Ruth Simpson, who had been a Glasgow City Councillor for Calton and a Labour Party member for more than 40 years, was standing as an Independent candidate in the 2012 city council elections.
She was one of the long-established Labour Councillors in Glasgow who was de-selected and not allowed to stand again. ‘I thought at the time the way things were done was not democratic,’ she said as she handed out flyers at polling stations for Ward 11- Hillhead where she was one of 13 candidates.
‘I read about my de-selection in the Herald. And my feedback form from my interview pre-dated the interview. My former Labour colleagues have all been good, it is just the Party machinery which is wrong. I thought about it and was tempted to go quietly into the night but after supporting the Party through the budget and listening to the debate in the Labour Group afterwards, I decided not to let things go. I felt the Party had left me.’
Not tempted to join any other party – ‘ I’ve been a Labour Party member since I chaired the Labour Club at University ‘ – she decided at the last possible minute to stand as an Independent candidate.
‘Hyndland people have been very nice and they know me,’ she said. Her family rallied round with her daughter and grandson among the team of supporters handing out leaflets to voters at local polling stations.
Environmental issues of bins, roads and clean streets were top of people’s lists on her campaign trail. Buses were also a big issue: ‘De-regulation is the only answer. But what is happening with the loss of routes is dreadful.’ Ruth also has strong views on education and how it has to be improved to enable young people to attain their true potential.
‘I thought going Independent would be like losing a limb. But it’s not been like that,’ she said cheerfully. ‘If I’m elected, my constituents know I’ll work hard for them all, as they can see from my track record. If I’m not elected – well – I’d have more time to spend with my grandsons.’
The rodeo is coming to town on Saturday 14 April at the Glasgow Vet School Campus, 464 Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH. Organised by second year students of Glasgow University Veterinary Medicine Association, the popular event attracted 3000 people last year and raised £15,000 for charities. This year will be the 52nd rodeo and will mark the 150th year of the Vet School. (For more information on 150th celebration see: – http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/vet/aboutus/vet150/)
The beneficiaries from this year’s fund-raising will be: Scottish SPCA, Canine Partners, Riding for the Disabled and the Vet School Fund.
Since October the valiant band has been planning the charity day. They’ve received sponsorship from Burns Pet Food, Pets4 Vets; Les Ramblas Restaurant, Pet Crematorium and other companies. The committee and first year students played their part last month by bag packing in various large stores in Bearsden, Knightswood, Hillhead and Maryhill. Said their spokeswoman:’We raised money and received a great response from the public.’ They also received an unsolicited commendation for ‘brightening up a dull Saturday grocery shop’ with their yellow t-shirts, good manners and fun.
Companies have donated a wide range of prizes for the raffle, which will be sold by first year students from March until the Rodeo in April. The prizes range from a signed Scottish rugby shirt, family passes to Landmark Park, a Tanglewood TW29 DV acoustic guitar and bag, four club badges to Ayr Race Course, a chain saw sculpture and many dinner and beauty vouchers. To buy tickets at £1 each, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Thursday12 April, the committee will stage a Sub crawl for all veterinary students to raise money for the Rodeo and as a final de-stress event prior to their professional exams.
On the day of the Rodeo, attractions will include fun family rides and displays, craft stalls, animal tent, dog show, reptiles and small animals tent.
The Hillhead by-election was a close run thing with Ken Andrew for the Scottish National Party (SNP) winning the Ward 11 seat by 81 votes over Martin McElroy of Labour.
That margin rose to 110 at stage six of the Single Transferable Vote (STV) when the count was taken in the new Hillhead Primary School last night, Thursday 17 November.
Said Glasgow City Council’s Labour leader, Gordon Matheson, afterwards at the count: ‘There’s all to play for in May.’ And SNP Deputy Leader, Nicola Sturgeon used exactly the same phrase when she issued her congratulations.
In a shockingly low turnout of 3172 voters (13.65%) of whom 40 managed to spoil their voting paper, the SNP took a 44% share with Labour not far behind with 40%.
Newly elected Councillor Ken Andrews said:’I'm privileged to have been elected for Hillhead and I’m looking forward to going straight to work with people across the area, building on the work done by my predecessor George Roberts. SNP Councillor Roberts died in September after a short illness.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, has been appointed Chairman of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) with Bailie Hanzala Malik supporting him as Vice-Chair.
Councillor Matheson is a graduate of both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities. He is a chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. First elected to Glasgow City Council in 1999, he is a Councillor in Ward 10 (Anderston/City).
Previously, Councillor Matheson had been City Treasurer and Executive Member for Education and had served as a board member of a variety of organisations including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Court of the University of Strathclyde.
Commenting on his appointment, Councillor Matheson, said: ‘I am delighted to be taking up the position as Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.
‘The economy remains at the heart of this administration’s strategy and the dynamic activity undertaken by GCMB in securing major events and conferences for the city helps support Glasgow’s tourism industry, which employs more than 30,000 people.
‘GCMB is known for punching well above its weight and it is vital that it continues to have the necessary support to continue this work.’
Bailie Malik is a Councillor in Ward 11 (Hillhead) and has been a Glasgow City Councillor for 15 years.
He has a BSc in computing with business administration and has served as Chair of Life Long Learning; Senior Vice Convener of Education; Convener of Development and Regeneration Services and was until recently Executive Member of International Affairs.
Bailie Malik, said: ‘As Vice-Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, I relish the opportunity to help drive leisure and business tourism into Glasgow and feel sure that my experience gained in international affairs will be useful in this regard.’
Glasgow Botanic Gardens in the West End is the venue for a Christmas book fair on Saturday, 19 December and Sunday, 20 December.
The free event, organised by Books at the Botanics (BATB), offers rare and second-hand books. Valuations can also be given, BATB say.
The sale takes place at the Hopkirk Building, 730 Great Western Road, from 10am to 4.30pm on both days.
The group’s website can be found at www.booksatthebotanics.co.uk.
Police investigating the murder of radio presenter Nasim Jamil have renewed their appeal for information after it emerged her assailant’s clothes may have been bloodstained in the attack.
The Awaz FM agony aunt, 54, died as a result of severe head injuries she sustained in the ‘brutal’ assault at her home, 128 Byres Road, Hillhead, on Wednesday, 9 December.
Detective Chief Inspector Louise Raphael, officer in charge of the investigation, said:
‘We believe she attended a doctor’s appointment nearby around 1.30pm. I would urge anyone who saw Nasim anytime between then and early evening to come forward.
‘Byres Road is always busy with shoppers, pedestrians and motorists, and I appreciate that it may be difficult to remember seeing someone entering a close. However, I am interested in speaking to anyone who saw anyone leaving the close at 128 Byres Road on Wednesday.
‘Did anyone notice someone running from the area or someone behaving in a suspicious manner? It may well be that the person responsible’s clothing will have been bloodstained. It is important that we speak to any person who could provide that little bit of information that could prove vital to our investigation.’
Any members of the public with information can contact the Police incident room on 0141 532 3559 or call Crimestoppers freephone number 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.
Five adventurers who left the comfort of the Liquid Ship, their favourite pub in the West End, for the windswept and interesting climes of John O’ Groats, have raised more than £5,000 for Maggie’s Centre.
The team – Martin Johnstone, Adam Alexander, Lee Vickers and Glen Marrilier – buddied up with Kevin McLelland, whose wife, Chantelle, has successfully battled thyroid cancer, to make the gruelling 400-mile cycle trip North in five days.
Looking back on a journey that had more than its fair share of sun, rain, bumps, bruises and punctures, Kevin said: ‘We were inspired by the sense of achievement, absolutely exhausted, looking forward to the next challenge whatever that might be, and in need of a cold pint.’
He added: ‘Chantelle had cancer a couple of years ago. At the time we were provided with fantastic care by the NHS. However, the real need for support came well after the surgery.
‘Both of us were unaware how big an effect cancer would have on us after the event. We turned to a fantastic organisation, the Maggie’s Centre, who offered us so much help and support.’
West End kids from three local schools are no slow-coaches when it comes to expressing their creative talents.
Young people from Hillhead High School along with Hillhead and Willowbank Primary Schools celebrated their work being unveiled on Thursday 1 October at the launch of a mural which sits between Kelvinbridge Underground and the bridge at Gibson Street.
The mural runs 90 metres long and shows images that represent transport in Glasgow past and present.
The process of turning the kids’ drawings and paintings into an environmental art spray paint piece was masterminded by Glasgow based 27-year-old artist Sam Bates.
Sam said; ‘I have done similar size work in the past but this feels bigger, and it creates more of a buzz with the involvement from kids in the local community. It has a really positive feel and the kids have a sense of ownership with it. There was certainly no shortage of ideas from them.’
Daisy McEwan, 13, a second year pupil from Hillhead High School was delighted to see her work up on the wall.
She said; ‘I like the concept. I came up with the idea of drawing a doll in the pram and it’s been done really well – I think it looks great.’
There was input too from local primary schools; 10-year-old Hannah Khan from Hillhead Primary explained how it brightened up the whole area. She said; ‘It looks really nice and I’m proud that we all helped.’
Vishal Dhanda, 11, from Hillhead Primary was equally pleased, but admitted he had his doubts in the beginning. He said; ‘I was nervous at first as I didn’t know if people would like the idea of a giant mural on a wall. But now being here today – with all these people here – I can see it’s really great’.
The project was made possible through the work of Glasgow Community and Safety Services (GCSS) and with funding from Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde Police and Clean Glasgow Initiative.
Councillor George Roberts from the Hillhead ward, explained that they didn’t have to look far for inspiration to aim for the public art mural.
He said; ‘Steven McGeady from GCSS and I were fed up with the vandalism on the wall and it was costing £5,000 a year to keep clean.
‘We took inspiration from the mural just outside the underground station and thought we could do something similar, but using a transport theme.
‘The kids involved were all taken to the Transport Museum to gain inspiration, and I think that comes through in the work.’
PLAY IT AGAIN SAM
Around 40 campaigners trying to save the threatened Vinicombe Street Botanic Gardens garage from demolition and redevelopment proposed by owners Arnold Clark Automobiles, were urged to lodge new objections to the new planning applications.
Said Dr Sam Maddra, chair of the Save the Botanic Gardens Garage group: ‘This garage is at risk of being demolished. Thanks to the efforts of our campaign, it has been A listed which means its importance is nationally and internationally recognised. Demolition is unthinkable. But people must lodge objections again because this is a new application for planning permission. All previous objections are no longer relevant because they apply only to that previous application.’
Ann Laird of Friends of Glasgow West, a voluntary amenity society, gave detailed advice on how to frame objections. ‘It is a little like being at a wedding when the question is asked – ‘does anyone here know of any legal impediment to thsi marriage?’ – It is not a case of you don’t want the marriage to go ahead because you don’t like the idea. You must have objections which can stand up in law.
She pointed out that there was an application to demolish the Vinicombe Street garage, leaving the facade and there was a separate application for a new building. ‘It is a technical game, but you must lodge objections to both applications. That can be done in the one letter.’
The meeting, held in Hillhead Library community hall, was chaired by Jean Charsley who is chair of Hillhead Community Council. She urged everyone to spread the word and lodge objections. ‘This development is contrary to the City Plan for the area.’
According to Ann Laird, if there was no public fuss over the intentions of Arnold Clark, ‘Glasgow City Council just might let them do what they want to do.’
A spokeswoman for Arnold Clark told the LOCAL NEWS the company had no comment to make. She explained that when an application was going through the planning process, the applicant was inhibited from making any comment as the planning authorities could take exception to their decision being pre-empted in any way.
The Botanic Gardens Garage in Vinicombe Street off Byres Road is the oldest surviving multi-storey car park in the UK. It was built between 1896 and 1912 and was designed by David Valentine Wyllie. Efforts by the Save the Botanic Gardens Garage campaign resulted in the premises being ‘A’ listed. The building is owned by Arnold Clark Automobiles. The company has submitted a new application to Glasgow City Council’s planning department for partial demolition and redevelopment of the A-listed structure.
Pressure from the campaigners a year ago, resulted in Arnold Clark Automobiles withdrawing its initial application to demolish the garage and build flats and retail units on the site. A new application has been made by the company which again shows that the garage buildings would be demolished and replaced by a four-storey complex for mixed residential, leisure and retail use but saving the facade.