Ahead of the formal opening of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow Business Club members launched their new season’s programme there on Tuesday 18 September.
A lunch with more than 100 people heard Gordon Arthur, Director of Communications and Marketing for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, detail business opportunities open to companies of all sizes.
‘The railings around this place were all made by a local company who’d never done this before but who saw the business opportunity,’ he said. ‘There are £126 m worth of contracts at tier one – and there are three tiers to go!’
He advised members to sign up with the Glasgow Business Portal and register their interest.
He also emphasised there were many ways to be involved. ’The opportunities for people to make the Games their own are unbelievable,’ he said.
People can register now to buy tickets when they go on sale next summer. The Queen’s Baton Relay will cover all 71 Commonwealth countries competing with 4000 people needed in the UK to carry the baton here. Employers will soon be given information on how to support employees wishing to be among the 15,000 volunteers needed. But there are only 673 days to go….. he encouraged!
Legacies from the Games are already in place with hockey pitches opening next year, Toryglen Soccer Centre is already busy and even the Velodrome itself, is being used as a Glasgow Club venue for sports and health activities for people in Glasgow.
A culture programme would also be part of the Games which take place between 23 July and 3 August 2014. A total of 17 sports are programmed.
The Games tartan – a winning design by Shawlands Academy pupil, Aamir Mehmood – has been launched and Gordon Arthur promised ‘you’ll see a lot more of it from now on.’
The Games Mascot will be announced this week – Thursday 20 September.
An easily digestible catalogue of facts and figures on the Games went down well with the Business Club members. This was the first occasion that three separate business clubs covering – south, east and west of the city – had met formally under the new banner of Glasgow Business Club.
Said Norman Ferguson, President and host on the day: ‘Echoing the words of Remo Pisaneschi the previous President of Glasgow South Business Club – this is an ideal opportunity for a larger club to offer more to members by joining together. It also means Glasgow Regeneration can continue to be supportive as it has been for 26 years. The new Glasgow Business Club is a city wide agency providing one point of contact for companies.’
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 23 October at Ibrox Stadium where new members will be welcomed along with established members of the three previous Clubs to a networking lunch. Contact www.glasgowbusinessclub.co.uk for further information.
by Martin Graham
ONE HUNDRED and fifty people braved the cold and hail on Saturday morning to attend a rally at the UKBA building at Brand Street, Govan, to protest at plans to evict up to 200 asylum seekers from their homes.
Charity Ypeople, formerly YMCA, are set to evict up to 140 people seeking sanctuary after losing a government contract to Serco.
Serco is an international service company which also operates tagging schemes for offenders, runs prisons and has business at Guantanamo Bay.
Ypeople had been allowing refugees whose asylum claims had been refused, to remain in their homes. But under the new contract they may be forced to evict these tenants. Ypeople said that the profit on this contract for the UK Borders Authority (UKBA) was used to enable people to say on over the contracted time.
Speakers at the rally included Kingsway campaigner and former Scotswoman of the year Noreen Real.
Noreen said: “I will fight with the last breath in my body to stop our government treating people like animals. We’re not dealing with animals, we’re dealing with human beings. Stop starving them out, stop putting them out on the street.”
EIS president elect Susan Quinn said: “We are being asked in schools to develop curriculums where we promote citizenship and understanding, where we promote empathy, yet what are our leaders doing? Our leaders are doing the exact opposite of what we teach our young people.”
Phil Jones from Unity support centre said: “There are proposals to house refugees in board-only accommodation. They could be housed in hostels with only food and no money.”
A temporary night shelter in the city is already attracting an average of ten people a night. There are also known to be a large number of rejected asylum seekers in Glasgow who have a roof over the head only because friends let them sleep on their sofa.
Actor, funny man and stage presence for 60 years, Johnny Beattie was given Glasgow’s Loving Cup at a civic dinner on Thursday 5 April. ‘I was totally surprised,’ said Johnny who has starred in River City TV soap for ten years.
The fresh looking 85-year-old recollects with total clarity his first day treading the boards. ‘It was May 19th 1952 at the Tivoli in Aberdeen. I was with Robert Wilson who was the biggest name around in Scotland at that time. I was the comic – you could tell that by the pillerbox red suit I was wearing!’ Johnny who was honoured by the Queen some years ago with an MBE, added: ‘I’ll keep on working till I’m found out.’
The Loving Cup is Glasgow’s highest honour and is presented to a person who has brought distinction and honour to the Dear Green Place.
Lord Provost Bob Winter presided over the annual awards ceremony when a roll of honour of key people is thanked publicly by the city for their contribution to its wellbeing.
In what was almost his last public event as Lord Provost, Councillor Winter said: ‘This event is truly one of the most rewarding for me as the city’s Lord Provost. It is such a great occasion when we can honour people from diverse walks of life who all have one thing in common – a commitment to Glasgow and its people. I can think of no better way to express our gratitude to these outstanding men and women by celebrating their achievements this way and presenting them with the Lord Provost’s award and one of them with the Loving Cup.’
The gold awards are in the form of a medal and were given to:
Prominent Accident & Emergency consultant Mr Ian Anderson for improving the health of the people of Glasgow and in keeping the city at the forefront of postgraduate medical education. Based at the Victoria Infirmary, his views are frequently sought at national and international level. He is one of the founding Fellows of the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Surgeons and one of its longest serving Council Members. He was elected President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 2009. He has also played a key role in establishing collaborations with Medical Schools and hospitals in the South of India.
BAE Systems Maritime received the Lord Provost’s award for business. It was accepted by Mr Angus Holt on behalf of the company which is on track to deliver six Type 45 Destroyers for the Royal Navy by the end of 2013. Four have already been handed over. It also produces Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the Type 26 Global Combat Ship among other complex engineering programmes and services. The yards at Scotstoun and Govan employ 3000 people which includes 140 apprentices and 30 graduates in training.
Professor Jane Duckett was presented with the Lord Provost’s Award for founding the Scottish Centre for China Research at the University of Glasgow. Since its establishment in 2008 it has developed distinctive new MSc programmes in Chinese Studies. A leading international scholar in contemporary Chinese politics, Professor Duckett was instrumental in setting up the Confucius Institute at the University in 2011. It is testament to her dedication to enhancing the understanding and knowledge of China in the communities of Glasgow and the West of Scotland, and her pledge to support the business communities as they reach out to work with Chinese industry.
Dame Elish Angiolini received the Lord Provost’s Award for her services to Law and Justice. Like Johnny Beattie, Dame Elish was born in Govan. She was Solicitor General from 2001 to 2006 and Lord Advocate of Scotland, and was the first woman, the first Procurator Fiscal and the first solicitor to hold either post. Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to the administration of justice, Dame Elish holds honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws from Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian and Aberdeen universities. In September she will replace Andrew Dilnot as Principal of St Hugh’s College in Oxford.
Donald Shaw, founder of Capercaillie was presented with the Lord Provost’s Award for the Performing and Visual Arts. Through his work with the band he built up an international network of contacts and musical partnerships which he has grown in his work with Celtic Connections. A performer, composer, arranger and musical entrepreneur, Donald was acknowledged for his unique contribution to music in Scotland, and Glasgow in particular. His direction of the Celtic Connections festival makes it the city’s largest, most nationally and internationally significant festival.
Robert Booth, who retired in 2011 after 33 years’ service – latterly as Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services at Glasgow City Council – received the Lord Provost’s award for his public service. He joined Glasgow District Council in 1978 and fulfilled senior management roles in both Housing and Building Services before being appointed Director of Land Services in March 2003. In 2007 he became Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services, with responsibility for managing the city’s road network; parks and open spaces; parking; refuse services; enforcement; trading standards; and the design and project management resources of the council. He received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2011 for services to local government.
The Lord Provost’s Sport Award went to Walter Smith, one of the most successful Scottish football managers in history. He managed Rangers (twice) and the Scottish national team as well as Everton, and was awarded the OBE for services to football in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1997. Previous winners from the world of football in this category include Sir Alex Ferguson (1993) and Ally McCoist (1996).
Bailie Jean McFadden received her award for services to local government. The city’s longest standing councillor, she was first elected to Glasgow Corporation in 1971.
She held key positions in various areas of the council most notably as Leader of the Council (1979-1986) and 1992-94) and also including Opposition Leader (1977-1979), and Vice Lord-Lieutenant City of Glasgow from 1981 to 1992. She was also President of COSLA 1990-92 and City Treasurer 1986-92, and was awarded the CBE in 1992 for services to local government.
The Lord Provost’s Special Award for an Inspiring Individual was presented to Julie McElroy. Despite cerebral palsy, mobility problems and profound deafness, Julie has trekked in the Himalayas, canoed Loch Shiel.
She has used her expertise in assistive technology to make outdoor sports accessible to disadvantaged disabled young people in India. She is an ambassador for Bobath and has received the prestigious John Muir award after completing four adventure challenges and inspiring other disabled people to enjoy the great outdoors.
Following a meeting at the Scottish Parliament with MSP Humza Yousaf, the Campaign for Human Rights in the Gambia is gaining support among Members. At the time of writing, 16 MSPs from various parties have signed a motion MSP Yousaf launched.
Having heard Gambian exile Alieu B. Ceesay speak at a fringe meeting at the SNP conference in Inverness recently, Humza invited him to Edinburgh to discuss the issues in detail.
Said journalist Alieu: ‘There was an election last month in The Gambia. The President was re-elected as expected. Opponents were not allowed to campaign except for 11 days before voting. Some opponents were jailed in advance of the election. In recent times people have disappeared, been tortured and killed if they displease the Government. People are afraid even to talk about the election result because they don’t know who might be listening.’
According to Amnesty International there is a ‘climate of fear’ in The Gambia. They recently updated their report on human rights abuse in the sunny, West African country and said the situation was getting worse.
MSP Yousaf commented: ”I will support the call for Human Rights in the Gambia. The country is a part of the Commonwealth and also receives financial support from Europe. It must observe the conventions it has signed and its international obligations, that is why I have put forward this motion. Scotland should be a beacon for human rights across the world and we owe a duty to those who seek asylum in our country.’
The motion reads: ‘That the Parliament expresses concern at what it considers the dire human rights situation in Gambia; understands that the Gambian Government refuses to abide by its international human rights obligations, with cases of enforced disappearance remaining unresolved, perpetrators of unlawful killings not being brought to justice and torture still widely used by security forces; further understands that those who report such abuses, particularly in the media, are in grave danger, and expresses solidarity with the human rights defenders of Gambia, many of whom have been granted asylum in Scotland, in their struggle for basic human rights.
To follow the progress and see who has signed up to this motion check out the following website and insert reference number S4M-01460 or Humza Yousaf’s name: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx
Stuart Ritchie, the Student Representative Council President at Glasgow University, resigned on Wednesday 2 November following pressure from the students and the Council.
This followed revelations by qmunicate , a student magazine, that Ritchie had argued for the introduction of £9k fees for Rest of UK students in a university working group on the issue, despite publicly claiming to be against this. In the eyes of many students this led to his position as President being untenable. Within three days a petition of almost 600 names had been presented asked for his resignation.
The information was uncovered by asking a Freedom Of Information (FOI) question. A previous FOI request revealed that Ritchie had sought to exclude another member of the SRC executive from important discussions with the university.
After hearing of the resignation, Megan Cowie, a 4th year Glasgow University student, said: ‘I hope this resignation is a step towards greater transparency, democracy and accountability in the SRC. Stuart Ritchie has consistently failed in his duty to represent student interests at Glasgow University and the mood on campus was that he had to go.’
Glasgow University Coalition of Resistance welcomes Ritchie’s resignation, and will continue to campaign for greater democratic accountability on campus, and for student representatives to fight university fees, cuts to courses and reductions in student services.
Woodend Bowling Club in the West End has opened its doors to up-and-coming sports stars with their inaugural Junior Open Day. More than 50 local children descended on the club, recently, to be introduced to bowling by former World, Commonwealth and National champion, David Gourley.
Now 101 years old, the Club is part of ‘Get on the Green’; a nationwide campaign to interest young people in the sport. The campaign is organised by Taylor Bowls, the UK’s leading bowls manufacturer.
George Ross, President of Gents Bowling at Woodend, said: ‘The day was a great success and we look forward to more events that get local people interested in bowls. Some of the kids who came along had a natural flair for the sport so we have had additional coaching sessions for them. Who knows, we may even have found a new champion to take Scotland to victory in the 2014 Commonwealth Games!’
Bowling Clubs across Scotland are being helped to rejuvenate the sport by Taylor Bowls. Managing Director, Grant Heron, said: ‘Well done to everybody at Woodend Bowling Club for putting on such a fun-filled Open Day. It was refreshing to see so many children on the green.’