Alex Glass, who has been the Labour Party representative in Greater Pollok for 13 years, but is not standing again in the local government election this week, told this website: ‘I had the pleasure of joining some parents, children and teachers at St Angela’s RC Primary School in Darnley on Friday 27 April, to perform one of my very last duties as a councillor – a litter pick-up.’
In the near future, the school will receive an important visit from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education(HMIE). To ensure that the inspection team gets the best impression of the school, everyone, including outgoing Councillor Glass, was in the grounds picking up bags and bags of litter. Head Teacher, Brendan Duffy said: ‘The School’s Council has been fighting hard over the past few years to show the pride they have in St Angela’s by encouraging other parents to join the clean-up of the school grounds. We have also involved the children. The long term message appears to be getting through to them about keeping the school and the wider community clean by putting litter in the bin and not dropping it in the school grounds or on the street.’
The clean-up was organised by Tom Buik, Chair of the School’s Council who said: ‘We have a good community spirit in the school now. We want the inspectors from HMIE to see the pride we take in St Angela’s by noticing how tidy the school grounds are as they arrive to carry out their inspection.’
The school has not been without its problems as Councillor Glass knows. He said: ‘Recently, teachers were having to place buckets under the constant drips of water coming from the roof. Fortunately, I was able to draw attention to the urgent nature of the repairs and work was completed relatively quickly.’
St Angela’s has been in the news over the past couple of years due to the change in the catchment area for St Ninian’s which is outside Glasgow but has had a long standing arrangement to take children from the Darnley area.
Recently, too, the school expanded to accommodate the growing number of children wishing to attend St Angela’s. Two additional classrooms are now located in portacabins in the playground. Commented Tom: ‘Hopefully the inspection will go well for everyone at St Angela’s. With this level of support from parents, children and teachers as well as our local councillor, it looks like the school is taking on all the challenges that it faces by getting everyone involved.’
An evening of poetry, music, song and food, was celebrated by the Campaign for Human Rights in the Gambia this week in Glasgow.
A key speaker was former Vice President of the West African country, Bakary Dabo, who now lives in London. In a calm and diplomatic way, he explained how a Rule of Fear had overtaken the democratic rule of law which The Gambia had enjoyed before a military coup. ‘The people in power now are not leaders.’ he said. ‘It is a depressing picture. This small country of 2 million people has an appalling human rights abuse record. There is a very vicious despotic system in place run by one man with his clique.’ Mr Dabo emphasised how important it was for groups such as Amnesty International and the Glasgow based Campaign for Human Rights in The Gambia and others to be raising awareness of the situation and to be supportive in the search for a solution.
‘We are hopeful,’ he continued. ‘But The Gambia is right now held by its throat as a hostage.’
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Danny Alderslowe. A Green Party Councillor, he had that day at the final meeting of the Glasgow City Council before the local government elections, won a motion to review the Personalisation process being implemented by the Council.
Danny had orchestrated an excellent programme of entertainment at the Afro Caribbean Centre in Osborne Street G1. This ranged from Haggis on the bagpipes with Omar on the drums, Jethro from the Congo, Scratchy Noises fiddle band, Fozzy singing fighting songs, Lucio and friends on an array of African stringed instruments and Tomona reciting one of his thoughtful poems. Danny, himself, had written a poem based on the fact that the osprey flies between the Gambia and Scotland ‘easier than a jumbo jet!’
Other speakers included Elena Soper from the University of Glasgow’s Amnesty International group who detailed some of the human rights abuses known about in the Gambia; Arthur West, chairman of the Gambia Human Rights Campaign and John Matthews Chair of the Glasgow Branch of the National Union of Journalists. ‘We support the Campaign wholeheartedly,’ said John. ‘We are the first trades union to recognise journalists who are seeking asylum, as members of our union and we can act on their behalf when possible. As a political journalist, our colleague Alieu Cessay had to flee from the Gambia. He is not alone. Some journalists – and others who have displeased the regime – have disappeared, been imprisoned, tortured. The evening is to celebrate life while expressing our compassion for the safety of our brothers and sisters and highlighting the need to have a free press and freedom of speech if a country is to be truly free.’