Actor, funny man and stage presence for 60 years, Johnny Beattie was given Glasgow’s Loving Cup at a civic dinner on Thursday 5 April. ‘I was totally surprised,’ said Johnny who has starred in River City TV soap for ten years.
The fresh looking 85-year-old recollects with total clarity his first day treading the boards. ‘It was May 19th 1952 at the Tivoli in Aberdeen. I was with Robert Wilson who was the biggest name around in Scotland at that time. I was the comic – you could tell that by the pillerbox red suit I was wearing!’ Johnny who was honoured by the Queen some years ago with an MBE, added: ‘I’ll keep on working till I’m found out.’
The Loving Cup is Glasgow’s highest honour and is presented to a person who has brought distinction and honour to the Dear Green Place.
Lord Provost Bob Winter presided over the annual awards ceremony when a roll of honour of key people is thanked publicly by the city for their contribution to its wellbeing.
In what was almost his last public event as Lord Provost, Councillor Winter said: ‘This event is truly one of the most rewarding for me as the city’s Lord Provost. It is such a great occasion when we can honour people from diverse walks of life who all have one thing in common – a commitment to Glasgow and its people. I can think of no better way to express our gratitude to these outstanding men and women by celebrating their achievements this way and presenting them with the Lord Provost’s award and one of them with the Loving Cup.’
The gold awards are in the form of a medal and were given to:
Prominent Accident & Emergency consultant Mr Ian Anderson for improving the health of the people of Glasgow and in keeping the city at the forefront of postgraduate medical education. Based at the Victoria Infirmary, his views are frequently sought at national and international level. He is one of the founding Fellows of the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Surgeons and one of its longest serving Council Members. He was elected President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 2009. He has also played a key role in establishing collaborations with Medical Schools and hospitals in the South of India.
BAE Systems Maritime received the Lord Provost’s award for business. It was accepted by Mr Angus Holt on behalf of the company which is on track to deliver six Type 45 Destroyers for the Royal Navy by the end of 2013. Four have already been handed over. It also produces Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the Type 26 Global Combat Ship among other complex engineering programmes and services. The yards at Scotstoun and Govan employ 3000 people which includes 140 apprentices and 30 graduates in training.
Professor Jane Duckett was presented with the Lord Provost’s Award for founding the Scottish Centre for China Research at the University of Glasgow. Since its establishment in 2008 it has developed distinctive new MSc programmes in Chinese Studies. A leading international scholar in contemporary Chinese politics, Professor Duckett was instrumental in setting up the Confucius Institute at the University in 2011. It is testament to her dedication to enhancing the understanding and knowledge of China in the communities of Glasgow and the West of Scotland, and her pledge to support the business communities as they reach out to work with Chinese industry.
Dame Elish Angiolini received the Lord Provost’s Award for her services to Law and Justice. Like Johnny Beattie, Dame Elish was born in Govan. She was Solicitor General from 2001 to 2006 and Lord Advocate of Scotland, and was the first woman, the first Procurator Fiscal and the first solicitor to hold either post. Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to the administration of justice, Dame Elish holds honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws from Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian and Aberdeen universities. In September she will replace Andrew Dilnot as Principal of St Hugh’s College in Oxford.
Donald Shaw, founder of Capercaillie was presented with the Lord Provost’s Award for the Performing and Visual Arts. Through his work with the band he built up an international network of contacts and musical partnerships which he has grown in his work with Celtic Connections. A performer, composer, arranger and musical entrepreneur, Donald was acknowledged for his unique contribution to music in Scotland, and Glasgow in particular. His direction of the Celtic Connections festival makes it the city’s largest, most nationally and internationally significant festival.
Robert Booth, who retired in 2011 after 33 years’ service – latterly as Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services at Glasgow City Council – received the Lord Provost’s award for his public service. He joined Glasgow District Council in 1978 and fulfilled senior management roles in both Housing and Building Services before being appointed Director of Land Services in March 2003. In 2007 he became Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services, with responsibility for managing the city’s road network; parks and open spaces; parking; refuse services; enforcement; trading standards; and the design and project management resources of the council. He received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2011 for services to local government.
The Lord Provost’s Sport Award went to Walter Smith, one of the most successful Scottish football managers in history. He managed Rangers (twice) and the Scottish national team as well as Everton, and was awarded the OBE for services to football in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1997. Previous winners from the world of football in this category include Sir Alex Ferguson (1993) and Ally McCoist (1996).
Bailie Jean McFadden received her award for services to local government. The city’s longest standing councillor, she was first elected to Glasgow Corporation in 1971.
She held key positions in various areas of the council most notably as Leader of the Council (1979-1986) and 1992-94) and also including Opposition Leader (1977-1979), and Vice Lord-Lieutenant City of Glasgow from 1981 to 1992. She was also President of COSLA 1990-92 and City Treasurer 1986-92, and was awarded the CBE in 1992 for services to local government.
The Lord Provost’s Special Award for an Inspiring Individual was presented to Julie McElroy. Despite cerebral palsy, mobility problems and profound deafness, Julie has trekked in the Himalayas, canoed Loch Shiel.
She has used her expertise in assistive technology to make outdoor sports accessible to disadvantaged disabled young people in India. She is an ambassador for Bobath and has received the prestigious John Muir award after completing four adventure challenges and inspiring other disabled people to enjoy the great outdoors.
A promise by First Minister Alex Salmond has given hope to 50 East End families that the £18 million Tollcross Aquatic Centre can provide a replacement for their doomed day care Centre.
The Accord Centre in Dalmarnock will be demolished to make way for a coach park for the Commonwealth Games. In preparation for that, more than 100 people with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome and complex learning needs have been dispersed to other centres in the city. But more than 50 families have rejected the proposed alternatives to the Accord believing they had been promised a ‘like for like’ facility.
A year ago, Alex Salmond visited the Accord Centre to see for himself what the situation was. Since then behind-the-scenes negotiations and discussions have been taking place with Glasgow City Council officials and elected members and the Scottish Government.
In a personal letter to one of the Accord Centre families, Alex Salmond said this week: ‘I am keen to follow through on the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensure that the legacy of the Commonwealth Games benefits the whole community of Glasgow. While recognising that you will be disappointed that Glasgow City Council has decided that those who use the Accord Centre are to transfer to the Bambury Centre, there is a real opportunity in the medium and long term to influence the shape of the new Aquatic Centre when it is adapted for community use following the Commonwealth Games in 2014. This brand new, modern, resource could be adapted to offer a similar facility to that which you saw when you visited the Harry Smith complex in South Lanarkshire.’
After that visit to South Lanarkshire one of the carers told this website: ‘I wept when I saw it. It was everything we could wish for. There was a swimming pool, gyms, film room, cafe, art room and facilities for people with special needs like our sons and daughters. But it was also open to the public in a way that was safe for the vulnerable users but integrated with the general public.’
Alex Salmond’s letter continued: ‘The longer term plans (at the Tollcross Aquatic Centre) include a range of opportunities for people with learning disabilities such as the development and use of a community hall and function rooms. There is also the possibility of first floor accommodation in the Spectator Gallery which would provide an opportunity for a range of activities. And Glasgow Life staff are investigating how to incorporate personal changing and support areas into existing plans at the build stage of the current development. I know from discussions with my officials, that colleagues within Glasgow City Council are keen to explore and develop this option with you and I would encourage you to do so.’
He concluded: ‘The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the Games Legacy includes recognition of the needs of people with a learning disability. The longer term plans for the Aquatic Centre present an opportunity to make a positive, tangible impact on the lives of such people. I have, therefore, asked my officials, working in conjunction with Glasgow City Council to prepare a funding package to ensure that a modern facility is created within the Tollcross Aquatic Centre after the Commonwealth Games in 2014 have taken place.’
In November, a confidential report was produced by the Joint Improvement Team made up of representatives of the Scottish Government, NHS and Cosla. According to Glasgow City Council, the report ‘rules out the possibility of Tollcross Aquatics Centre being used as a learning disability centre prior to the Commonwealth Games. There is also a question mark about having a dedicated centre after the games. But it makes clear the desirability of people from the Accord/Bambury Centre using Tollcross as part of their everyday activities.’
Councillor Matt Kerr, Executive Member for Social Care in a statement issued this week said: ‘I welcome this report and the conclusion that the Bambury Centre is a suitable base for people with learning disabilities. That Centre offers a real opportunity to deliver a service that will encourage greater social inclusion for service users. Considerable effort has gone into producing the report and so its recommendations will be taken very seriously by the Council.’ He continued: ‘Since reforming our learning disability services, people are showing they relish having greater flexibility to follow their own interests and aspirations. Using the Bambury Centre allows us to strike a balance between people taking greater control over their lives and retaining a centre.’
The move of the remaining families from the Accord Centre to the nearby Bambury Centre is imminent.
The Bambury Centre in Barrowfield, was recently purchased by West of Scotland Housing Association and is being refurbished. Part of the building, with its own entrance, will be reserved for the former Accord users as a meeting place where they will go out from to different activities.
After the receipt of Alex Salmond’s letter one of the East Carers Group said: ‘ I am very, very pleased with the letter. This is what we’ve been campaigning for. We are not talking about access to Tollcross. We want a fully functional day care facility. The Bambury Centre is the epitome of Glasgow City Council’s approach. It is a shabby after-thought. Our families are not being treated with the dignity they deserve. I cannot understand why the Council is not welcoming Tollcross and incorporating the facilities we’re asking for. They are being dragged kicking and screaming to this. They have been given £150,000 of public money for a feasibility study into making Tollcross suit the needs of vulnerable people but they are not fully engaged with the idea. We want a fair replacement for the Accord Centre. The only people who don’t see this are Glasgow City Councillors.’
Grace Harrigan, an official spokesperson for the East Carers group said: ‘We welcome the commitment to provide modern day centre facilities in Tollcross. But we’d like it nailed down. This is not about access to Tollcross. By law, all new buildings should be accessible. Shame on Glasgow City Council if, after spending £18m on the Aquatic Centre at Tollcross, they have not included the needs of some of their most vulnerable citizens.’
In October at the Council meeting where the decision to close the Accord Centre was taken, Grace was one of three parents evicted from the public gallery for shouting at the Labour Councillors presenting the case for closure. Because of that, she believes she was targeted when she attended the February Budget meeting of the Council. Not only was she taken out of the public gallery by attendants but she was told she was banned for life from the City Chambers. On the day she told this website: ‘I was doing nothing but listening. Then the attendant came over and said I was disrupting the meeting, took me out of the building and told me I would never be allowed back in.’
This week, in response, a Council statement was received about the incident: ‘A member of the public was asked to leave the City Chambers after being warned by staff about their conduct during the budget debate. No-one has been banned from the City Chambers as a consequence of this incident.’
A long term supporter of the Accord campaigners, community activist, Iain McInnes told this website: ‘This letter from Mr Salmond is good news. We’ve waited a long time for this. However, this is not victory. It is positive input along the road. When we get a letter saying Tollcross will be available for day care, offering facilities which have been available in the Accord Centre, and more; then we will believe the campaign will have succeeded.’