, Chris, who is 28, completed the ride in nine hours 36 minutes after being forced to take an alternative route due to the dangerous weather conditions.
He said: ‘Despite the torrential rain, the freezing winds, the numbness of the hands and the uncontrollable shivering from the cold, the entire day was such an experience. Riding a stage of the Tour de France that the pros had completed only seven days earlier, with over 4,000 like-minded cyclists, was immense.
‘I was a complete novice before beginning my training with Sky for the Etape. I hadn’t owned a bike for years and only bought my first road bike in March this year. Despite the tough challenge of the Etape, I will be keeping up cycling.’
Sky supported 150 of its employees across the company to ride the 2011 Etape. Ranging from hardened cyclists, regular commuters and determined beginners, the team received six months of training, guidance and support in the lead up to the event from British Cycling, a Sky partner since 2008.
Involvement in the Etape du Tour is part of Sky’s overall commitment to encourage its staff and customers to cycle more, with the aim of getting one million more people cycling by 2013. The company also runs initiatives such as British Cycling led lunch time cycle rides from its offices, a free bike lending scheme for staff, and annual Sky Ride events which see staff and members of the public enjoying mass traffic free cycling events in city centres across the UK.
Anyone interested in cycling with Sky can sign up for one of these events – the Glasgow Sky Ride – on Sunday 11 September. Aimed to raise awareness of cycling and to encourage more people to get on their bikes, registration is via the website: www.goskyride.com.
In an extraordinary night which changed the political landscape of Scotland, Glasgow voters rejected long established Labour Party names: Charlie Gordon, Pauline McNeil, Patricia Ferguson and Frank McAveety.
Instead the Scottish National Party (SNP) was able to declare: ‘It’s a stunning night.’
Nicola Sturgeon was returned to the Scottish Parliament for the newly configured Glasgow Southside with 12,306 votes to Labour Stephen Curran’s 7957 votes.
SNP gained Anniesland constituency by seven votes for Bill Kidd who polled 10,329 votes to Labour Bill Butler’s 10,322.
In Cathcart Constituency James Dornan took the seat for SNP with 11,918 compared to Labour Charlie Gordon’s 10,326
Kelvin Constituency was won by Sandra White with 10,640 compared to incumbent Labour’s Pauline McNeill who polled 9,758.
Glasgow Shettleston went to SNP’s John Mason with 10,128 compared to Labour Frank McAveety’s 9,542.
The only seats to stay in Labour Party hands were:
Newly aligned Maryhill and Springburn constituency with Patricia Ferguson polling 9884 compared to SNP’s Bob Doris on 8592.
Glasgow Pollok seat stayed with Labour’s Johann Lamont with 10,875 compared to SNP Chris Stephens’s 10,252.
Paul Martin kept Glasgow Provan with 10,037 in contrast to SNP Anne McLaughlin’s vote of 7,958.
As other wins for SNP were being announced during the Glasgow count, Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘The SNP is now a force to be reckoned with across Scotland. This is a triumph for our Positive campaign. Our job now is to unite Scotland and to lead.’
In a bitter response at the podium her opponent, Labour’s Stephen Curran said: ‘The SNP will never get away with this in Glasgow.’
Sandra White commented later: ‘The SNP has broken the back of Labour in Glasgow with our Positive campaign.’
Labour’s Pat Ferguson said: ‘I’m proud and privileged to have served this constituency. I was the first Labour MSP for the former Maryhill/Springburn constituency and do not take one single vote for granted for one second. I am there to fight for every sector of the community in this new constituency and to make sure they are dealt with fairly.’ Her SNP opponent, Bob Doris, announced his wedding in his speech. ‘Four years ago I didn’t mention Janet my girlfriend in my thank you speech. Today I’m mentioning my fiancee Janet and soon she’ll be Mrs Doris!’ He also said the overall results in Glasgow and Scotland were ‘staggering’ for the SNP. And in an impassioned plea he asked for ‘even more positive results next time.’
John Mason who won and later lost the Westminster seat in the city’s East End, and secured the Shettleston constituency for SNP at Holyrood, first praised the outgoing Frank McAveety who had been the Labour MSP for the area. ‘We must thank him for all the work he’s done in Glasgow’s East End.’ But he went on: ‘The SNP ran a positive campaign – securing the M74 completion work, the Commonwealth Games and the rail link to Edinburgh as well as the council tax freeze. But Labour ran a negative campaign, running down the SNP and running down Scotland. The Labour Party must take a long, hard look at themselves.’ In promising to have a visible presence with a shop in Shettleston and being easily contactable by his constituents he added: ‘It is an incredible privilege to be trusted by the voters to serve this constituency.’
Frank McAveety in his farewell speech said: ‘I’ve served the East End of Glasgow for 22 years – as a teacher, a city councillor and as MSP. I care passionately about my city and its problems.’ Amid shouts and boos from the assembled crowd at the Glasgow constituencies’ count in the city’s SECC, he went on: ‘This country is now polarised. The Commonwealth Games was a Labour led initiative as was the National Indoor Sports arena. We made the largest investment in schools and education and I will work tirelessly to win this seat back for Labour.’
At 4am when it was clear that SNP had made remarkable gains in Glasgow, Nicola Sturgeon told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘I’m thrilled. There are quite stunning results across Scotland.’
In Cathcart were Labour’s sitting MSP Charlie Gordon lost the seat to SNP’s James Dornan, James Dornan said: ‘Charlie conducted his campaign in a gentlemanly fashion.’ In an emotional speech he went on to say: ‘I will represent everyone in this constituency. It is the area I was brought up in. I raised my kids here. We have worked hard day and night for the past three months and I thank all those who worked like Trojans to secure this positive result for the constituency.’
A sombre Charlie Gordon responded: ‘I’ve been a Labour Party activist for 42 years. I leave this stage tonight a wealthy man. Wealthy because I have my health and a wonderful family.’
Paul Martin who retained Glasgow Provan for Labour ranted about the SNP cuts. When his SNP opponent, Anne McLaughlin took the podium, a re-count was in process for the Anniesland Constituency where initially one vote appeared to be the difference between the lead candidates. She forecast: ‘These successes in Glasgow and across Scotland are not a one-off for the SNP. By electing SNP in force in Glasgow, the city has broken the link of people’s dependency on Labour for ever. If Labour continue their scurrulous attacks on Scotland, their lies will be found out and the people of Scotland will stop listening to them.’
In Glasgow Kelvin where SNP’s Sandra White took the seat from Labour’s Pauline McNeill, Sandra paid tribute to Pauline’s hard work in that community and said: ‘The SNP have aspirations for the people of Scotland. We believe every person deserves to have aspirations.’
In her turn, Pauline McNeill said: ‘I represented the area for 12 years. I did my best for everyone and I’ll miss them. I’m proud of what we achieved and hope that whatever happens with the government of Scotland that everyone will unite on the issues in the Scottish Parliament that will take the country forward. The UK coalition is wrecking our lives.’
As the night wore on a two party state emerged in Glasgow’s voting between SNP and Labour.
The Scottish Liberal Democrat’s highest vote was in Glasgow Kelvin where Natalie McKee got 1900 votes. In Anniesland, Lib Deb Paul McGarry got 1000 votes. In Cathcart, Eileen Baxendale got 1118 votes. In Maryhill and Springburh, the Lib Dem candidate, Sophie Bridger, got 833 votes. In Pollok, Isabel Nelson got 490 votes. In Provan, Michael O’Donnell got 413 votes and in the Southside constituency, Lib Dem’s Kenneth Elder got 612 votes.
Conservative Ruth Davidson became an MSP on the List vote. She said: ‘I’m pleased the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party will continue to have a presence in Glasgow. It’s needed with the SNP being rampant! ‘
The last vote to be announced around 6am in Glasgow was the Anniesland constituency where a recount had taken place because of the narrow margin. The final result was: Bill Kidd, SNP, took the seat with 10,329. Bill Butler, Labour was close behind on 10,322. Next was Matthew Smith of the Conservatives who polled 2,011 and Lib Dem’s Paul McGarry received 1000 votes with the Communist party of Britain’s candidate, Marc Livingstone taking 259 votes.
In a victory speech, Anniesland constituency winner by seven votes, Bill Kidd said: ‘My opponents behaved in an exemplary fashion and the outgoing Bill Butler has done fantastic work in the constituency. I and the SNP will work hard for the next four years to ensure carers are treated in the manner becoming to a civil society and that our country is not despoiled by Trident – British weapons of mass destruction.’
In his turn, Bill Butler thanked his team ‘We fought hard and I don’t think we let the party down. This is not my farewell to politics where I’ve been for ten and a half years. I will continue to campaign for social justice – socialism as I know it – I will renew my opposition to the new Trident and will be on any platform with those who do that too.’ He singled out his mother, Patricia Ferguson who retained the Maryhill and Sprinburn seat, for special thanks for her support.
The only other candidates in Glasgow’s eight constituencies were Tom Muirhead an independent in Kelvin where he polled 405 votes and John McKee, an Independent in Cathcart where he polled 450 votes.
They’re off! The Scottish Parliament election race has started with the formal announcement of candidates after nominations closed on Tuesday 29 March. All the names are listed here for the EIGHT Glasgow constituencies – Anniesland, Cathcart, Kelvin, Maryhill+Springburn, Pollok, Provan, Shettleston and Southside. Described as ‘too close to call,’ by one pundit, the results in this election promise to be very interesting. All the major parties are contesting each seat and a few independents and other smaller parties are out to win votes too. Voters will select the name of the Constituency Candidate with their party name from lilac coloured voting paper. The candidate with the most votes wins the seat.
There are 15 different parties jousting on the REGIONAL list which requires the voter to select the party of their preference from a list on a peach coloured ballot paper. Each party will list their candidates so voters can choose to make their X against a name or the party. Seats will go to the winners by a mixed method of the number of votes received and the number of constituency seats that parties win in the Region.
The Scottish Parliamentary Election will be on Thursday 5 May 2011. There is still time to check you are registered to vote: see website: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
Postal votes can be applied for until 5pm on Thursday 14 April. Application forms can be filled in on www.aboutmyvote.co.uk The same deadline applies for anyone who wishes to nominate a proxy to vote on their behalf.
Bill Butler, Scottish Labour Party and The Co-Operative Party
Bill Kidd, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Marc Livingstone, Communist Party Of Britain
Paul McGarry, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Matthew Taylor Smith, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Eileen Janet Gladys Baxendale, Scottish Liberal Democrats
James Dornan, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Charlie Gordon, Scottish Labour Party
John Joseph James McKee, Independent
Richard Alan Sullivan, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Natalie Elizabeth McKee, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Pauline McNeill, Scottish Labour Party
Tom Muirhead, Independent
Sandra White, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn
Sophie Bridger, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Bob Doris, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Patricia Ferguson, Scottish Labour Party
Stephanie Murray, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Johann Lamont, Scottish Labour Party and The Co-Operative Party
Andrew Ellis Morrison, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Isabel Nelson, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Chris Stephens, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Majid Hussain, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Paul Martin, Scottish Labour Party
Anne McLaughlin, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Michael O’Donnell, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Ruaraidh Dobson, Scottish Liberal Democrats
John Mason, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Frank McAveety, Scottish Labour Party and The Co-Operative Party
David Alexander Wilson, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Stephen Curran, Scottish Labour Party and The Co-Operative Party
Kenneth Carmichael Elder, Scottish Liberal Democrats
David Meikle, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party (SNP)
The REGIONAL list for Glasgow is:
All Scotland Pensioners Party
Eamonn Joseph Kelly
Brian Stevenson McNair
British National Party
Joseph T Finnie
Angus Jim Matthys
Paul Brandy Stewat
Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship”
James Martin McLeod Boyd
Christine Mary Sinclair Cormack
Pirate Party UK
Mark Robert Wood
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Scottish Green Party
Scottish Homeland Party
Scottish Labour Party
Hanzala Shaheed Malik
Richard Michael Edward Tullett
Scottish Liberal Democrats
Robert Edward Brown
Eileen Janet Gladys Baxendale
Natalie Elizabeth McKee
Kenneth Carmichael Elder
Scottish National Party (SNP)
Scottish Socialist Party
Scottish Unionist Party
Socialist Labour Party
Joy Rosemary Berrington
Ella McCart Rooney
The Respect Party
UK Independence Party (UK I P)
Stuart James Maskell
For all information relating to elections visit: www.glasgow.gov.uk/elections
words Grace Franklin
photographs Stuart Maxwell
Pollokshaws Burgh Hall was the comfortable venue for the latest in the Evening Times Community Champions Awards.
Contenders from the South West of the city from Newlands to Cathcart, from Pollokshaws to Darnley and points in between waited to hear how the panel of judges had made decisons that would have put Solomon to the test.
But as Evening Times Editor, Tony Carlin, said: ‘There can only be one winner.’
So in the six categories here are the winners as celebrated on Thursday 19 August.
Arden Chillout Centre won the Team Award. It gives opportunities to people from 5 to 15 to keep fit, enjoy games and sport, music and educational projects. Runners up were The Bullwood wood-turning project in Crookston and the Rainbow Care Centre which provides transport, cooked meals and social activities for members.
The Individual award went to Linda Campbell who has worked for Cordia – the city caring company - for 25 years. She also cares for her own father who has Alzheimers as well as looking after four grandchildren. Runners up were:-Bill Baird of Merrylee who helps provide football coaching for school pupils and is active in Merrylee Local Housing Organisation, Cathcart and District Community Council and is helping develop the Newlands Project and Gordon Millar who is Chair of Pollok Crime Prevention Panel and is involved in Streetwatch Glasgow and other safety initiatives.
The Public Service Individual award went, posthumously, to PC Derek McDowell. He died, aged 36, earlier this year. The respected community bobby was at the forefront of reducing crime in his patch in Pristhill and Nitshill. The award was accepted on behalf of his widow, Sharon, by PC Mark Allan-Smith.
Runners up were:- Mary Rocks who is a community learning worker with Glasgow Life in Pollokshaws and Christine Stewart a library supervisor at Pollok Library who has extended the joy of reading and learning through books to even more local people.
The Public Service Team Award was won by the Family Early Intervention Unit a partnership unit providing help to reduce domestic abuse and violent crime. Runners up were: – the Greater Pollok Older People and Physical Disability Team who support families to find the best solutions to individual needs and South West Bridging Service in Pollok which assists more than 400 people a year to move forward in education, training or work prospects.
Seniors Award went to Harry McColl who is Chair of Pollokshaws and Eastwood Community Council but also helped found the Pollokshaws Heritage Group. His current initiative is to have the names of soldiers killed in battle, reinstated on the local war memorial.
Runners up were: Brian Beacom who is chairman of the Levern District Community Council and a host of other bodies including the Scottish Health Council and Josephine Docherty who is chair of Newlands and Auldhouse Community Council among many other groups and has overcome cancer to continue her community work.
The Young Award, unusually, was a joint award to Reece Barrie who although only 11 is fighting a rare spinal condition and the Greater Pollok Young Carers project which recently produced a book about their lives as young carers.
All the winners from this evening and the others in all areas of Glasgow, will be invited to a Champion of Champions evening in Glasgow City Chambers in October.
by Lynsay Keough
With the regional ballots for the 2011 Holyrood elections continuing until mid September, the SNP have selected their candidates for several of their Glasgow constituencies:
Glasgow Anniesland – Bill Kidd
Glasgow Cathcart – James Dornan
Glasgow Kelvin – Sandra White
Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn – Bob Doris
Glasgow Pollok – Chris Stephens
Glasgow Provan – Anne McLaughlin
Glasgow Rutherglen – Jim McGuigan
Glasgow Shettleston – John Mason
Glasgow Southside – Sturgeon
The Lib Dems hope to be able to reveal their candidates by their autumn conference in October and the Scottish Green Party are preparing to post a list by the middle of September.
The Scottish Conservatives have so far confirmed four candidates, with the recent selection of their Southside candidate. They are:
Glasgow Anniesland – Malcolm MacAskill
Glasgow Cathcart – Richard Sullivan
Glasgow Kelvin - Hamira Khan
Glasgow Southside – David Meikle
The Scottish Labour Party have so far confirmed that Steve Curran will be their candidate for Glasgow Southside and his campaign launched this week.
Can this rush to confirm candidates for Glasgow Southside be a reflection of the high profile issues of housing, crime and anti-social behaviour, red-flagged in the area at present or could it have more to do with trying to oust the sitting incumbent, Nicola Sturgeon?
Archaeologists from the University of Glasgow are using techniques from TV’s Time Team programme to survey Cathcart Parish Church. There has been a place of worship on the site since the 6th century, when a church dedicated to St Oswald was founded. The first record of a minister being assigned to the church is from the 14th century. The project is being managed by Peta Glew, a masters student and professional archaeologist. Peta said: “I wanted to create a project which would permit students to learn archaeology skills in an informal context. We usually have around six people on site, from a pool of about 24 volunteers.
“It’s been great, local people have stopped by to see what’s going on and have given us information and photographs which have really helped the research.
“We even got an email from someone in New Zealand who heard about the investigation.”
The team have conducted geophysical surveys of the church grounds and also used radar equipment to help understand the history of the site.
Each grave has been mapped and the dates recorded where possible. The markings on the graves have been recorded, with the earliest one being from 1594.
The project has been supported by the University’s Archaeology department who have donated all equipment free of charge. When the work is complete, a copy of the report will be presented to the current Cathcart Old Parish Church for their records.
Anyone with information or photos relating to the church can contact Peta via email at 0911253G@student.gla.ac.uk.
Pupils and staff at Merrylee Primary School in Cathcart have joined Glasgow City Council’s Community Action Team in a road and traffic safety drive as part of the Go Safe Glasgow campaign.
The Merrylee school campus, which is found at the busy corner of Friarton and Ashmore roads, is one of many schools chosen by the campaign. The aim of Go Safe Glasgow is to keep Merrylee’s environs clear of vehicles, which allows children to cross roads in safety. Drivers are warned not to park on zig-zags and respect the red and green zones.
Go Safe Glasgow is also seeking to introduce ‘walking buses’ and develop road safety measures with input from the children who will use them.
Meanwhile, Merrylee is moving closer to achieving its goal of having an ‘outdoor classroom’ by the summer thanks to hard work by the school community and a grant from the Forestry Commission.
The government agency has contributed £3,500 towards the project, leaving Merrylee children, parents and staff to raise the remaining £2,500. When in place, the outdoor classroom will provide all weather learning facilities for the pupils.
Headteacher Liz Mahindru said: ‘Studies have shows that getting outdoors and working outdoors improves a child’s mental health.’
By Martin Graham
Glasgow City Council has announced a £1.5m fund to help private homeowners to carry out essential repair work.
The fund, along with the new powers granted to local authorities as part of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, means that the council can enforce work to be carried out to resolve the issue, especially prevalent in tenements, where a minority of owners are unwilling to pay their share of essential repairs.
The money will be allocated from the Council’s Private Sector Housing pot and will be set aside into a fund that can be used to cover the costs of moderate repair work carried out under statutory notice.
Work paid from the fund will be replenished as accounts and fees are repaid to the council, with the local authority charging a fee of 15% to cover its technical and administrative costs.
A lack of participation by some homeowners often means that problems such as rain penetration is not dealt with, dampness not treated and this lack of timely remedial action leads to a much more serious and expensive repair, and misery for those owners willing, but unable, to get consensus to address the problem.
Until now, the council was unable to assist owners or property mangers in carrying out this work because it did not have the necessary resources to cope the scale of the problem and the housing services lacked the appropriate power to enforce the work by all owners.
As reported in the Local News previously, lack of repairs to properties can lead to buildings becoming dangerous, like the property on Cathcart Road in Mount Florida which was in such poor repair that masonry was falling on to the pavement below.
Councillor Elaine McDougall, Executive Member for Housing, said: ‘We regularly receive calls from frustrated home owners, across the city, in tenemental properties, who cannot gain agreement from all owners to pay for minor but essential repair work to their properties.
‘Up until now, we have been unable to assist all of these owners or property managers but this new power allows us to enforce the work to be carried out and recover the full cost from all the owners.
‘This scheme will help to improve the quality of the city’s older housing stock, preserving it for future generations, and I would hope that if proved successful, this self-sustaining fund can be expanded in the future.’
This is a step towards the model for property management common in Edinburgh, where there are no factors for tenement closes, rather the council acts as property manager and issues statutory notices for essential repairs to each homeowner.