All six of the infamous Red Road high flats were ‘blown down’ today but remnants of two of them remained after the explosion. Hours after the event, no one at Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) was able to comment on whether this was intended or not. Nor did the social landlord – part of the Wheatley Group – release the normal details of how much explosive was used, how many tonnes of rubble would be created etc.
One insider, however, said that the steel structure of the building was such that four times the normal amount of explosive would have been used and the two bits of building remaining standing would have been ‘not expected.’
And by early evening it was understood that hundreds of people were being advised to ‘look at the GHA website’ to see where they might spend the night if they were unable to return to their homes because of the unsafe, remaining structures.
An emergency inspection was believed to be underway as this story
is being written.
Local people in their hundreds stood at various vantage points for hours to wait for the massive implosion. They were well pleased. Cheers and a round of applause accompanied the massive cloud of dust which followed the collapse of the blocks. The dust spread over a very wide area.
Said trainee photographer Joe Graham: ‘That was quick!’ as he scrolled through his images.
Local resident Joan Flanagan said: ‘That was magic. I like big bangs and love to see things being destructed like that.’
Bobby Burns, also a local resident said: ‘That’s bitter sweet to see. It is one chapter of life closed now. But I suppose it opens a new one of re-generation for the area.’ He said he’d lived in two different tower blocks and commented: ‘They’ve both gone now. They were blown down too.’
The huge operation to clear the surrounding area of people began early on Sunday morning. ‘Two thousand five hundred people had to be moved,’ said one GHA official spokesman. ‘That takes time.’
Some resistance was expected from one householder – Tina Suffredini who chairs the local residents’ association. But when the time came, the GHA’s ‘plan B’ to have Sheriff Officers physically remove the lady from her property, was not required and she left her home of her own accord.
MSP Patricia Ferguson, who spent 11 years of her early girlhood in one of the Red Road flats said: ‘These needed to come down. I hope the new developments will bring job opportunities and community facilities and the GHA is consulting with local people to do that.’
For reasons outwith my control, this website has been inactive for a month. Apologies to regular followers of www.localnewsglasgow.co.uk but now we’re back on track we aim to bring you the news that others usually don’t publish.
By way of a catch-up:
There are 15 days to the Euro Elections ! Wow! And the only bit of information through my door has been a Ukip leaflet and a Labour Party booklet. So I’m still looking for the names of the candidates to vote for on Thursday 22 May 2014.
There are 77 days to the opening of the Commonwealth Games in July. On Monday 12 May there will be another opportunity to buy tickets. Suddenly from no tickets being available last autumn and the disappointment of bidding and getting nothing, there are now an extra 100,000 available. Ticket prices are the same – starting at £15 for an adult (£7.50 for under 16 or over 60). The excitement is building up and a series of local events to advise communities of street closures, traffic disruptions etc is on the board. But as a local resident, nothing has come through my door to invite me or inform me.
There are 134 days to the crucial vote on September 18 for/against independence for Scotland. The debates are hotting up and more sensible analysis and in-depth consideration is being given to the multitude of major issues around the idea. With the declaration by the Sunday Herald newspaper in favour of YES, there is a slightly more level playing field within the print media arena.
But on that vital topic as on the Euro elections and the Commonwealth Games, the main place for most people to get their news, air their views and select data to support their stand, is on social media networks.
Old fashioned newspapers, balanced radio and tv programmes, in-depth studies of major issues affecting each one of us, are as remote at the remote control and much less powerful.
As the Govan by-election hots up, each candidate was asked what he or she would do first should they be elected to Ward 5 on Thursday 10 October 2013.
This website used whichever social media form each of the 14 candidates seemed to prefer to contact them. The results of the responses will be published as they arrive. The first candidate to reply was:
George LAIRD Independent
As an SNP member in September 2010, I proposed the Scottish National Police Force and Fire Service at the SNP National Assembly. So residents will be getting someone with a decent political track record.
A lot of my ideas – such as social media development – were picked up by the party.
I have been on TV and have spoken in several debates on Scottish independence. As far as I am aware, I am the only candidate to have election videos, so I am taking this election seriously.
I am a local resident and pledging to be a full time councillor. Too many councillors are part time and invisible. For example, 21 people are elected to represent Govan at various levels of government. I don’t think we are getting value for money.
If people want real change then we have to start in our streets and in our community and speak out.
John KANE Scottish Labour Party
First time candidate, John Kane is 65 and has lived in Ibrox for more than 25 years.
Said John: ‘If elected, my priority will be to ensure the Govan area continues to benefit from the Council’s multi-million pound investment and regeneration programme. Having spoken to thousands of people, I will be focussing on the issues that matter. I want to improve quality of life by campaigning for tougher action on littering, dog fouling and fly tipping and ensuring local people have greater access to employment.’
John believes passionately in Labour’s core values of community, fairness and social justice and will be a constant campaigner to ensure he is fully aware of the local issues that affect the people he seeks to represent. As a sole carer for the past 15 years, John has a deep understanding of the impact that disability has on people’s everyday life.
As other candidates send their 150 word statement to this website, we’ll publish it. Each of the 14 has been asked.