Govan Road marks the dividing line between Glasgow Southside and Glasgow Pollok for the Scottish Parliament constituencies. And on Saturday 16 April it saw the SNP on one side of the road and the Labour Party on the other.
While the Labour Party had a stall and leaflets and loads of red ballons on the new Govan Cross Public Square, the SNP had star of screen and stage, Elaine C. Smith marching shoulder to shoulder with Nicola Sturgeon who aims to retain her seat in Glasgow Southside.
Said Elaine, who switched from Labour some years ago: ‘The question is – who will represent Scotland best? Who will fight Scotland’s corner? I believe it is the SNP and I’ve supported Alex Salmond for several years. He gave me advice on how to approach people when out canvassing. Believe it or not, speaking face to face with strangers is quite nerve-wracking for me because I’m used to facing an audience who are sitting in the dark and at a distance! So Alex’ advice was – talk about anything other than politics. Let that person raise the subject that is on their mind and then address it.’
Nicola, who was fresh from launching the Party’s manifesto, glossed over the fact that the spot for the photo opportunity included a Subway sandwich shop in the background. It was into another branch of that franchise that the Labour leader Iain Gray rushed when he tried to avoid a group of Citizens United Against the Cuts campaigners who wanted to speak to him.
But in Govan the sandwich shop was shutter and across the road the Labour Party team, led by Johann Lamont who is fighting to retain her Glasgow Pollok seat, was out in force. Councillors Alistair Watson and Jahangir Hanif were there and Councillor Stephen Curran who is standing against Nicola Sturgeon, had already been to Govan and gone on to Pollokshaws in his campaign trail.
Carefully ignoring each other, the two party teams lobbied passersby, especially those heading for the busy Saturday market at the Water Row side of Govan Cross. The votes cast on Thursday 5 May will finally show how many people have crossed the road, politically.
Following the death of John McGinnity, (61) in Shawholm Crescent, Pollokshaws on Thursday 9 December 2010, Strathclyde Police report that a 35 year old man has been arrested and is detained in police custody in connection with the death.
A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal and a court appearance is likely before the end of the year.
words Grace Franklin
photographs Stuart Maxwell
Pollokshaws Burgh Hall was the comfortable venue for the latest in the Evening Times Community Champions Awards.
Contenders from the South West of the city from Newlands to Cathcart, from Pollokshaws to Darnley and points in between waited to hear how the panel of judges had made decisons that would have put Solomon to the test.
But as Evening Times Editor, Tony Carlin, said: ‘There can only be one winner.’
So in the six categories here are the winners as celebrated on Thursday 19 August.
Arden Chillout Centre won the Team Award. It gives opportunities to people from 5 to 15 to keep fit, enjoy games and sport, music and educational projects. Runners up were The Bullwood wood-turning project in Crookston and the Rainbow Care Centre which provides transport, cooked meals and social activities for members.
The Individual award went to Linda Campbell who has worked for Cordia – the city caring company - for 25 years. She also cares for her own father who has Alzheimers as well as looking after four grandchildren. Runners up were:-Bill Baird of Merrylee who helps provide football coaching for school pupils and is active in Merrylee Local Housing Organisation, Cathcart and District Community Council and is helping develop the Newlands Project and Gordon Millar who is Chair of Pollok Crime Prevention Panel and is involved in Streetwatch Glasgow and other safety initiatives.
The Public Service Individual award went, posthumously, to PC Derek McDowell. He died, aged 36, earlier this year. The respected community bobby was at the forefront of reducing crime in his patch in Pristhill and Nitshill. The award was accepted on behalf of his widow, Sharon, by PC Mark Allan-Smith.
Runners up were:- Mary Rocks who is a community learning worker with Glasgow Life in Pollokshaws and Christine Stewart a library supervisor at Pollok Library who has extended the joy of reading and learning through books to even more local people.
The Public Service Team Award was won by the Family Early Intervention Unit a partnership unit providing help to reduce domestic abuse and violent crime. Runners up were: – the Greater Pollok Older People and Physical Disability Team who support families to find the best solutions to individual needs and South West Bridging Service in Pollok which assists more than 400 people a year to move forward in education, training or work prospects.
Seniors Award went to Harry McColl who is Chair of Pollokshaws and Eastwood Community Council but also helped found the Pollokshaws Heritage Group. His current initiative is to have the names of soldiers killed in battle, reinstated on the local war memorial.
Runners up were: Brian Beacom who is chairman of the Levern District Community Council and a host of other bodies including the Scottish Health Council and Josephine Docherty who is chair of Newlands and Auldhouse Community Council among many other groups and has overcome cancer to continue her community work.
The Young Award, unusually, was a joint award to Reece Barrie who although only 11 is fighting a rare spinal condition and the Greater Pollok Young Carers project which recently produced a book about their lives as young carers.
All the winners from this evening and the others in all areas of Glasgow, will be invited to a Champion of Champions evening in Glasgow City Chambers in October.
The Scottish Cinema Organ Trust (SCOT) is staging its Christmas concert in 20 December in Pollokshaws Burgh Hall, 2025 Pollokshaws Road.
SCOT’s Duncan Sinclair will be at the console of the Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ, with songs from baritone Edward Caswell, of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance and Glasgow University.
Tickets for the concert, which starts at 2.45pm, can be bought from the Burgh Halls (0141 632-5811) or at the door on the night. Admission is priced £6.00 and also covers tea or coffee and mince pies.
More than 60 people have already gained skills from the The Shawbridge Employability Office which officially opened today.
Councillors Stephen Curran and Colin Deans were joined by staff and management from Glasgow South West Regeneration Agency (GSWRA) for the cutting of the ribbons.
The centre, based on the ground floor at 21 Shwawbridge Arcade in G53, has been operational since April but – having been so busy – only got round to the red-ribbon opening today.
The centre which focuses on helping people learn the skills and gain the know-how needed to get back into the job market has already been a roaring success.
Stephen Curran, has for six years been a councillor in Newlands and Auldburn, and was delighted with the centre opening.
He said: ‘It gives a real boost for the Pollokshaws area. Since it opened in April we know already that it has made a big difference locally.’
In the past four months it has already helped 37 people with IT training and a further 25 people getting accredited qualifications.
Councillor Curran continued: ‘It can make a huge impact on the community.
‘With the recession making so many people unable to find new jobs this will help the area by giving people a chance to get back into work through the training and qualifications available here.’
The Shawbridge office is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and helps leads clients on a course back into employment.
The course – which includes guidance, advice, CV preparation, job search skills – is funded by partner agencies including Glasgow City Council.
To contact Shawbridge Employability Office please call 0800 013 1338 or log onto www.gswra.co.uk
Save Pollok Park will hold a public meeting at 7.30pm on 28 October in Pollokshaws Burgh Hall to plan the next phase of their campaign against Go Ape.
Their campaign received a boost when National Trust for Scotland (NTS) Chairman Shonaig Macpherson publicly confirmed their objection to having Go Ape in the North Wood of Pollok Park. She said they were “concerned about the proposed location”. In response to questions from the Save Pollok Park campaign at the NTS AGM, the NTS stated they were in discussion with Glasgow City Council ‘to find an alternative, less sensitive, location within the park.’
Save Pollok Park has launched a new petition calling on Glasgow City Council to rethink its plans to allow Go Ape to open an adventure assault course in Pollok Park. Bill Fraser, a spokesman for Save Pollok Park, said: ‘It’s now clear that the City Council has no legal right to grant a lease to Go Ape without the approval of the Maxwell family and the National Trust for Scotland. Both organisations have refused to give their blessing to the project.’
The National Trust for Scotland has agreed to appear at the public meeting on 28 October to answer questions.