The people of Mansewood and Hillpark are not the only communities facing cuts in bus services. First Glasgow has stated the following five services will be withdrawn:
Route 2 – Toryglen and Croftfoot
Route 25 – Govan and Silverburn
Route 29 – Manswood, Hillpark and Shawlands
Route 91 – Partick and Clydebank
Route 92 – restricted to operate between Partick Bus Station and Gartnavel Hospital only.
But Glasgow City Council has been told of others to be withdrawn:
Route 11 – Bearsden Road/Switchback – diverted from Glasgow Road, Clydebank to Barns Street/East Barns Street.
Route 42 – Drumchapel and City Centre via Garscadden, Scotstoun, Partick and Charing Cross – evening operation to be withdrawn.
Route 119 – Baljaffray and Castlemains Estate
Route 213A – Bargeddie to Buchanan Bus Station via Baillieston, Edinburgh Road, Cranhill and Alexandra Parade – Sunday day service to be withdrawn.
In addition, many established routes will have major timetable changes.
A youth programme which helps reduce anti-social behaviour in the North and West of Glasgow has been hailed as a success by former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson.
The former Scotland International captain was among special guests at the annual awards and dance shows run by A&M Training – a programme which is part funded by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).
Run by ex-Dundee United winger Andy McLaren, the A&M Training scheme tackles youth disorder, racism and gang violence. Founded on his own hard experiences, the scheme encourages youngsters to keep fit through football and dance classes.
Around 2000 youngsters have already signed up for Operation Reclaim in the North of the city and also the West End Diversionary Project.
Birmingham City star Barry Ferguson presented trophies at the Operation Reclaim awards night at the Mitchell Theatre recently.
Barry said: “I’m delighted to support A&M Training which delivers top-quality diversionary coaching activities across Glasgow. Each week around 2000 young people benefit from these services – and they are free.
“I attended the dance and awards show and was blown away by the numbers involved, the talent on show and the quality of the coaching.”
GHA and the Scottish Government fund the West End Diversionary Project, which covers areas including Drumchapel, Yoker, Scotstoun and Anderston. Operation Reclaim is funded by GHA and North Glasgow Community Planning Partnership and runs in areas including Sighthill, Springburn, Milton and Royston.
GHA’s Executive Director of Development and Regeneration, Alex McGuire, said: “Projects such as Operation Reclaim and the West End Diversionary Project are making a real difference to young people in the North and West of the city.
Former Scotland footballers Robbie Winters, Charlie Miller and Gary McSwegan are also lending their support to programme.
Andy McLaren, founder of A&M Training, said: “We’re the only sports coaching charity in Scotland providing free coaching services delivered by professional footballers and dancers.
“The programme has had a tremendous benefit in reducing youth crime and disorder and improving the health and well-being of large numbers of young people.”
The five regeneration agencies in Glasgow – tasked to get people ‘job ready’ – made 200 staff redundant at the end of March. Employees had to volunteer for a severance package. But key workers will not be allowed to go.
Because funding from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Enterprise Agency has been withdrawn, the five agencies are merging into one body funded solely by Glasgow City Council.
From Friday 1 April, the new single body – Glasgow Regeneration Agency (GRA) – will employ a total of around 600 people compared to 800 over the five previous bodies.
Instead of headquarters in Gorbals, Govan, Springburn, Drumchapel and Easterhouse, a central headquarters will be established at 112 Ingram Street. Each of the current five areas will have a local ‘hub’ which has still to be identified from their local properties portfolio. All the companies are limited by guarantee and registered charities.
Said Councillor Alistair Watson: ‘We are determined to ensure local delivery of services is maintained. We do not have the money to sustain five agencies but the local service delivery has been proven to work.’ He said property that was surplus to requirements, would be sold and leases would be evaluated to establish what was cost effective to retain or to buy out.
Behind the scenes at the five agencies, bitter tears are being shed. Said one insider: ‘This has been a horrendous process. There has been no information forthcoming. Everything is totally outwith local control.’
In another agency an employee said: ‘I don’t know whether to take the package or not. Nothing is clear and I certainly don’t know if I’ll be offered a job in the new set-up.’
At a third establishment, a staffer declared: ‘I’m going. It is sad to see such good teams being dismantled.’
A transition team has been working on the new single body under the leadership of Calum Graham who was Chief Executive Officer of Glasgow West Regeneration Agency. He is intrim Chief Executive of the new agency.
Working in Ingram Street, the brain stormers have to devise a strategy to maintain front line services from April 1 when the new financial year starts.
A spokesman for the team said: ‘This merger into one body will mean that, in the challenging financial environment, we are in a better position to maximise the resources we will have available to continue the fantastic front-line work of the regeneration agency staff. It is hoped that with the large numbers indicating an interest in leaving voluntarily, compulsory redundancies will be minimised. Service delivery will remain in the most disadvantaged communities across Glasgow.’
One of the key outcomes of the merger will be a reduction in senior management, back office and administrative staff.
The Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) had to approve the dismantling of each of the five charities and the formation of one to incorporate the work of all.
More than 2000 tenants in Maryhill will soon have a say on plans to transfer their Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) homes to community ownership. Maryhill Housing Association LHO covers 2042 properties in Maryhill and Ruchill which would transfer to Maryhill Housing Association.
GHA has approved a business plan from the housing association which wants to take ownership of the homes – the largest number of homes for one organisation so far, under the Second Stage Transfer (SST) process.
The Scottish Housing Regulator has given approval, in principle, for GHA tenants in the Local Housing Organisation (LHO) to be balloted on the plans.
An initial consultation period started this week – Monday 8 November to give tenants the chance to consider the detailed proposals.
Ballot papers will be issued in January, with tenants given three weeks to respond. It is expected that if a majority of tenants voting in each area are in favour of the plans, the homes will transfer in 2011.
GHA’s Chair, Gordon Sloan, said: ‘This is another milestone in the SST process and demonstrates that GHA is continuing to meet its commitment to delivering Second Stage Transfer where it is the democratic will of the tenants. I’m pleased that so many tenants will be given a say, whatever that say might be, on the future of their homes.’
Willy Briody, Director of Maryhill Housing Association, said: ‘We believe we have a strong track record as a housing association since our creation in 1977. We are deeply engaged in the life of the Maryhill and Ruchill communities we serve and will work hard over the coming months to make a strong case for second stage transfer. GHA tenants who are keen to transfer to us will be reminded that if they want change they have to vote for it.’
So far, 13 Second Stage Transfers – involving 4079 houses – have been completed since March, 2009.
In June, 1060 homes transferred. They were:
283 homes from Cathcart LHO to Cathcart and District Housing Association
69 from Levernwood LHO to Rosehill Housing Co-operative
143 from Holmbyre LHO to Thenew Housing Association
388 from Wellhouse LHO to Wellhouse Housing Association
177 from Blairtummock to Blairtummock Housing Association.
In March 2010, 554 homes in Hamiltonhill transferred to Queens Cross Housing Association and 473 homes in Drumchapel to Cernach Housing Association.
Story: Erik Geddes
Picture: Stuart Maxwell
The families in a Glasgow area ravaged by drugs have been given the chance to come together and help overcome hurdles together.
Drumchapel Community Centre was the venue for the Scottish Families Affected by Drugs hosted open day on Tuesday 3 August.
The turn-out of affected family members was more a trickle than a torrent, but the event marks a stepping-stone towards a more joined-up approach in supporting and helping families.
The LOCAL NEWS spoke with two sisters, originally from Drumchapel, who
dropped in to the Centre keen to do volunteer work.
Janet said: ‘Days like this are important for people who want to help themselves and get healthy so they can better their lives.
‘You don’t see people taking drugs in front of you but it is easy to recognise the scale of the problem when you walk through Drumchapel shopping centre. You see heads hanging down and hear people shouting abuse.’
Margaret added: ‘Taking drugs isolates people and makes them paranoid. ‘Coming here and getting involved will slowly but surely help them get back to some sort of normality.
‘I want to let my daughter out to play, but at the moment, it’s not safe.’
As well as volunteering opportunities and advice stalls there was a team of therapists offering free massage and reiki. These therapies offer a stress-busting opportunity for mums, dads, brothers and sisters who dedicate much of their energies to a loved one.
Cara MacDowall, Chief Executive of Scottish Families Affected by Drugs is hopeful that more families will now come forward in the Drumchapel area.
She said: ‘Families are often overlooked in drug treatment but are sometimes the only constant and solid factor in the usually chaotic life of the user.
‘Families also need support as there is a lot of pressure and stress when you have a loved one with an addiction.
‘Our organisation is there to provide support and also to say to government that there is a significant role for families in the rehabilitation process.’
If you have someone in your family affected by drugs and would be keen to find out about support groups, befriending or just confidential advice then please contact Lisa Finlayson Development Officer at Scottish Families Affected by Drugs 0141 221 0544 or Marlene Taylor at Families Affected by Drug & Alcohol use on 0141 420 2050.
The next Susan Boyle may be found in Drumchapel through the local ‘Mecca’s Got Talent’ competition. But sign up fast if you want your chance at stardom. Mecca Bingo, at Allerdyce Court in Great Western Retail Park will host a first round of the UK wide competition on Friday 11 June.
If you’ve a hidden talent, get your entry form filled in today and returned by the deadline of SUNDAY 16 MAY to Drumchapel Mecca. Manager Billy Macleod is encouraging local people to sign up for the stage opportunity. He said: ‘From singers to dancers and from jugglers to impersonators, we’re looking for anyone who can get on stage and keep an audience entertained.’
As well as the chance to bank £3000 and to secure a spot at Wembley from the Midlands finals, the Drumchapel winner will receive two tickets for the live ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ tour. TV presenter, Lorraine Kelly will host the Mecca Midlands finals where regional winners will be showcased. The best acts will go on to the Wembley finale in May 2011.
By Klaudia Jedrychowska
pic by Stuart Maxwell
Christopher Hughes, aged 31, Labour’s candidate, has won the Glasgow City Council by-election in Drumchapel and Anniesland.
The voters stayed loyal to the Labour Party despite the big disappointment of former Leader Steven Purcell’s fall from grace and office in March.
Just after the results were announced, Christopher said: ‘Councillor Purcell is still highly regarded by the local people. He was a very fine councillor for them for many years. Steven is only one person. All of us in the Labour Party are committed, together, to bring changes that we want to see in a more productive and positive society. I think people, generally, trust the Labour Party to deliver for them in Drumchapel and Anniesland.’
He added: ‘I’m delighted. I’m extremely pleased that people chose me to win. It was a team effort, the campaigning team was fantastic. It’s been a very good day, lots of people came in, it was a big turnout.’
Christopher also highlighted the areas for improvement. He said: ‘The things that people are telling me on the doorstep are: they want safer streets, they want more facilities for their kids, more investments at schools, more opportunities for training and jobs. So these are the kind of things I’ll be fighting for.’
He lived in Yoker for nine years and studied geography at the University of Aberdeen before working for arts charity NVA as a Community Development Officer.
Paul McGarry, the Scottish Liberal Democrats candidate, said: ‘Chris and I were the only two candidates seen by the local people in the constituency. History told that Labour had a very good chance to win. They held the four Councillors’ seats in the past and other representative positions locally.’
The other candidates were: Larry Butler, Scottish Green Party; Frank Rankin, Scottish National Party; Matthew Smith, Scottish Conservative and Unionist.
After Thursday’s by-election the Labour Party again have four Councillors in Ward 14. The other established Councillors are: Paul Carey, Jonathan Findlay and AnneMctaggart
The voting system used in the by-election is a form of proportional representation, called the single transferable vote system. It provides proportional representation and aims at minimising ‘wasted’ voices by transferring votes from sure losers to other eligible candidates. Voters chose their preferred candidate by putting number 1 against that candidate’s name; number 2 represents second choice and so on. The result is that no vote totals can be announced as in the first-past-the-post system.
The Drumchapel/ Anniesland by election result was announced in the Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre just before 2am on the same night as the general election count was taking place. For general election results see elsewhere on this LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW website: www.localnewsglasgow.co.uk
The Election count has begun. At the SECC in Glasgow the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW team is working hard to bring the results fast to our website watchers. Alan McCrorie, Martin Graham and photographer Stuart Maxwell are fielding the results of the seven Westminster constituency seats while colleague Klaudia Jedrychowska is concentrating on the by-election results for Drumchapel-Anniesland, Ward 14, once held by Steven Purcell.
By Klaudia Jędrychowska
Five candidates from Drumchapel and Anniesland are today fighting for the Glasgow City Council seat vacated by Steven Purcell.
The by-election was called after the Leader of Glasgow City Council resigned from that post then stood down as a councillor for Ward 14.
Larry Butler is contesting the seat for the Scottish Green Party, Christopher Hughes for the Scottish Labour Party, Paul McGarry for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Frank Rankin for the Scottish National Party, and Matthew Smith for the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party.
Previously, local people had demonstrated strong support for Labour, giving the party all four seats for that Ward in the City Council.
This by-election will show whether or not Labour will maintain its strong position within the community, given Purcell’s resignation and questions about his conduct while in office.
Local Councillor Jonathan Findlay, a Labour colleague, said: ‘This will have zero effect on today’s by-election. People will be looking at the whole record of the Labour Party and local representation.’
He added: ‘Steven was one of my best friends and the best man at my wedding. I knew him very well. He was a very good Councillor and he was very good for the city. It’s a great loss to Glasgow and Scotland.
‘No-one will replace Steven.’
In 1995, aged 22, Purcell became the youngest Scottish Councillor ever elected. Ten years later, he became Leader of Glasgow City Council.
Today’s General Election issues may influence the council by-election. With the Liberal Democrats strengthening in the opinion polls and the prospect of a hung parliament, Labour’s predominance in North West Glasgow may be challenged.
This inspires Lib-Dem Paul McGarry. He believes Leader Nick Clegg did a very good job putting the party’s message across and it will influence today’s elections locally and nationally.
He added: ‘Local people are frustrated by inactivity and problems not being solved. People tell us they had been phoning up the Council trying to get the things fixed, but nothing was happening.
‘We want people to feel that when they’re phoning up the Council they are not getting ignored. People in this area say they want somebody they can talk to, someone who will listen.’
In this by-election the support is divided, it looks like it will be a close thing. It is the second recent by-election in Ward 14. In June 2009, the Labour candidate, Annie McTaggart, won by 2584 votes.
The polling stations will be open till 10pm and the result should be announced early on Friday morning.
The by-election to replace shamed former Council Leader Steven Purcell will be held the same day as the General Election – Thursday 6 May.
His Ward – number 14 out of the 21 in Glasgow City – covers the Drumchapel-Anniesland area. Five candidates had been nominated by the deadline of Tuesday13 April.
They are: Larry Butler, Scottish Green Party; Christopher Hughes, Scottish Labour Party; Paul McGarry, Scottish Liberal Democrats; Frank Rankin, Scottish National Party and Matthew Smith, Scottish Conservative and Unionist.
Local schools will be used, as usual, as the polling stations along with the Phoenix Neighbourhood Centre, Knightscliffe Leisure Hall, Blairdrum Neighbourhood Centre and Temple-Anniesland Church hall.