It is appropriate on St Valentine’s day for me to say goodbye to something close to my heart – the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW.
The last issue of this independent community newspaper was published in December 2010 – number 151 since 1997. Since then I have been in the process of winding up the holding company – Yam Publications Ltd.
The terrific team of nine people – freelance journalists, sales staff and administrator and production director, Jo Anne Kessler, have all gone. Now I’m about to go my own way too – back to writing as a freelance, contributing to this website and managing the weekly ENEWS which, I hope, will enable a continuum of true, local news from around the communities in this wonderful city of Glasgow, to circulate.
I thank the team – especially Jo Anne and the many excellent journalists who have worked for the LOCAL NEWS – for their support and input. I thank the advertisers whose vital contribution kept the show on the road for so long. And I thank the communities who gave their trust and their stories to the paper.
Without a free flow of information – balanced, honest and politically unbiased – democracy does not exist. Some of us will try to keep that flag flying in whatever way we can. Just watch this space!
The LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW is currently looking for a professional, experienced, advertising sales executive who would be interested in becoming a partner in the business.
Since its inception, this newspaper has been owned and managed by two people. Due to retirement and company re-structuring, we are looking for one individual to come on board with the necessary skills and experience to allow this small business to continue to flourish and to grow. This is a huge opportunity for the right person. If you think you have the necessary sales skills and entrepreneurial potential, please call us on 0141 352 9736
Grace and Jo Anne
Hallo everyone and welcome to the 150th edition of the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW which is now being distributed. If you haven’t seen a copy, yet, please call us on 0141 352 9736 and we’ll let you know where to pick up the paper. This website has some of the stories carried in the 150th edition but, of course, there are a lot of others featured in the 24 paged newspaper. And there are loads of great savings to be made by using the advertisers who have offered special anniversary discounts. The competitions give readers a chance to win a month’s free membership at LA Fitness and a chance to win an exclusive bottle of Chivas Regal 18 Gold Signature Whisky. So get your free copy of the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW, sit down with a cuppa and enjoy a GOOD READ! If you have a story you think should be in the DECEMBER issue of the paper, contact us quickly on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin Mackie, who has been a columnist with the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW for several years will be running in the Glasgow10K road race on Sunday 5 September.
Over the years he has been writing about the Southern Necropolis, Oatlands and now British Sign Language (BSL) and the Deaf communities.
He said: ‘This being my 26th year taking part in the Glasgow event…(phew how time flies eh!), I would really appreciate any donations towards my chosen charity – the West of Scotland Deaf Children’s Society. They do a fantastic job.
‘My fundraising page can be found at… www.justgiving.com/colmacglasgowbsl
‘Here`s hoping for some good weather on the day and I`m sure there will be a fantastic turnout…just like last year. Thanks.’
See his websites:
The LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW celebrated moving into our new office at 142 West Nile Street, Glasgow, by having a party this week.
Columnist Colin Mackie who writes about British Sign Language (BSL) and his niece Nicole, who also signs for the deaf, took the chance to instruct LOCAL NEWS staff and guests in some finger spelling to show the letters of LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW.
See if you can spell out a word from this demonstration.
Photograph: Stuart Maxwell
Margaret Curran has taken Glasgow East for Labour – turning John Mason’s 365 vote majority in 2008 into a 12,000 vote majority for Labour this time.
The candidates polled as follows: Frances Curran, SSP, 454; Margaret Curran, Labour, 19,797; Joseph Finnie, BNP, 637; Hamira Khan, Conservative, 1453; John Mason, SNP, 7957; Arthur Misty Thackeray, UKIP, 209; Kevin Ward, LibDem, 1617.
Speaking afterwards, Margaret Curran said: “This is a vistory for Glasgow and for Scotland. I wil not share a platform with the BNP. This result is a damning indictment of the SNP, Glasgow is resisting them and the people of Glasgow don’t trust them. I will defend the working people of Glasgow and I will not vote with the Tories at Westminster.”
John Robertson believes his message of bread-and-butter issues to the people of Glasgow North West will see him returned as the constituency’s MP.
‘We went everywhere in the constituency. We took our message with us, put out our leaflets, we were in every polling station and we knocked on as many door as we could.
‘Where was the opposition? They didn’t do anything – and if you treat the electorate with contempt don’t be surprised if they bite you back.’
John said there were two main issues that resonated with people in Glasgow North. One was the possibility of return to a Conservative Westminster government.
‘People who had lived through the 1980s, older people especially, told me “You can’t allow this man (Conservative Leader David Cameron) to win. I’m not going back to what is was like back then”.
‘The other issue came from young mothers, more than a few of whom are worried about Child Tax Credits. Single mothers, married mothers, are worried they might lose their tax credits. The Tories are saying they’ll stick by them but everything’s up for review.
‘These people cannot afford to work unless they get tax credits and get help with their childminding. If they can’t get help, they can’t get work.’
John added candidly: ‘We’ve taken a bit of a doing on pensions and people want to blame someone. Having said that, when you go into the detail of what’s happened to pensioners, particularly pensioners in poorer areas, they realise all the extra bits (allowances) they have and they don’t want to give them up. They don’t want them consolidated into their pension because that’s what takes them out of the poverty trap.’
On the broader picture, John believes ‘the SNP have been decimated’.
‘I don’t expect them all to come back to us,’ he said. ‘I noticed in some ballot boxes the Tories were coming second, a very poor second – and even that I didn’t expect.’
General Election count: 1am Friday 7 May 2010
by Alan McCrorie and Martin Graham
pix Stuart Maxwell
‘The big issue is that Labour and the Tories are neck-and-neck,’ said John Mason. ‘The people of Glasgow, it would appear, are falling back on the idea that Labour is the safest option.’
John, who won Glasgow East from Labour in 2008 by 365 votes after a hard-fought by-election, was the man credited by SNP Leader Alex Salmond as having triggered an earthquake in Scottish politics.
Tonight it seems that particular faultline may have been sealed. However, John discounts the feeling among some Nationalists that a lack of SNP presence in UK-wide debates has had an impact at the polls.
‘We’ll know if the debates have had an effect by how well the LibDems have done. In theory, if the debates have had an effect the LibDem vote is going to soar but I’ve not seen that happening here.’
On the doorstep issues, John added: ‘I think people have believed the Tory cuts will be much more severe than the Labour cuts. I remain to be convinced on that one.
‘I have a feeling that the vote here has a lot to do with tradition. I asked a woman in Parkhead what Labour would have to do for her not to vote Labour.
“I’ll always vote Labour,” she told me. I asked if Labour abolished the pension would she vote Labour, she said “yes”.’
Osama Saeed, SNP candidate for Glasgow Central, appeared to be in quite a subdued mood as he arrived at the count at around 10.35pm.
Two weeks ago he felt quite bullish about the SNP’s chances of taking the seat. Tonight he is wondering aloud if voters are sticking to their traditional Glasgow Labour allegiances, perhaps fearing an onslaught on welfare and pensions by any Cameron Conservative UK government.
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.