What better way to celebrate 15 years of Glasgow Film Office (GFO) bringing stars of screen to the city than having the latest film which has used the place for locations, up for an award at Cannes Film Festival.
‘The Angels’ Share’ directed by Ken Loach, will know on Sunday 27 May whether it wins an accolade or not. It will have its UK premiere in Glasgow next week.
The producer, Rebecca O’Brien, said: ‘Ken Loach, Paul Laverty and I have made four films in Glasgow in the past 15 years and have had the support of the Glasgow Film Office on every one. They’ve been terrifically helpful and often made difficult things happen for us. So we salute the GFO on their 15th birthday and will raise a glass in celebration!’
Offering a free service to all types of productions from feature films to tv commercials, the GFO works closely with other council services, Strathclyde Police and the productions to make sure their activities have minimum impact on local residents and businesses while delivering maximum economic impact to the city.
Established in 1997, the GFO has attracted around £200 million worth of film business to Glasgow.
Last year was a vintage time when major productions World War Z, Cloud Atlas and Under The Skin alone, brought in £20.15 million with stars such as Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and Scarlett Johansson working in town.
Other notable film which have used Glasgow for a backdrop included: Burnistoun, Gary: Tank Commander, Lip Service, My Name Is Joe, Rab C Nesbitt, Red Road, River City, Sony Bravia ‘Paint’ commercial, Still Game, Sweet Sixteen, Taggart, The House of Mirth.
Gerard Butler was named GFO’s Ambassador in 2009 to help raise the city’s profile and demonstrate its capability as a production base. Around 50 organisations have now signed up to the Glasgow Film Partnership – to promote Glasgow’s ‘film-friendly’ reputation – details at : http://www.glasgowfilm.com/filming_in_glasgow/film_partnership.asp.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: ‘Glasgow Film Office has been a tremendous success over the past 15 years, bringing more than £200 million to our economy. The list of familiar productions, shows how it has been an industry hub since 1997. We look forward to its continued success in bringing many more productions here.’
Seeing Scotland on film or television was important in the decision of 1 in 5 visitors to come here. With more than 530 locations in its database, the city can serve all types of companies.
Senior figures in the film industry – such as Jeremy Kleiner, the producer of World War Z – have praised the work of the GFO in facilitating the smooth running of their productions.
For more information on the Glasgow Film Office, see: www.glasgowfilm.com.
Johann Lamont, the new Scottish Labour Party Leader wasted no time in appointing her shadow cabinet.
Meeting for the first time in this week leading to Christmas, the Shadow Cabinet sorted out their portfolios.
A mix of experienced former ministers and newer voices ‘to speak on the important issue for Scotland,’ the Leader said: ‘Our job will not just be to hold the Scottish Government to account, but to show our party’s ambition again. Together we must set out and convince the people of Scotland of Labour’s vision for our country. Ours is a positive vision for a prosperous Scotland that can pay its own way, a wealth-creating Scotland that uses its wealth to build a fairer country, a Scotland determined that not one person’s talent is wasted, a Scotland that challenges all Scots to be all that they can be, and which creates the conditions in which we can reach our aspirations.’
Flanked by her deputy, Anas Sarwar and Margaret Curran, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, the Pollok MSP’s team is:
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth – Ken Macintosh
Shadow Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism – Rhoda Grant
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy – Jackie Baillie
Shadow Minister for Public Health – Richard Simpson
Shadow Minister for Social Justice – Drew Smith
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning – Hugh Henry
Shadow Minister for Children and Young People – Neil Bibby
Shadow Minister for Learning and Skills – Neil Findlay
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, External Affairs and the Commonwealth Games – Patricia Ferguson
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment – Richard Baker
Shadow Minister for Housing and Transport – Elaine Murray
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice – Lewis Macdonald
Shadow Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs – Jenny Marra
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Planning – Sarah Boyack
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment – Claire Baker
Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change – Claudia Beamish
Shadow Minister for Youth Employment (attending shadow cabinet and working with education and finance teams) – Kezia Dugdale
Scottish Labour Parliamentary Business Manager – Paul Martin
Chief Whip – James Kelly
Shadow Whip – John Pentland
In addition, Johann Lamont has asked Tom Harris MP to review how Scottish Labour uses technology to campaign. He will report to the deputy leader Anas Sarwar. Mr Harris will also work with Shadow Cabinet Secretary Richard Baker to advise on capital investment and infrastructure.
In making her final announcements to complete her team Johann Lamont said: ‘Scottish Labour has an excellent set of newly-elected MSPs and I am very pleased to have appointed eight of them to front bench roles. Together, over the coming months, we will be working hard to change Scottish Labour.’
In the new year she intends to make further shadow cabinet appointments from beyond the world of politics.
MSP Johann Lamont is the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party, She takes over from Iain Gray and has a wider remit.
She was elected from three tiers of Labour Party voters by a substantial majority of 51.77% over MSP Ken Macintosh who polled 40.28% and Westminster MP Tom Harris who polled 7.95%.
Her deputy is Anas Sarwar Westminster MP. He won his post by 51.10% against MP Ian Davidson who polled 33.28% and MSP Lewis Macdonald who polled 15.62%.
The results of the leadership campaigns were announced on Saturday 17 December in Edinburgh.
Both the new leader and her deputy are Glasgow based. Representing Pollok, former teacher Johann was brought up in Anderston of Gaelic speaking parents from Tiree. Former dentist Anas, whose seat is Glasgow Central, is a Southsider whose father was the first Muslim MP at Westminster.
Said Johann: ‘While I am delighted and honoured to be elected leader of Scottish Labour Party, I believe the real work starts now. In May, we fell short of people’s expectations and they turned away from us, unable to find a reason to give us their support. If we are to earn the right to serve the country, our challenge is to listen, to learn lessons and to demonstrate that we can change. I am confident that once again people will recognise that Scottish Labour is the party which understands their lives, can deliver their hopes and will stand up for Scotland.’
Added Anas: ‘It is a tremendous honour and privilege to have been elected as the new deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party. I want to thank members from across the movement for their fantastic support. Scottish Labour will always put the interests of the people of Scotland first and work to build a more inclusive, equal and prosperous country: an ambitious Scotland, within a successful United Kingdom, not just talking about change, but leading it. I will work resolutely behind our new leader to make sure that the changes that are needed happen. This process of renewal is for one key purpose: to give the people of Scotland a Labour Party that they can trust, a Labour Party they can believe in, and a Labour Party that can win.’
Senior Labour Party figures congratulated the new leader.
Ed Miliband MP, leader of the Labour Party, said: Many congratulations to Johann, the new and the first Scottish Labour leader. It was right to create this powerful new position which carries with it the weight and authority of the whole party in Scotland. Scottish Labour needed to make this radical change to reflect the reality of the devolution that Labour delivered. Johann’s mission is to win back the trust of Scots and challenge the SNP – a party that is cutting capital spending and public sector jobs faster even than George Osborne. As the leader of the whole Scottish party, she will command the support of all the Scottish Labour Parliamentarians, and I look forward to working with her and Anas as colleagues and friends.’
Margaret Curran MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, said: ‘I warmly congratulate Johann and Anas, who both ran excellent campaigns. This election has been fought in a comradely and good-natured fashion, not least because all the candidates know we have to change and change radically, but it has also invigorated our local parties and many of our supporters. I and the 41 Scottish Labour MPs who hold the UK government to account day in, day out, look forward to working with our new leader to make sure that Scottish Labour is back on the park doing what the people of our country expect: speaking out and doing what is right for Scotland.’
For more information on the leadership election and process see: http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/leadership
The £53 million White Cart Water Flood Prevention Scheme was recognised at the prestigious Saltire Society Award for Civil Engineering, it was announced last night on 20 October.
Scotland’s largest flood prevent scheme now protects 1750 homes and business from the risk of flooding on the southside of Glasgow.
The Scheme was entered for two Saltire Award categories – Environmental and Project.
It won a commendation in the Projects category for ‘proactive collaboration in the successful delivery of a holistic solution to flooding’.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: ‘The commendation for the White Cart scheme is a brilliant achievement. I would like to commend the hard work and commitment of everyone who was involved in this engineering project. This scheme will make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of people and businesses in Glasgow and remove the fear of their properties being damaged by flooding.’
The Saltire Society Civil Engineering Award, established in 1981, is made jointly with the Scottish Association of the Institution of Civil Engineers. It is intended to encourage the highest standards in the design, conservation, environmentally sustainable construction and construction of civil engineering projects in Scotland.
The 2011 awards were supported by Transport Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Scotland), the Building and Civil Engineering Benefit Schemes, the Association of Consulting Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.
Westminster MP Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central) is the latest to bid for Labour Party leadership in Scotland. He’s set his sights on the deputy leader post and joins Westminster senior colleague Tom Harris (Glasgow South) and MSPs Johann Lamont (Pollok) and Ken Mackintosh (Eastwood) who had earlier declared their interest in being leader.
Sarwar, who has been a constant supporter of the Glasgow inspired campaign for human rights in the Gambia, put his hat into the ring this weekend in time for the Labour Party conference in Liverpool (Sat 24/Sun 25 September) when the Scottish rule changes will be debated. He said: ‘I want to work with the Party leader to make sure we are an electable force again, working for the whole of Scotland.’ He pledged to travel throughout the whole of Scotland to listen to people ‘from all walks of life’. He said the vision had to be one of confidence in the future of Scotland. With ‘honest analysis’ of where Labour is in Scotland and what its message is and how it project it, he said: ‘I want to make sure we are an electable force again, working for the whole of Scotland.’
Labour Party rule changes allowed Westminster MP Tom Harris to declare his interest in the campaign which had previously been restricted to MSPs. Aiming to replace present Scottish Labour Party leader Iain Gray - who sought refuge in a sandwich shop when confronted with pensioners asking him to challenge the Tory tax cuts – Tom Harris was clear about his strategy. ‘We need to appeal to people beyond the Labour Party. The battle to win votes will be won in the workplace, the high street, the tv studio, the council chamber, the board room and in the home, not just in a single debating chamber. As a Party we need to have a strong vision and a positive outlook to appeal to new voters.’ A constant Twitter contributor, has already taken his campaign out and is meeting groups of young people unconnected with politics, who use the social media networks he is already familiar with.
At Holyrood, Johann Lamont has been a noteable fighter for the Labour Party cause. And locally in Pollok, she has been an active elected representative. She said: ‘First, we have to re-build confidence and trust across Scotland. It can’t be a case of Labour telling others what to do. It has to be Labour listening. These are tough times and there are lots of challenges. We have to pull together and we need a strong Labour voice to protect the young and the vulnerable and to hold the Government to account.’
Ken MacIntosh was born in Inverness of a Gaelic speaking father from Skye and a mother from Peebles in the Borders. Early in September he led a campaign against a waste incinerator in Newton Mearns.
He said a new, positive, vision for a strong Scotland is needed. ‘Devolution is the reason I got into politics. I believe the Scottish Parliament is there to build a stronger Scotland, but our Party needs to do more to harness the potential of devolution to improve the lives of the Scottish people – this is my priority if elected leader.’
He added: ‘It’s time to change the Scottish Labour Party. We need to be less top-down, have a strong positive vision and we must use the new young talent we now have. This contest is not just about leading the Scottish Labour Party. I want to win the hearts and minds of Scots to win the next election and become the next First Minister.’
A special Scottish Labour Party conference will be held on 29 October when the formal campaigns will be launched. The new Leader of the Scottish Labour Party will be announced by 17 December.