Glasgow’s own plan Bee

August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Councillor Matheson and PlanBee Ltd director Warrne Bader with some of the bees which have moved into the City Chambers hives.

Councillor Matheson and PlanBee Ltd director Warrne Bader with some of the bees which have moved into the City Chambers hives.

Glasgow’s plan B has nothing to do with the Referendum!  It is the Council’s strategy to increase the population of honeybees in the city. Around 120,000 bees have been installed in two insulated beehives on the roof of Glasgow City Chambers.

Vital in the food chain, this kind of bee is under threat because of pesticides and climate change.

Council Leader Gordon Matheson – who is also chair of Sustainable Glasgow – said: “Bees pollinate a third of the food we eat and also pollinate trees which helps reduce air pollution by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Numbers have dropped dramatically so Sustainable Glasgow is helping reverse that decline by installing these hives.

“I hope the bees will flourish and help us ensure Glasgow remains a Dear Green Place for generations to come.”

PlanBee Ltd is the company which provides the bees, the hives and the training programmes. Council staff have swarmed to be trained in hive management.

Bees can travel up to three miles to find their target flowers.  Said Warren Bader of PlanBee Ltd: “Glasgow is a fantastic garden city. Bees can be safer in a city than in the countryside where a lot of farmers use pesticides and plant monocultures (just one type of crop) which isn’t healthy for pollen production. In a good summer the bees can produce plenty of honey.” He added: “Unless you are a flower, the bees really aren’t interested in you so no one should be worried!”

Wax from the bees will be used as furniture polish in the City Chambers. What happens to the honey will be decided when the quality and quantity is known.

Glasgow aims to become one of the most sustainable cities in Europe by cutting carbon emissions by 30% by 2020 / 21.

Already it has a network of electric car charging points; solar powered parking meters; Green Wardens; electric vehicles in the council fleet and a Green Energy Services Company to promote and oversee renewable energy projects. The Stalled Spaces initiative has seen 32 disused spaces in Glasgow brought back into use as community gardens, performance space and locations for public art installations. This scheme will be rolled out across Scotland.

Next year Glasgow plans to hold Green Year 2015.  Twelve months of activities will celebrate the city’s green credentials and encourage others to do their bit for the environment. Twitter: @greenglasgow.

Helicopter death toll rises to nine

December 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A ninth person is now known to have died when a Police Scotland helicopter plummeted into the Clutha Vaults pub on Glasgow’s riverside on Friday 29 November.

Shortly after midnight, Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick confirmed a further body had been located. She said efforts were ongoing to formally establish the person’s identity.

At that point, the identity of five of the dead had been established and released publicly.

The three who were in the helicopter were: Air Support crew, Constable Tony Collins, 43, Constable Kirsty Nelis, 36 and pilot Captain Dave Traill, 51.

Pilot David Traill died when his helicopter plunged from the sky.

Both Police officers had been commended for bravery in separate incidents.

The fourth person was pub patron, Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley area. Samuel McGhee, aged 56, from Glasgow was the fifth victim to be named.

Said DCC Rose Fitzpatrick: ‘This remains an ongoing investigation and search focused on the Clutha Vaults pub. The site is extremely challenging and the efforts of colleagues from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Air Accident investigators have been painstaking.  Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy.

‘Our absolute priority has been to locate the bodies of people who were within the pub at the time of the incident and recover them safely. This process takes time, as formal identification procedures have to take place before we can notify relatives and publicly confirm identities.

‘We are doing all we can to support the families of those who have lost loved ones. It is essential that we maintain sensitivity and dignity for the families of the deceased.’

Of the 12 people in hospital with serious injuries, 3 were in intensive care and one was in a specialist  spinal injuries ward.

A Book of Condolence opened in Glasgow City Chambers on Sunday for the public to sign. The Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty, was the first to sign it,  followed by Council Leader Councillor Gordon Matheson, Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice.

The Book will be open to members of the public to sign from 8.30am on Monday 2 December 2013.  The City Council has also organised  financial assistance to the victims of the tragedy facing hardship and has offered a venue to a planned benefit concert.

The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay  sent their ‘most heartfelt thoughts and sympathy to the families of those who were lost or injured in this truly shocking helicopter accident.’ They said: ‘Words can seem wholly inadequate in such circumstances. But in offering every possible healing thought to those who survived, we also wanted to pay tribute to the emergency services and their exemplary response. Glasgow has had to endure a tragic episode. But, knowing the city and its people as we do, we have every confidence that it will find the necessary strength to recover.’

Revd DrLaurence A B Whitley, minister of Glasgow Cathedral held a special service on Sunday to remember everyone who had died and everyone connected with the tragedy. ‘Glasgow has the kind of family solidarity that kicks in at times like this,’ he said. ‘People react first with their heart. They run to the incident, not away from it.’  Children from the Cathedral congregation lit a candle for each of the known dead at that time.

Work continued for a third night to extract the helicopter which had impacted in the roof of the pub. Emergency personnel then have to make safe the structure below to continue  the search for other victims.







Allison’s legacy honoured by all

August 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Allison Hunter, Govan Councillor and life-long SNP worker who died on 23 July 2013, was given a fond farewell today at Govan Old Parish Church.

The hundreds who attended the funeral service begin to leave Govan Old Parish Church.

A former SNP Group Leader in Glasgow, and SNP National Organiser before that, Allison was 71 when she died of cancer after a long and unpublicised battle.

The entire church was full with people from all parties and none paying their respects. They included Glasgow’s Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, Council Leader Gordon Matheson and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.

The funeral service was led by the Rev Dr Moyna McGlynn and heartfelt tributes were paid by City Council SNP group leader Graeme Hendry and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Pall Bearers were: James Dornan, John Mason, Norman McLeod, Graeme Hendry, Jahangir Hanif, Kalil Malik, Phil Greene and David McDonald.

Mrs McGlynn said Allison had asked her to say at the service that she had been incredibly proud of what both Graeme Henry and Nicola Sturgeon had achieved.

In his eulogy Councillor Hendry said: ‘Allison was a fantastic colleague, a wonderful wife to Ian, mother to Fiona, Mhairi and Roy and grandmother to Kathleen and Andrew and an inspirational friend. She didn’t seek the limelight. Scarcely anyone knew of her cancer but throughout her treatment she continued with a quiet strength.’

Allison had been election agent for Nicola Sturgeon when she won Govan in 2007.  Said Nicola: ‘I don’t think I’d have won without her.’ Describing her first encounter with Allison, Nicola said: ‘It was the 1988 Govan by-election. I turned up as an 18 year old volunteer at the campaign rooms only 200 yards from this building. Allison was obviously in charge. There are some people who are in charge because they tell you that. There are those who exude being in charge. Allison was in the latter category. She was really in charge and had an aura of organised authority. Her methods, training and campaigning tricks were drummed into generations of party activists. Those organisational skills are a big part of her legacy.’

Allison cheerfully answered media questions at the last election but kept private the fact she was fighting cancer.

Called Auntie Allison within the SNP family, she was a dedicated, passionate and formidable person who was scary on first contact, said Nicola. ‘While she ruled the roost, she did so in an effective way that motivated and unified people. Allison’s contribution to the SNP’s success was massive. As National Organiser at Party Headquarters from 1990 till 2002 she laid the foundations of our historic election victories in 2007 and 2011. There are few of today’s MSPs, councillors and organisers who were not trained and mentored by Allison.’

Following her retiral as national organiser, Allison was elected a Glasgow City Councillor for Govan.  Said Nicola: ‘ Allison loved Govan. Her parents came from Govan, she attended primary school in Kinning Park. She was very happy to represent the people of the area. And while she would be too modest to have said so herself, testament to what she’s achieved is visible all around.’

Only at the very end of her eulogy did Nicola’s voice shake with emotion: ‘Allison was a Nationalist to her core. She was an internationalist, a unilateralist a proud Glaswegian and a patriot.. She would have loved to have been around to campaign for a Yes vote next year. The rest of us will now redouble our efforts to do so in her honour.’

After the service in the gathering in the neighbouring Pearce Institute, others paid their own tribute.  Said Stephen Dornan, Independent Councillor for Govan: ‘ She was a peace maker, a voice or reason at all times.’ Commented former Govan Councillor John Flanagan: ‘Allison was always supportive, willing and helpful. She constantly went the extra mile.’  Said Scottish  CND Chairman Arthur West: ‘We will always be grateful for Allison’s substantial support of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the wider peace movement over many years.’ Said Sandy Black: ‘She was a great support to the Govan Fair too.’  Stewart Clark of Govan Youth Information Project (GYIP) said:  ‘She’s left a great legacy. Future generations have learned her way of doing things – thoroughly and for the benefit of all.’