Thursday 21 March 2013
Glasgow City Council will – today – almost certainly decide to close three of the seven day centres currently used by 520 people with learning needs.
More than 300 angry people who consider the centres vital to the well-being of their families, agreed tactics to persuade the city’s Executive to reverse the expected closures of Berryknowes in Cardonald, and Summerston and Hinshaw Street in Maryhill. Some of them will be at the City Chambers to make their voices heard.
The mass meeting on Sunday elected representatives to continue pressure on the Council. An 11 point action plan was also agreed unanimously.
Dr Christopher Mason, Glasgow’s official Carers’ Champion elected by the Council, admitted his report hadn’t made much impression on the Council decision makers. He had proposed a review of the services for people with learning needs before any decision on closures. ‘There is not enough money to run seven centres. Therefore they need to shut three. But we have to ask the question: ‘After the centres are closed, will the 320 people who attend them, suddenly have got better ?’ The answer, of course, is no.’
SNP Councillor Susan Aitken for Langside Ward said that ‘constructive suggestion, after constructive suggestion’ had been ‘blocked and shouted down’ by the Labour group. ‘They have lost the moral argument and their language has become offensive. It is disgraceful. This decision (to close the centres) was made a long time ago and the administration don’t want to listen. The Labour group are in power and they’ve made it clear they’ll use that power. But their decision on Thursday has no legitimacy. Not one single Labour Councillor is present at this meeting to listen.’
Bob Doris SNP MSP who has presented two motions against the closure of the centres in the Scottish Parliament told the meeting: ‘It is unacceptable that a Glasgow Labour Council is closing these day centres. They are lying when they say they have to do this. They can’t use legislation as an excuse. Other local authorities are doing things better and when the SNP administration in Dundee got it wrong, they had the humility to admit it and start again. Glasgow’s approach is a shambles and an affront. Neither services users nor carers have been asked what they want and that is not acceptable.’
Karin Mc Sherry, a 50-year-old user of one of the centres said: ‘I love my centre. It’s where I see my friends and use the computers.’ Her sister Eileen explained how much the centre meant to her sister. She said: ‘When Karin was five, we were told she’d never learn to read or write. But our mother fought that. The centre has given her a life far beyond what had been mapped out for her. She has friends, goes to college, done drama and computing. The Labour administration does not represent constituents like us. It represents the Labour Party.’
Brian Smith, Secretary of Glasgow branch of UNISON union which helped organise the meeting in the Radisson Blu hotel, said: ‘We are shoulder to shoulder with you in opposing any closures.’
A similar message came from Ian Hood, co-ordinator of the Learning Disability Alliance for Scotland. He gave detailed figures of how spending on learning disabilities in Glasgow was much smaller proportionately than the budget for older people and even less than the rate of inflation. ‘We’re in this for the long haul,’ he said. ‘Glasgow’s action is discriminatory against people with learning disabilities.’
Glasgow City SNP Councillor, Billy McAllister, speaking from the floor of the meeting, said: ‘The people of this city need to waken up. They are being treated with total contempt.’ He recommended that families concerned in the day centre closures should make Councillors’ lives ‘misery.’ He said: ‘Go along to their surgeries. There’s usually no-one there. Talk to them for three or four hours and tell them they were voted in to represent their constituents – not their political party.’
One carer outlined the time when social workers who’d rarely visited her, arrived in force and stayed for three hours. ‘We were exhausted,’ said the carer. ‘But we are still fighting and we won’t go away quietly. We have rights and we can make demands.’
Chairman Tommy Gorman said a carer who was called ‘obstructive’ by social works’ people was actually being ‘protective’ of their family. Later he said: ‘In the short term we’re not going to change the minds of the Councillors but we can vote them out next time round.’
Councillor Matt Kerr, Executive Member for Social Care on Glasgow City Council later said: ‘The way social care is to be delivered will be completely changed by the Scottish Government’s self-directed support legislation and we have to manage that change.
“We believe that a Public Social Partnership offers the best possible way ahead as providers, service users and carers will all be involved in the design of future services.
‘We have also written to the Scottish Government asking for transitional funding to support the Public Social Partnership and to assist with the modernisation of our learning disability day services.
‘The reform of services would be phased in over a 12 month period and no-one will leave their day centre until they have a personal care plan that details exactly how they will be supported in future.’
by Alastair Brian
In the first law of its kind in Europe, the Scottish Parliament voted to introduce a minimum price of 50p per alcohol unit this week.
It will come into force in April next year and aims to cut alcohol consumption to save lives and cut the adverse impact alcohol misuse and over consumption has on health, crime and the economy. Four cans of lager will then cost a minimum of £7.92, a bottle of win will be from £4.69 and a bottle of vodka will retail for at least £13.13
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the move would have ‘a significant and historic impact.’
It was passed by 86 in favour, 1 against and 32 abstentions.
Labour Party MSPs abstained. Their Shadow Public Health Minister and former addictions specialist, Dr Richard Simpson MSP, said: ‘Scottish Labour offered to support the Bill if the SNP Government accepted our positive proposals to recoup the massive £125 million windfall this generates for big supermarkets and invest that money in tackling the root causes of alcohol misuse and dealing with its consequences.’ He went on: ‘By refusing to reverse its opposition to Scottish Labour’s progressive proposal, the SNP Government has thrown away an opportunity for the whole Parliament to be united in support of minimum pricing. Communities that suffer alcohol-related, anti-social behaviour, will be left wondering why – at a time when budgets across the public sector are tight and the alcohol misuse budget is being cut by SNP by over £3 million – the SNP has voted to stuff the pockets of supermarket shareholders with gold, instead of ploughing the £125 million windfall back into our police and health service that are left to deal with the effects of alcohol misuse.’
The one vote against the new law was a mistake by SNP’s Rosanna Cunningham who admitted she pressed the wrong button in a tweet, later.
However, the new law puts question marks against the authority of Scottish Labour Leader, Johann Lamont. It appears that while she and the Scottish Labour Party in Holyrood opposed the Bill despite their amendment, Scottish Labour MPs are expected to support such a minimum price policy at Westminster.
Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Glasgow, commented: ‘The fact that Labour’s Scottish MPs – including their Deputy Leader Anas Sarwar – support the policy as part of the Westminster Labour group, makes a mockery of Johann Lammont’s claim to be leader of all Scottish Labour. She had one last chance to put Labour’s dreadful politicking of the last few years, behind her and back a policy which she knows is in the interests of the people of Scotland.’
The minimum pricing measure is part of the wider strategic approach to tackling alcohol misuse set out in’Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action.’ Research shows that since 2000 enough alcohol is sold annually in Scotland to enable every adult aged over 16, to exceed the sensible male weekly guideline of 21 units every week. Scottish per capita alcohol sales are now almost a quarter (23%) higher than in England and Wales. While sales have fallen by around 8% from a 2005 peak in England and Wales, there has been no similar decline in Scotland.
In 2009-10 more than 100 people were discharged from hospital each day following alcohol related illness and injury. These discharge figures have more than quadrupled since the early 1980s.
Mortality figures, based on cases where alcohol use is considered to be the direct cause of death, may significantly underestimate the true scale of the problem. Now it is estimated that 1 in 20 deaths in Scotland is alcohol linked. This is almost twice as many as previously calculated. A quarter of male deaths and a fifth of female deaths in the 35-44 year age group, are thought to be alcohol attributable.
Scotland has one of the fastest growing rates of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in the world, leading the Chief Medical Officer to add alcoholic liver disease to the list of ‘big killers’, alongside heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Voices for Change in Glasgow North West held an excellent hustings in Drumchapel Community Centre on Thursday 26 April.
Seasoned trade unionists and community campaigners, the organisers had the event well managed with chairwoman Kate Walker keeping everyone, politely, in order.
An audience of more than 30 challenged the candidates on issues such as personalisation and support for people with learning disabilities. Personalisation is the new programme which assesses how much funding an individual with care needs requires and they decide how they will allocate that.
Each prospective candidate – or party representative – was given a few minutes to state their case then the audience piled in with their reflective questions.
First up was Stuart Maskell of the UKIP. He was honest about his lack of experience in social care service issues and was appreciative of being invited to the hustings. He recommended seeing the film The Iron Lady. ‘It isn’t about a Prime Minister, it is about a woman with dementia. Alzheimer’s is expected to affect 1 million residents of the UK by 2022 – only ten years from now,’ he said. ‘That is a worrying problem.’
John Docherty of the SNP explained his background of the Fire Service for 30 years and now his work for an SNP MSP. ‘We will work across the sectors,’ he promised. He took notes of various situations raised by individuals in the audience and said he would follow through on finding out what could be done in each person’s circumstances.
Judith Fisher for the Scottish Labour Party agreed Personalisation was a ‘huge change,’ but added: ‘We believe it is a fairer system.’ She also mentioned the party’s plan for more child care hours and for the creation of jobs alongside the existing successful apprentice scheme.
Spokesperson for the Scottish Socialist Party, Sandra Webster, pointed out that carers save the government an estimated £10 million a year. ‘But they are still only being paid lip service,’ she added.
Ronnie Stevenson who is a candidate in his own ward of Langside was from the Scottish Anti-Cuts Coalition. ‘People should have care according to their needs,’ he contended. ‘But that is not happening. I’ve seen social workers in tears because they are not allowed to give the service care they know that individual needs. They have been told – here is how much can be spent – and that’s all they’re getting!’
He also warned that if people think it is hard just now with the cuts it will get very much worse in the next two or three years. ‘That’s why the Scottish Anti-Cuts Coalition wants to get more people into Councils across Scotland. We don’t want any more cuts.’
Most of the audience had first hand experience of cuts in social services. Said one woman who works closely with the social work department: ‘A man I know, with learning difficulties has had his budget cut from £78,000 a year to £44,000. He can’t go out anywhere now and just sits watching tv.’
A support worker with 50 people on his list, told the meeting that every one of the people he knows who has completed the process to personalisation has had massive cuts in their funding. ‘I think they started with services users with learning disabilities first, because they would meet less resistance from them. It is very unfair expecting a person who has reading and writing difficulties to fill in a self assessment form of many pages. That person, and those who care for them, are getting very stressed.’ He also questioned whether anyone in the city had qualified for 100% personalisation package. ‘It is a terrible process,’ he commented.
Alan Gow who was a Voices for Change host at the top table, moved into the audience to make his personal statement: ‘There is no proper engagement with citizens and carers. There has to be proper discussion and decent, moral involvement to ensure carers are genuine partners in care. They are not, right now.’ He said plans were made ‘behind the scenes,’ Followed by a one day ‘consultation,’ in a ‘fancy hotel room’ then it was ‘all over.’ He continued: ‘The choice is take this or that and it is said with a smile. But what the people are really saying is don’t cut my budget, that’s my wages. The political parties are not listening!’ he concluded forcefully to loud applause from the audience.
A new charity supporting people with a rare bone marrow disease, has secured agreement from Star Wars creators Lucas Film to use their Stormtroooper logo to highlight their ‘Clone Wars.’
To be launched formally on Saturday 19 November 2011, at Newton Mearns Baptist Church by Patron Humza Yousaf, MSP, the charity is called PNH. This stands for Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH). People with this potentially life-threatening disease can suffer organ failure. Said Humza: ‘Those with a rare disease, such as PNH, not only suffer from that but also have to deal with feelings of isolation. They will very rarely come across others with the same condition.’
In PNH patients the bone marrow causes blood cells to be produced incorrectly. The percentage of abnormal PNH cells in the blood is called the “clone size” hence ‘Clone Wars.’
Founder and Chairperson of PNH Scotland, Lesley Loeliger also commented: ‘My aim in setting up the PNH Scotland charity is to raise awareness of this ultra-rare and debilitating bone marrow disease. As a PNH sufferer myself, I know how important it is to have a point of contact and up-to-date information and that is exactly what PNH Scotland intends to provide.’
Added Humza: ‘ I am honoured to be made Patron. Not only will the group raise awareness of the condition but it will give much needed support to those suffering, many of whom have no-one to turn to for help and advice.’ Lesley is a former neighbour of Humza’s. He said: ‘ I saw her when she was first diagnosed and have seen her right the way through her journey from then.’
Ruth Davidson has been voted leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. The former BBC journalist won by 2983 votes over Murdo Fraser’s 2417. The MSP has campaigned across Scotland among Party members. She said on being elected: ‘A political party is not a leader. A political party is its membership and I want to bring our members at all levels much closer together to take our party forward in unity.’ She also said that communication of the Party’s vision has to be better. Within minutes of the announcement she had been congratulated by Prime Minister David Cameron. She said: ‘I’ve been cheeky enough to ask for some things already,’ but she didn’t say what she’d asked for.
The 32-year-old takes over from Annabel Goldie and was only elected to the Scottish Parliament in May.
First Minister Alex Salmond was among the first to congratulate her on becoming Leader. He said: ‘ I wish her well. My own view is that Annabel Goldie was a highly successful leader for the Conservatives in Scotland, and maximised the Tory vote here. That merely underlines the scale of the task for Ruth Davidson in motivating her party – as does the number of Scottish Tory members who actually voted in this contest, and the fact that her main opponent proposed winding up the party.
‘Hopefully, under Ruth’s leadership, the Tories will change their attitude to Scotland and start to work in the country’s best interests.’
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.
The successful Constituency and List candidates from last week’s election lost no time in starting work at the Scottish Parliament.
Familiarisation for the newcomers, settling in for the seasoned MSPs and the swearing in ceremony on Wednesday 11 May for everyone. With a new presiding officer selected -Tricia Marwick, the first female to hold this important office – the Team Scotland in all its different hues was ready for action.
The LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW has asked each party what its priorities are now.
Glasgow’s lone Conservative and Unionist Party MSP, Ruth Davidson, said: ‘I’m delighted and honoured to be elected to represent Glasgow in the Scottish Parliament. I pledge to work for everyone regardless of how they voted – especially during the period of the Commonwealth Games when the eyes of half the world will be upon us. I will do everything I can to stand up for Glasgow in the Scottish Parliament.’
In the Green corner, Patrick Harvie retained one of the two seats his party had held previously in the Scottish Parliament, by attracting 5.95% of the Glasgow List vote. He said: ‘It’s great to be back in Holyrood again and thanks to everyone across the city who voted Green last week. Now the SNP have won their historic majority, it will be harder and more necessary for the rest of Parliament to scrutinise them and to hold them to account. But we will also aim to work constructively with them where there are opportunities to do so. I am also committed to being as strong a Green voice as possible for Glasgow and to working with party colleagues towards next year’s crucial local council elections.’
The jubilant SNP, with 69 seats have a majority for the first time in the Scottish Parliament’s history. Now they can easily drive through their legislation. Even reduced by one seat when Tricia Marwick became Presiding Officer, the SNP majority gives their Government real clout.
Labour have 37 seats in the Scottish Parliament and have lost several leading politicians in Glasgow – Frank McAveety, Charlie Gordon, Bill Butler and Pauline McNeill. Conservatives took 15, Lib Dems 5, Greens 2 and one Independent seat to bonnie fechtur, Margo Macdonald.
First Minister Alex Salmond was on the phone to Westminster as soon as he knew the good hand the Scottish electorate had dealt him. His first negotiation was to push to strengthen the Scotland Bill. The demands from Holyrood now press the Westminister government for earlier access to enhanced borrowing powers to support capital investment, responsibility for Corporation Tax and control of the Crown Estate to benefit the renewables programme.
The first SNP MSP to respond to the LOCAL NEWS request for their priorities was James Dornan for Cathcart Constituency. He took the seat from Labour’s Charlie Gordon.
He said: ‘my immediate priority is to put my office in a high-profile, extremely visible location to ensure everyone knows who their MSP is and where they can contact me. I’ll continue the work I started as a Glasgow City Councillor in representing my constituents and do all I can to save Glasgow’s charities from the brutal and heartless decision of the city’s Labour administration, to cease the concessionary rent scheme. This is leaving some of Glasgow’s most crucial charities in real danger of closure.’
Sandra White the Constituency MSP for Kelvin said: ‘One of my many priorities will be to ensure that the grassroots voices of the people of Kelvin will be heard. I also aim to protect our open spaces and the unique character of Kelvin and to promote equality of life for all through housing, jobs and education.’
List MSP Bob Doris of the SNP said: I intend to ensure that sectarianism and anti-Irish racism continues to be tackled long after the latest round of media headlines have faded. We need a consistent, long-term approach and I hope to lead a Members’ Debate on the matter in the Scottish Parliament in the near future. I also want to do all I can to promote jobs and economic recovery in our city and – yes- that does require more powers for Scotland. I am also preparing to consult on a Members’ Bill to change legislation to allow Fatal Accident Inquiries to be held into suspicious or unexplained deaths of Scots overseas. This follows the tragic death of Maryhill woman Julie Love’s son, in the waters of Margarita Island, Venezuela. Add to that my wedding to my fiancee, Janet, in Rhodes in August and it should be a busy few months ahead!’
The first Labour MSP to respond was Paul Martin who said: ‘ It is a privilege to be elected the first MSP for the new Glasgow Provan seat. The next five years will be incredibly challenging given the decrease in public spending that is forecast. I want to spend the next term in Holyrood fighting for health services to stay local by making sure we keep Lightburn Hospital in my constituency open. I also want to make sure that local people are not left stranded with a bus service more worried about profits than the public. The re-regulation of the bus industry is vital and the cowardice from the current Scottish Government cannot continue. However, most importantly for me, I will always make sure that the views of local people and communities are heard. It is an honour to serve the area I was born and brought up in and I will spend the next five years dedicated to its residents.’
Partick was awash with redcoats on Thursday 7 April , as Labour Party supporters were out in force to support Pauline McNeill who aims to continue to serve Glasgow Kelvin constituency. While Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party wore a warm, navy woollen coat, Pauline and several members of her team, were wearing bright red raincoats. With the threat of rain, the coats gave sensible protection as well as high visibility.
Said Pauline: ‘It is good to have someone like Harriet Harman with us today. People recognise these leaders. I had David Miliband here recently and it was lovely seeing people’s faces when they opened their doors.’ The main challenge she sees in the constituency – which has been extended to include homes around St George’s Cross – is dealing with people’s concerns about the rise in the cost of living. ‘I’m confident we as a Party can grow the economy to benefit the whole country,’ said Pauline. She added: ‘Locally, the big challenge is the lack of social housing and the quality of life in the West End.’
SNP MSP for Glasgow, Bob Doris, led a Members’ debate in the Scottish Parliament, paying tribute to Scotland’s Irish diaspora. During the debate he encouraged all Scots of Irish descent to celebrate their cultural heritage by ticking the ‘Irish’ ethnicity box in this year’s census form. This is the first time such an option has been available.
Among other things the MSP called on both Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to help create an Irish Centre in the city. This would be a tourism hub, promote health awareness and develop cultural links throughout Scotland’s Irish communities, he said.
‘The contribution to our culture by the Irish communities is immense. It is right to acknowledge the many good community initiatives – especialy as this is Celtic Connections month.’
In response, Danny Boyle, Project Manager of Harps Community Project said: ‘We have the opportunity, for the first time ever, to find out how many people of Irish descent live in Scotland. I am confident that, when the Government sees the numbers, more action will be taken to tackle the health inequality experienced by the community and more will be done to promote Irish culture in Scotland.’
By Grace Franklin
Picture by Stuart Maxwell
St Albert’s Primary School in Pollokshields had several spectacular celebrations on Guy Fawkes day – Friday 5 November.
First, they raised their first Green Eco Flag on their very own flag pole. Then they had none other than Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, local MSP Nicola Sturgeon, formally opening their new media suite.
Said head teacher Eleanor Mcaveety: ‘We received funding from Awards for All and from Pollokshields Area Committee so are delighted to open our new media suite and library. The youngsters love the new room and are able to chill-out in the library and use the computers for research or fun. The bonus of securing our first Eco flag, in recognition of the environmental work being done in the school, is the icing on the cake.’
With the whole school gathered outside to watch the cutting of the ribbon to signal the flag flying for the first time, Primary 6 pupil Amisha Adhikari stepped up to the microphone to welcome everyone. In a confident, clear speech the 10-year-old said: ‘We are delighted that so many people could join us today. Over the last two years, our journey to a Green Flag has involved our school community in many new and exciting opportunities. We have learned a lot about re-cycling, waste minimisation, litter and energy. We thank everyone who helped us along the way. In particular, McTaggart Construction Ltd who kindly donated the flagpole, Mr Mark Irwin of Education Services and all our Eco Committees over the years. Without one person in particular, this event would not have taken place: Teacher Ms Antonia Brooks – our Eco Warrior.’
Ms Brooks then cut the ribbon to ‘flag up’ the fact that the flag was now flying proudly at St Albert’s.
She later told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘This has been an absolutely fabulous occasion. I am so pleased that a lot of hard work by the whole school including the parents and the community, has paid off. Once the children got into the green challenge, they took the message home to their parents who are now taking up the message and switching off lights and following the Eco code.’
When Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opened the media suite of computer room and library she said: ‘I feel under pressure because Amisha’s speech was so good – I’ve a lot to live up to. I forecast a great future ahead for her if she chooses to follow a career involving public speaking.’
She went on to say that she preferred reading books to computers. ‘But it is very important that young people today have the very best IT facilities. This suite is not only for the pupils and their parents, it is for the community and it gives me enormous pleasure to declare it open.’
On arrival, the Deputy First Minister was welcomed by Primary 1 pupils singing the St Albert’s school song for her. ‘That is a fantastic way to be greeted to a school,’ said the clearly delighted MSP.
Local Councillors Khalil Malik and Irfan Rabanni both spoke. On behalf of the Area Committee, Councillor Rabanni said the books would only be of use if people read them and encouraged everyone in the school community to use the facility. ‘I’ll be coming along myself!’ he emphasised.
Councillor Malik echoed the message and hoped the media suite would be well used.
Head Teacher Mrs Mcaveety commented: ‘This is tangible evidence that things can happen when people work together. She thanked the large number of supporters for the various projects being celebrated and concluded by saying: ‘St Albert’s Primary School has 250 rising stars in our pursuit of the curriculum of excellence.’
The Parents’ Council co-chairwomen, Mrs Shaista Aslam and Mrs Ghazala Hanif both expressed delight at the success of the day. Said Mrs Aslam: ‘It is very exciting. We are all working as a team since Mrs Mcaveety arrived about one and a half years ago. ‘ Added Mrs Hanif: ‘There is a very good atmosphere in this school.’