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

December 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Joe Cusker (59) of Cambuslang is the tenth person to died as a result of the Police Scotland helicopter crashing into the Clutha Vaults bar in Glasgow on Friday 29 November.

A patron in the pub on the night, he was seriously injured and has been in Glasgow Royal Infirmary since.  He died there on Thursday 12 December.

Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm the number of people who died when the helicopter came down on the Clutha Vaults pub has increased to ten. Our thoughts are with families at this difficult time and we will continue to provide support to them as we have done for all of the bereaved.”

The nine who died on the night of the incident are: Constable Tony Collins, 43; Constable Kirsty Nelis, 36 and pilot, Captain Dave Traill, 51; who were all in the helicopter. Samuel McGhee, 56; Robert Jenkins, 61; Mark O’Prey, 44; Colin Gibson, 33; Gary Arthur 48 and John McGarrigle, 57  who were all in the pub.

The funeral Sam McGhee  will be held on Friday 13 December in Castlemilk. He will be the final person of the nine who died on the night, to be laid to rest.  His family said: ‘We’d like to start by thanking the tireless efforts of the emergency services and the ordinary people of Glasgow on Friday night. Without them, we’re sure a lot more people would have lost their lives.

‘It’s been an incredibly difficult time for us and everyone involved with the tragedy, but the support from family, friends and the people of Glasgow has been overwhelming.

‘Special thanks must be extended to the police liaison officers, Anderson Maguire funeral directors and the local Castlemilk community, in particular the people of Holmbyre, who have been unbelievably helpful and generous.

‘Our father was a dedicated partner to our late mother and a dedicated parent to his children. He was just beginning to get his life back on track after the loss of our mum. As you can imagine this has been an intensely painful experience for us but we’re strengthened by the knowledge that he passed away a happy man, among friends at a place he loved. We kindly ask for our privacy to be respected at this moment in time.’

A second benefit night of  Folk for The Clutha will run in January. Originally Friday 10 January was set aside by Celtic Music Radio and St Andrew’s in the Square venue to raise funds for the families of the victims of the helicopter crashing into the Clutha.  The pub is well known as a live music place with performances most nights of the week.  Billy Connolly performed there in his youth. He flew from New York to Glasgow to lay flowers near the Clutha site in the days after the tragedy.

The two nights of music and song in St Andrew’s Square will feature artists such as Pauline Alexander, Bill Adair, Paddy Callaghan, Steven Clark, Fiona Cuthill and Stevia Lawrence, Tom Fairnie, Haggerdash, Arthur Johnstone, Moira Kerr, Adam McCulloch, Lori McTear, The O’Cajunals, Rudegin, Mick West and Frank McLaughlin.

Many more artists are likely to appear to make it two nights to remember and benefit the many people involved in the Clutha Vaults bar tragedy.

There will be no tickets for the benefit concerts. But everyone is asked to make a worthwhile donation on the door.

St Andrew’s in the Square is only a few blocks away from The Clutha, in St Andrew’s Square, Calton, Glasgow G1. More information can be found on the Folk for The Clutha Facebook page and supporters are asked to ‘like’ the page and say they’re ‘going.’


December 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A momentous week. First the tragic crash of the Police helicopter into the busy Clutha Vaults pub with the loss of nine lives – the pilot and two police officers aboard the helicopter and six patons in the pub.

Then the news that Nelson Mandela had died. The Colossus who led South Africa out of apartheid and into a new and more equal world had finally walked to freedom of a different kind.

In both instances the people of Glasgow showed their true mettle. They ran into the pub to bring out the injured. They provided tea and support for the emergency services personnel who had the terrible task of searching for survivors and retrieving bodies once the embedded helicopter had been removed.  For Mandela, they were standing in Nelson Mandela Square within hours of his passing. On a cold, dark night with slight smirr falling, several hundred people listened to tributes and learned of the proud place Glasgow and Scotland had in the struggle against apartheid.

Bouquets of flowers appeared spontaneously. People talked to total strangers, sharing grief and memories, tears and sadness, a helping hand and solidarity.

Each individual had empathy for others. Whether it was immediately at the time of the crash and in its aftermath or whether it was history when Nelson Mandela was given the Freedom of the City and the years of effort it took to achieve that, didn’t matter.

What was important was that people in Glasgow identified with the humanity of others at a critical time.  Instinctively they reacted as if the person needing help was one of their own. Let’s all hope and pray that true solidarity is in evidence for future struggles at home.



Builders thanked by gardeners

August 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A plot at Merrylee Allotments on Glasgow’s Southside has been made more accessible to people with disabilities, thanks to local builders’ merchants, Travis Perkins.

Materials to create raised beds and a slabbed path for better access for people with limited mobility were provided, along with advice and guidance on what to do.  Said Carr Gomm Community Development worker, Kevin Fullerton: ‘We’d like to thank Bryan Mawer and his team at the Muirend branch of Travis Perkins for their terrific support. Along with the help of plot holders at Merrylee Allotment Association, the efforts of our own participants and matched funding from the Moffat Charitable Trust, the plot has been transformed.’

Twice weekly facilitated gardening sessions have been taking place at the plot since 2010. Last year it was agreed that raised beds and a slabbed path would make gardening more accessible to more people. Carr Gomm is a support charity which works to enable people to live life the way they choose and to play a part in their local community.

Kevin added: ‘We hope this work will encourage more people to get involved and enjoy the benefits of growing their own fruit, vegetables and flowers while getting some exercise in the open air.’

Person centred, Car Gomm provides support at home and through its Community Development team of trained and committed workers. See for further information.


Global garden to celebrate the Games

June 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Gardners of North West Women's Centre with Councillor Archie Graham at the launch of their Commonwealth Garden

Glasgow’s first Commonwealth Garden was formally opened this week when Councillor Archie Graham attended the event at North West Women’s Centre in Maryhill and helped plant heather to represent Scotland.

Created by women of the centre following a design by Jane Gibb, the garden was funded by a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery’s Awards For All Fund.

Plants represent the main countries of the Commonwealth and their continents.

On one side Asia blooms with bamboo, rhododendron and irises. India is represented with a herb tea plant section and Europe’s space uses beautiful geraniums, roses and other plants.

Flora from the Americas, Africa and Australasia includes a maple tree for Canada, large spiky bushes for New Zealand and America, grasses from Africa and a plethora of colourful flowers from all three areas.

Over the next two years the Women’s Commonwealth Garden will have a project for local children to help them learn more about Commonwealth countries and the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow in 2014. The children will make gold and silver ‘medals’ on sticks to put into the garden next to the plants or flowers of the countries which win them.