In true Maryhill style, the official opening of the £9.6 million revamped Maryhill Burgh Halls, attracted protesters.
A crowd of local schoolboys, complete with bikes and skateboards, marched into the invitation only evening on Thursday 26 April. And the VIPs arriving had to walk past an array of banners held by determined grannies demanding justice for Kinship Carers.
They, and the official guests, were serenaded in proper Scottish style, by professional piper Chris Waite at the door. He was one of the Jim Jam Ceilidh Band musicians who entertained, later, inside.
The boys told this website reporter earnestly:’We should be allowed in,’ said Rhys McNally (14). ‘It’s discrimination that we are not.’ His pal Mitchell McGowan Ross (13) added: ‘We’re normal people. We deserve the right to go in. The place should be open to the whole public.’ They were politely, but firmly, shown the door by courteous door stewards and trundled back outside.
Choosing to remain outside with their placards and banners were the Kinship Carers. All local women who look after children – usually their own grandchildren – when the parents cannot; they had lobbied earlier in the day outside Glasgow City Chambers. ‘If we fostered a stranger’s child we’d get £300 a week to look after them. Because the children are family, we get £50 a week and none of the important psychological help,’ explained Liz Lynch. In a campaign co-ordinated across Scotland, Kinship Carers met candidates of all parties to demand they sign up for the Kinship Carers’ national manifesto.
It asks for pledges from incoming councillors to:- end the postcode lottery across Scotland for Kinship Care support to ensure that every child had a fair and equal chance.
To:- create a one-stop shop approach to the necessary financial, health, psychological, educational and social work support. ‘Getting any one of these can be a huge struggle for Kinship Carers,’ said supporter Miriam Rose of the Poverty Truth Commission.
To:- recognise the hard job Kinship Carers do and how well they do it and to support them with respite and legal advice among other issues.
Would be councillors were also called on to work with the Kinship Carers when making policy so that funds are used wisely to benefit the children.
On arrival, Lord Provost Bob Winter stood and chatted with them while he put on his chain of office and was happy to pose with them. ‘I saw them earlier today at the City Chambers and support them,’ he said.
The date of 26 April was chosen for the re-opening of the Maryhill Burgh Halls because it was on that date 134 years ago they were originally opened. Already major events have been held in the beautifully re-furbished suites of rooms which include a business centre, a nursery, a cafe a recording studio and exhibition and halls space. Performing the opening this time, was Culture Secretary MSP Fiona Hyslop.
Pride of place in the Halls are original stained glass windows which – uniquely – depict workers in Maryhill in those far off days. They show men working with wood and metal and women working with dyes. Descendants of glass artists Joseph Miller and of the Provost of Maryhill in 1878, were also present at the 2012 opening.
The beauties of the windows and the well-thought-out interior will be available for the public to enjoy on Saturday 28 April from 10am till 4pm. There will be free tours of the buildings, talks, entertainment and samples of what activities will be available, regularly, in the Maryhill Burgh Halls. The boys will be back! And the Kinship Carers might even bring their children too.
The achievements of tycoon Maqbool Rasul have been recognised with a lifetime achievement gong at this year’s Scottish Asian Business Awards (SABA).
The retailing entrepreneur, who arrived in Scotland from Pakistan in 1964 and who over the years has built a business empire that included grocery shops, video rental chains and now a property and investment portfolio, received his award from Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy.
The event, at the Crown Plaza in Glasgow, turned the spotlight on the cream of the Scottish Asian business community. Guests included First Minister Alex Salmond and Shadow UK Communities Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.
The Business of the Year Award went to Deepak Poddar’s Little Einstein’s nurseries chain, which now employs 250 people across seven sites.
Arshad Ali was named Businessman of the Year for building his Scottish Centre for Dental Excellence. The highly-regarded practitioner is the driving force behind the £3m operation in Govan which has been shortlisted for this year’s Private Dentistry Awards.
Businesswoman of the Year is Poonam Gupta, who started waste management company PG Paper in 2003 and has driven it to a £10m turnover in the face of an economic gale.
The Small Business of the Year Award went to Lets Direct, a property management firm which operates in the UK and the United Arab Emirates.
Still in the property industry, the husband-and-wife team of Bobby and Preet Sandhu scooped the Young Achievers of the Year award for their Happy Lets company, which manages a portfolio worth £60m and has ambitious expansion plans in the pipeline.
Alex Salmond presented the Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Yasmin Khanam of DPI Investments, which looks after overseas interests of high net worth clients.
The Franchisee of the Year Award went to Azeem Arshad of Baguette Express, who runs two outlets in Glasgow and who plans to expand operations into Northern England.
The Community Award went to Nari Kallyan Shangho, health and welfare organisation based in Edinburgh.
Southside parents are invited to an open day at the newly-launched Little Einstein’s kindergarten in Nithsdale Road, Pollokshield, on Saturday, October 31, between 10.00am and 1.30pm.
Nithsdale House Nursery provides a first-class early learning experience for children from shortly after birth until they are ready for the first days of primary school.
The new facility – the latest in a thriving business with four premises in Tayside and two in Glasgow – has created 20 jobs for a team of qualified and professional carers.
Nithsdale House expands and enhances Little Einstein’s offering of the Hillside Crèche and the Hillside Clubhouse in Mansewood in Glasgow, which meet increasing levels of demand from parents in the surrounding area and beyond.
The new facility, at the corner of Nithsdale Road and Shields Road, provides parents with a safe, secure and nurturing environment where children can progress through the early stages of personal development.
For all 52 weeks of the year, it offers four huge and comprehensively equipped learning areas where children of different ages will be cared for by staff in ratios as intensive as one nursery professional to every three children.
Children also have frequent access to a pleasant and secure outdoor garden area and they are further stimulated by outings to the local community.
Nithsdale House’s cook provides healthy nutritious meals and snacks to cater for all dietary and cultural requirements.
Nithsdale House’s Nursery Manager, Leighann Bain, said: ‘We seek to build a strong and effective working relationship with parents so that they can be satisfied that their child is happy, safe and well-stimulated at all times.
‘We aim to provide an environment in which each child can grow and develop at its own pace and where staff plan responsively to children’s needs to ensure that learning is of the best possible value to children as individuals.’