Of the 21 people retiring as Councillors from Glasgow City Council, around ten attended a poignant farewell earlier this week. Hosted by Lord Provost Bob Winter, who is, himself, standing down, it brought closure to many of the participants.
Said Jean McFadden who represented Garscadden-Scotstounhill and has served the city for 41 years: ‘Everyone felt it was a really nice touch to honour those of us leaving. Each person was presented with a personalised plaque which has the city’s coat of arms and the dates they’ve served. I have similar plaques from Glasgow Corporation but this is the only one which has my name on it.’
She has no plans to retired. Among her many ongoing activities she is an official examiner for work submitted by honours law students at Strathclyde University; she will get back to studying Advanced Italian for herself; she will mentor girls in a secondary school to help them achieve their potential; and she might go for an HGV licence!
‘I’ve always fancied driving one of those heavy goods vehicles round a tight corner!’ she said quite seriously. These are all outwith her commitments serving on the Legal Services Clinic and the Scottish Planning and Environment Law’s editorial board among others. She has also set herself to correct fundamental errors in some newspaper archives about who did what and when in the revival of Glasgow. ‘I just want to put the record straight. I was council leader from 1979 to 1986. That is when the team decided to change the direction of the city to move it into the creative industries and the financial sector. The minutes are there so I want the facts to be known.’
One of her future students will be former Drumchapel- Anniesland Councillor Matt Kerr, who leaves the Council to read law at Strathclyde University. He was selected after the resignation of Steven Purcell. He also attended the Lord Provost’s farewell event and said it was a very pleasant occasion.
Councillor Alex Glass who represented Greater Pollok for 13 years, told this website: ‘The evening and the presentation of the plaques was a good way to close off my time as a Councillor.’ Latterly he had been business manager for the city, overseeing many of the negotiations which kept Glasgow’s coffers from being emptied. One of the ways he saved the city money was to recommend cutting the fresh flowers budget. ‘That saved £50,000,’ he said. ‘ Stopping newspapers for every Councillor saved another £30,000 and at least that was saved on print bills when we cut back on paperwork.’ Aged only 52, he said this will be the first time in his life he’s been made redundant and he has, so far, no job offer. ‘I’ve work to do at home which I’ve long promised to complete for my wife,’ he said with a smile. ‘So I’ll do that and wait and see what happens. Everything is in the hands of fate,’ he commented philosophically.
Latterly a Bailie, Councillor Catherine McMaster has served Glasgow North East for several terms and said: ‘The event was not an obituary! It was really important to have something to say you’ve been here. Our training records were also included for every Councillor was expected to have extensive training in many areas of the work we do. That is the kind of record that was ignored by the Labour Party and dismissed in our interviews with them,’ she said pointedly. She was one of the Labour Councillors who did not take it kindly that she was de-selected by the party. She admitted she was still angry with the party for deciding she was ‘past the sell by date’ – ‘that is pure ageism,’ she commented. Her plan is to re-commence her private practice as a psychotherapist. ‘I’ll update my accreditation first,’ she added. The leading thinker behind the celebration of Glasgow’s medieval history, which has excited much attention and creative talent, she plans to continue to use her history knowledge within her local community in Easterhouse where Provan Hall Trust operates a building considered to pre-date the Provand’s Lordship on High Street. She said that her community had been generous in their appreciation of her work for them. ‘It has been a great privilege to serve this community. I’ll leave the new team to get on with the job and hope they will work to ‘let Glasgow flourish.’ But that will depend on how many voters turn out on Thursday.’
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.
Strathclyde University is the only Scottish one to be included in a Ford scholarship scheme announced this week.
Ford has selected 12 leading UK universities to award 100 students scholarships worth a total of £1 million starting in the 2012 academic year.
The aim is to encourage the next generation of engineers, scientists and innovators to make careers in British industry.
Said Joe Greenwell, Ford of Britain chairman: ‘Ford is encouraging students to choose courses which deliver the highest quality science and technology skills which are fundamental to our future industrial base. This programme will help rebalance the UK economy and ensure long term economic success.’
Each Ford Blue Oval Scholarship will provide £10,000 per student over a three-year period on courses ranging from science to automotive engineering and computer technology.
Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of Strathclyde University said: ‘Strathclyde has a long and successful track record of working side-by-side with business to develop ‘industry ready’ engineers, scientists and innovators of tomorrow. We’re delighted Ford has chosen to invest in our talented students who will go on to support industry and fuel its future economic growth.’
At Strathclyde, the scholarships will be open to students in the University’s Faculty of Engineering – the largest in Scotland. It is renowned internationally for research and for strong links with industry.
More info: http://www.strath.ac.uk/engineering/scholarships/fordblueovalscholarshipprogramme/
Today, a handful of students managed to get into the Collins building on Strathclyde University Campus and occupy the ‘posh’ board room used by Senate meetings and the like.
‘This is a peaceful occupation,’ said spokesman Ramy Albanna. ‘We are doing this to claim freedom of access, to highlight the hike in fees for students coming here from England and to express our concern at the closure of Community Education, Sociology, Geography and even Music course.’
We will be marching with the STUC and many other people on Saturday 1 October in the People First march from Glasgow Green to a rally in Kelvingrove Park. Because of that, we told the University we’d be out by Saturday.’
Security personnel at the University shut down the Collins Building in a bid to prevent numbers swelling. Two police officers arrived around 2pm after a number of protesters attempted to gain access to the building via a side entrance.
The neighbouring McCance Building in which Strathclyde senior management is housed, including the Principal’s office, was closed to students following the occupation which started around 11.30am onThursday 29 September.
The move comes two days after Strathclyde University announced plans to charge students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales £9,000 a year from the next academic year, taking the cost of a four-year degree to £27,000 after a cap was imposed.
At 4.30pm the University issued a brief statement saying: ‘A small number of protesters are holding a sit-in in one of the University’s administration buildings. The impact is localised and the University is working to minimise disruption.’
When it was pointed out that police were involved and indeed this website had pictures, the response was a promise to get more information.
University of Strathclyde Students’ Association president Charandeep Singh is understood to be in discussions with Principal Professor Jim McDonald.
The People First march and rally on Saturday will be led by the STUC but incorporates a large number of faith groups as well as campaigners in a large number of equality and anti-poverty organisations.
After speeches and music in Kelvingrove Park, groups will disperse to places of worship, student unions, public buildings and hotel in the vicinity to address specific issues.
The day will also feature fund raising for the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal on the famine in Africa.
The day will challenge poverty levels and campaign for re-distribution of wealth across Scotland and the UK. People will also be campaigning to protect the hardest hit by service and benefit cuts and to build and re-connect communities and movements across the country.
Strathclyde University’s fees are now set at £9000 a year for undergraduates from the rest of the UK outwith Scotland. Glasgow University fees are set at £6750 and capped at £26,000 for a four year degree course. The annual fee for Scottish students studying at Scottish universities – which is effectively paid for by the Scottish Government – is unchanged at £1800.
Charandeep Singh, of the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association said: ‘We oppose all student fees and anything that could lead to the commercialisation of higher education. ‘The University Court had a chance to show leadership by minimising the impact of fees at Strathclyde. Instead they have chosen to charge the highest possible fees, proving that they are motivated purely by profit.’
Words and photograph by Stuart Maxwell
‘**** This, I’m off to Hogwarts’ read one of the many imaginative placards as hundreds of Glasgow students marched into the Christmas village in George Square to protest against cuts to Scotland’s education budget and proposals to increase tuition fees in England and Wales.
JK Rowling’s magical realm seemed to be an inspiration for many of the protesters. On another placard, the much maligned Nick Clegg was compared to Voldemort- the insatiable baddie from the Harry Potter stories.
The protesters gathered outside Strathclyde University’s Royal College Building on a day when student protests swept across the UK. For a short time, 30 protesters occupied the Royal College Building before rejoining the main demonstration.
Although the demonstration was met with a strong police presence, the day passed without incident- unlike London, where violence erupted leading to injuries and arrests. One policeman told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘ I think it’s been a total success. These students are making their point in a very respectful way and in all honesty they’ve been a pleasure to work with.’
By early evening the protesters were in George Square for a speech-laden rally, below the recently erected Christmas lights which were still to be turned on. Speakers included Greg Philo, Head of Glasgow Media Group and Vice President of the National Voice of Students, who told the crowd: ‘ Today has been a disaster for the Tory Coalition.’
Pete Murray, President of the National Union of Journalists told the protesters they were an inspiration to the older generations, who now find themselves needing to confront the career threatening polices that are seeping north from Westminister. Pete said: ‘I congratulate you for this fantastic day.’
Greg Philo told the crowd that the media are not doing enough to challenge the Government on their economic policies and said one venerable media institution was fast becoming ‘a factory of lies.’ He called on students to keep marching in protest.
School students from across Glasgow, including Hyndland Secondary, left their classes early to participate in the protest that reflected much anger toward Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. Listening to lyrics of the chants, it was clear than many felt betrayed by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Liberal Democrats.
Liberal Democrat MSP for Glasgow, Robert Brown, told the LOCAL NEWS that students should look closely at the deal on the table and said the problems today were created by the former Labour Government.
Said Robert: ‘The reality is that the horrendous financial situation that the Labour party left behind is the cause of the cuts and increased fees facing the country today.
‘None of the other parties could offer offer a better deal. It’s a very difficult issue but the best friend of the students is still the Liberal Democrats.’
Reading the placards and listening to the clourful chants at George Square, it would seem that the students don’t know who their best friends are. Nick Clegg sure has a lot of minds to convince that he’s Dumbledore rather than Voldemort.
The Conservative candidate for Maryhill and Springburn in next year’s Scottish elections, Ivor Tiefenbrun, has resigned after it was alleged he said to a national newspaper that Scottish people are ‘so thick’ in their hatred of Margaret Thatcher.
The allegations brought an angry response from Scottish politicians. Labour MSP for Maryhill, Patricia Ferguson, told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘I was appalled by his comments. As someone who lives in Maryhill, on behalf of my constituents, I was deeply offended. Hopefully his colleagues in the Tory Party have a better understanding of the area. I wrote to Annabelle Goldie asking for an apology from Mr Tiefenbrun, and I still think he should deliver one despite his resignation.’
Bob Dorris, SNP candidate for Mayhill and Springburn, has called on Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie to launch an internal inquiry into Tiefenbrun’s comments and subsequent resignation. Said Bob: ‘That Mr Tiefenbrun has resigned is the strongest possible indication that he did make these outrageous, anti-Scottish remarks.’
He added: ‘Annabel Goldie cannot remain silent on the chaos, confusion, and the anti-Scottish insults which this sorry affair involves – and which also calls into question her party’s candidate selection system. She must announce an immediate party inquiry at Birmingham today.
‘The Tories have been trying to rebrand themselves as a Scotland-friendly party, despite the deep cuts coming to Scotland from the UK government. The comments attributed to Mr Tiefenbrun leave this rebranding in tatters and show an astounding contempt for our nation.
‘Mr Tiefenbrun may be gone, but I suspect his comments, combined with the Con Dem cuts on their way to our city, will succeed only in making a small Tory vote in Glasgow smaller still’.
Glasgow born Tiefenbrun made his name as a businessman, founding Linn Products, a high quality, electronics firm opened in Castlemilk in 1972.
In a statement following his resignaton, Mr Tiefenbrun said: ‘There are many issues facing our country and I have no desire for anything to divert my party, or indeed the media, from concentrating on the vital challenges. Accordingly, I will not be standing in the forthcoming elections.’
Mr Tiefenbrun only had his selection for the Marhyill and Springburn confirmed last week and the Tories will now have to start searching for a replacement. A spokesperson for the Tory party said: ‘We will start the process now and make a decision over the next few weeks.’
This is not Tiefenbrun’s first foray into political controvery. He used a newspaper column to announce that the ‘spirit of Stalin lives and thrives in Scotland through Gordon Brown.’
Tiefenbrun remains Executive Chairman of Linn Products and is currently a visiting Professor at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, has been appointed Chairman of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) with Bailie Hanzala Malik supporting him as Vice-Chair.
Councillor Matheson is a graduate of both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities. He is a chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. First elected to Glasgow City Council in 1999, he is a Councillor in Ward 10 (Anderston/City).
Previously, Councillor Matheson had been City Treasurer and Executive Member for Education and had served as a board member of a variety of organisations including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Court of the University of Strathclyde.
Commenting on his appointment, Councillor Matheson, said: ‘I am delighted to be taking up the position as Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.
‘The economy remains at the heart of this administration’s strategy and the dynamic activity undertaken by GCMB in securing major events and conferences for the city helps support Glasgow’s tourism industry, which employs more than 30,000 people.
‘GCMB is known for punching well above its weight and it is vital that it continues to have the necessary support to continue this work.’
Bailie Malik is a Councillor in Ward 11 (Hillhead) and has been a Glasgow City Councillor for 15 years.
He has a BSc in computing with business administration and has served as Chair of Life Long Learning; Senior Vice Convener of Education; Convener of Development and Regeneration Services and was until recently Executive Member of International Affairs.
Bailie Malik, said: ‘As Vice-Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, I relish the opportunity to help drive leisure and business tourism into Glasgow and feel sure that my experience gained in international affairs will be useful in this regard.’
Glasgow is aiming to go back to its roots as the ‘dear green place’ with an ambitious campaign to cut its carbon emissions, meets its energy needs and cash in on the eco-friendly energy boom.
The ‘Sustainable Glasgow’ study by the University of Strathclyde has identified how the city can cut its carbon emissions by 30% over the next 10 years.
In a programme outlined at the City Chambers, proponents of the scheme claim green energy projects could bring in £1.5bn of new investment. It also; recommends a biogas scheme which turns sewage and waste into energy, creation of urban woodland on vacant land, district heating and smart grid electrical systems, use of biogas and electrical powered vehicles and a campaign to help Glaswegians change their behaviour and recognise the importance of sustainability.
Leader of Glasgow City Council Steven Purcell told LOCAL NEWS: ‘There’s a huge opportunity, particularly to invest in the skills that the emerging clean, green industries are looking for, and I think one of the exciting things about this is the idea that our colleges and universities will begin to invest in the kind of courses and training required to provide a labour force for tomorrow’s jobs.’
Batting for Glasgow, he added: ‘I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the UK that’s being as ambitious, whether it’s the skills agenda, the energy masterplan or being much more ambitious in what we do in terms of waste management.
‘We know from this very significant piece of work that’s been done in the past year between the University of Strathclyde, major energy companies ScottishPower and Scottish & Southern Energy and other private sector partners that these opportunities are real. Business and the public sector can’t have invested the time and energy we have in the past year for no reason.
‘I’m confident that we have the energy, the skills and the ambition to deliver on this.’
Asked about squaring the plan for urban woodlands with the demand for housing building within the city, the council leader responded: ‘For every development that takes place in the city, we will guarantee that we will mitigate any carbon emissions by other developments like the urban woodlands.
‘Also, we’re making it a clear requirement now of our planning approach that we look at any development and test how low they are in carbon emissions.’
The plan also suggests a light rail network for the city centre area. However, it is ‘one of many ideas around transport infrastructure that we are flagging up as a possible solution to improving public transport and making the system more viable,’ said Mr Purcell.
‘Clearly it’s something we can only put into the marketplace and see if there is interest.’
A team from the University of Strathclyde have conquered Europe. Now they are spending the summer becoming experts on space, in order to rule the world.
The students from the University’s Law School will be representing Europe in the final of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Mooting Competition.
The team; Emma Boffey, Stephen Donnelly, Laura McKenzie and coach Aimée Asante secured their place after winning the European Regional Rounds in Athens last April.
They have now made it to the last three of a worldwide law competition which tests their court debating skills.
The Strathclyde team will be competing against opponents representing North America and Asia/ Pacific at the final in Daejeon, South Korea, in October.
The dummy or so called ’moot’ debates revolve around the theme of space law, governing the use of spacecraft and satellites.
Ms Asante, a PhD student and part-time lecturer at the Law School, said: ‘This is a fantastic achievement by our team. To be one of only three teams in the world left in the tournament is something we’re hugely proud of.
‘The issues we were debating were highly complex but we were able to put together a strong and coherent argument which has given us a chance to win the world title.’
The debate took the form of a moot, which involves competitive legal debating in simulated court hearings, where questions of law arising from a hypothetical case must be determined.
The Head of the Law School, Professor Mark Poustie said: ‘This is an excellent conclusion to a highly successful year in mooting for the Law School. I am very proud that our team has won this competition and will be representing Europe in the World Finals later this year.’