With only days to go before voting, there is no sign of weariness among the electorate or the party activists. The bank holiday weekend provided respite for some but most of the candidates were out and about at street stalls, canvassing, leafleting and talking up their case to anyone who’d listen.
There is hope that the impetus which got 84.6% of voters out for the Referendum, will enable a similarly high turnout for this general election – at least in Scotland. But there are signs that last September’s issue has galvanised people in other parts of the UK. Whether they love or hate the issue, they have taken note of the huge groundswell of support for investigating, discussing and debating politics anywhere. Stand at a bus stop, sit on a train, be in a shop, follow Twitter, listen to steam radio – whatever your choice, you’ll find the airwaves are alive to the sound of people parleying about Parliament.
The bets are on that the outcome will be a hung Parliament. However the numbers stack up, deals will have to be done. Let’s hope they are done in the best interests of the entire country – not just the narrow Party parameters and the vested interests of those at the top. Miracles DO happen, you just need to believe in them. One Church – which held a hustings recently – will hold an hour of prayer on Wednesday 6 May and invites anyone who believes in prayer to join them. ‘Many challenges face Great Britain, threats that could tear us apart, but God’s word speaks of healing and hope if we’d only turn to Him!’
If a week’s a long time in politics no doubt an hour is worthwhile in eternity. Whether prayer or party leaflets does it – the important thing is to get people out and voting. Postal votes are already in. So it’s turn up and be counted on Thursday 7 May 2015.
Not yet registered to vote? You have till midnight tonight – Monday 20 April 2015 – to claim your right to vote. There is a simple online form asking about 11 questions including your national insurance number if you have one. Said Alex Robertson, Director of Communications at the Electoral Commission: ‘If you aren’t registered by midnight on 20 April, you simply won’t be able to vote on 7 May.’ He urged the 7.5 million unregistered people to go to: www.gov.uk/registertovote In the past five weeks around 1.8 million people have registered. Following a recent promotion by the Electoral Commission and Twitter, 300,000 people aged between 16 and 24 registered. But only if an individual is 18 by voting day, can they vote in that election. ‘We’ve had a big push,’ said a spokeswoman. ‘At 1 December last year 7.5 million people had not registered or re-registered.’ If a person moves address, they will need to re-register at the new address. Every vote counts, especially when the outcome is on a knife edge according to all the polls.
Glasgow’s plan B has nothing to do with the Referendum! It is the Council’s strategy to increase the population of honeybees in the city. Around 120,000 bees have been installed in two insulated beehives on the roof of Glasgow City Chambers.
Vital in the food chain, this kind of bee is under threat because of pesticides and climate change.
Council Leader Gordon Matheson – who is also chair of Sustainable Glasgow – said: “Bees pollinate a third of the food we eat and also pollinate trees which helps reduce air pollution by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Numbers have dropped dramatically so Sustainable Glasgow is helping reverse that decline by installing these hives.
“I hope the bees will flourish and help us ensure Glasgow remains a Dear Green Place for generations to come.”
PlanBee Ltd is the company which provides the bees, the hives and the training programmes. Council staff have swarmed to be trained in hive management.
Bees can travel up to three miles to find their target flowers. Said Warren Bader of PlanBee Ltd: “Glasgow is a fantastic garden city. Bees can be safer in a city than in the countryside where a lot of farmers use pesticides and plant monocultures (just one type of crop) which isn’t healthy for pollen production. In a good summer the bees can produce plenty of honey.” He added: “Unless you are a flower, the bees really aren’t interested in you so no one should be worried!”
Wax from the bees will be used as furniture polish in the City Chambers. What happens to the honey will be decided when the quality and quantity is known.
Glasgow aims to become one of the most sustainable cities in Europe by cutting carbon emissions by 30% by 2020 / 21.
Already it has a network of electric car charging points; solar powered parking meters; Green Wardens; electric vehicles in the council fleet and a Green Energy Services Company to promote and oversee renewable energy projects. The Stalled Spaces initiative has seen 32 disused spaces in Glasgow brought back into use as community gardens, performance space and locations for public art installations. This scheme will be rolled out across Scotland.
Next year Glasgow plans to hold Green Year 2015. Twelve months of activities will celebrate the city’s green credentials and encourage others to do their bit for the environment. Twitter: @greenglasgow.
Women in Glasgow’s East End now have a dedicated Women Only gym.
Thanks to Gill Connor and her team, the Forge Fitness Centre – or Gill’s Gym – is up and running. It sits in its lovely girlie pink building near the Forge cinema at 1173 Gallowgate G31 4EG. Once the offices of Hunter and Clark, the premises have been given a feminine make-over with studios dedicated to Spinning, Vibrating Plates, Weights, Workouts and almost every other modern, professional fitness training routine.
An Open Day will be held on Saturday 14 September – from 12 noon till 3pm – with an invitation to any woman interested to drop in and find out what’s in the Forge Fitness Centre for her. A special opening offer of £20 a month with no joining fee won’t last long! So don’t miss out.
Once a new customer services officer with a bank, Gill is passionate about health and fitness.
‘The bank was very good and allowed me to reduce my working hours to follow my fitness passion and increase my freelance fitness training hours,’ said Gill who is 24. ‘That helped me manage the work / life balance. When this opportunity became available, it was a no-brainer for me to do this full time.’
From freelance fitness instructor to full time Fitness Manager, Gill has made the transition with calmness and in a planned way.
‘Since July, its been long days -practically living here – to get the place ready. But it is all coming together now,’ she said.
Apart from the cardio studio with treadmills, bikes, rower, cross trainers and steps, there is a weights and balls studio for Abs work. There is a distinctive yellow studio for the 10 bikes for spin sessions. ‘We have disco lights in there which gives a much more fun and motivational atmosphere,’ explained Gill.
Another unit is dedicated to vibro-plate and stretching.
‘There most definitely will be something to suit everyone,’ said Gill who has included nail bar and lipo treatment and Herbal Life professionals with their own dedicated space. Essential showers and changing facilities are included. But the prime place is a big, airy dance studio overlooking the famous Gallowgate and featuring an antique safe painted in silver and pink. ‘It’s there because we couldn’t find a way to move it!’ said Gill who proceeded to make a fun highlight of it.
‘Women can be intimidated in a gym,’ said Gill. ‘They tend to use the one bit of equipment they know about and are often afraid to ask about using the other things. That’s why my Forge Fitness Centre is women only. Women will feel much more comfortable and will ask questions. This won’t be a scary place and we’ll instruct people how to use the equipment. We’ll also sit down with each person when she joins and talk about her lifestyle and the changes she wants. That way, we can advise the best exercises for her. She may only need minor tweeking to what she’s doing, but we can keep an eye on her progress and give her encouragement when it’s needed.’
With her Level 2 and Level 3 Personal Training qualifications, her bank experience in customer service and her own tremendous enthusiasm for fitness and good health, Gill is seeing her dream come true. She said: ‘I want women to feel that a gym can be fun and a nice place to socialise with friends.’ She’s created that comfortable environment in a cocoon of pink at the Forge Fitness Centre in 1173 Gallowgate, G31 4EG.
Find the Forge Fitness Centre on Twitter , You Tube, and Facebook
Tel: 0141 280 7000
Nearly a week after she was last seen, 44-year-old scientist Dr Lucia Piacentini is still missing.
Family and friends have spent the weekend searching for her and have mounted a facebook and twitter appeal to find her. Police have checked out Pollok Park and Linn Park.
Her family are ‘frantic with worry.’ She was last seen at around 6.45pm on Sunday 28 July at her home in Cathcart and in Kirkwell Road. Described as white, 5ft 4ins tall, of stocky build with short black hair and brown eyes, she was wearing a burgundy coloured hooded top and a khaki coloured skirt. She may be carrying a red Berghaus rucksack.
Said Inspector Taylor Grant, of Cathcart Police Office: “Ms Piacentini has not been missing before and it is completely out of character for her not to contact her family and friends. She suffers from depression and does not have her prescribed medication with her.
“Despite extensive enquiries in the local area, we have been unable to trace Lucia. We have spoken with her family and understandably, they are extremely concerned for her wellbeing and her safety. We have also liaised closely with our partner agencies but there have been no sightings of Lucia.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Cathcart Police Office on 0141 532 4900.
Lucia’s partner Fiona Rae, also made an appeal for anyone who has seen Lucia to tell the Police. With a first class honours degree from Strathclyde University, Dr Piacentini is a talented scientist with a PhD in pharmacology and heart disease. She is a family orientated person with many nephews and nieces.
Following the successful return of the West End Festival’s spectacular Mardi Gras styled parade on Sunday 9 June, there is assurance it will march again next year.
Lack of funds to pay for Byres Road being closed off, prevented the magnificent procession being seen since 2008. However, the Glasgow based daily deals and events service: itison.com stepped in with £15,000 this year to enable an estimated 80,000 people to enjoy the colourful Festival Sunday parade. Oli Norman, founder of itison said: ‘We’re really proud to have made the Parade return to Byres Road this year.’ He also said that 20,000 of his company’s customers had said they’d be there.
More than 600 people took part in the parade. Some of them taking months and many fund-raising efforts of their own, to create the colourful costumes.
Commented Festival Chairman, Liz Scobie: ‘First, we’re relieved the sunshine made the day for everyone. We’re also delighted so many people turned up to watch and that everyone was safe.’ She praised the work of the many volunteers and said the response to the event on Facebook and Twitter had be ‘fantastic.’ Earlier she said: ‘The parade has been a labour of love for festival director, Michael Dale, parade co-ordinator, Noel Bridgeman, and the Festival team. But it couldn’t have happened without the generous support of our funders, sponsors
and volunteers. I’d like to thank each of them.’
The Festival programme continues till the end of June with an amazing variety of events still to be enjoyed. Check online at www.glasgowwestend.co.uk for details.
Glasgow City Council has agreed to support the Festival for three years assuring the parade’s return in 2014 and 2015. Said Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and Economy: ‘The West End festival parade is a well-established fixture of Glasgow’s cultural calendar. We appreciate the significant value, both economic and cultural that the parade and the festival brings to Glasgow and its visitors.’
Future of Scotland
Thursday 1 March
The aim of the event is to enthuse and inspire a wide range of people from across civil society to engage in the debate about the Future of Scotland and encourage them to open out discussions to their members, connections and service users. The event will be a key opportunity to listen to the issues that matter to people and engage a large number of people in a lively debate. The programme has been designed to be flexible and interactive.
In order to maximise the levels of interaction and reach, vox pop video clips of people from across Scotland will be shown at several points throughout the event, people can contribute their thoughts and questions via a live Twitter feed the entire event will be streamed live on the website:www.futureofscotland.org It will be recorded for web viewing later.
The conference registration is now open to groups and individuals via the website: www.futureofscotland.org or via the ACTS website homepage: www.acts-scotland.org
Attendance is FREE but you will need to PRE-REGISTER online.
The Glasgow Athletics Association is now on Facebook and Twitter!
Click “like” on their Facebook to stay up to date on all GAA activity – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glasgow-Athletics-Association/131911086885981?ref=tn_tnmn
Follow them on Twitter -https://twitter.com/#/glasgowath or see the GAA website: www.glasgowathletics.org.uk/
Through social networking site Twitter, more than 60 Labour activists from across Scotland campaigned in Glasgow Southside last weekend. They turned out to support Stephen Curran who is challenging Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) for the Glasgow Southside seat.
Stephen was joined on the campaign trail by Labour activist Sally Bercow. Local Westminster MP, Anas Sarwar, invited the Speaker’s wife to the city for an event dubbed ‘Southside Tweekender’.
The team took to the streets in scorching temperatures and spoke to hundreds of voters about Stephen’s local campaign.
Sally, Stephen, Anas and the activists all enjoyed an ice cream from Queen’s Cafe in Victoria Road.
Sally said: “It was great to be out and about in the Southside. The people are really friendly.
“Stephen is a great local candidate. Everyone seems to know him.”
Stephen said: “It was fantastic to be joined by Sally. She’s well known among Labour activists as a hardworking campaigner and she certainly proved that at the weekend.”
Glasgow Central MP and Twitter user Anas Sarwar, who came up with the idea of a ‘Southside Tweekender’, said: “Sally was keen to campaign in the Southside because she knows the last thing David Cameron wants is a Labour victory in Scotland.”
You can follow Stephen, Sally and Anas on Twitter by searching on @curranstephen, @sallybercow and @anassarwar.
A social media marketing campaign has had a good result for Buchanan Galleries and the Glasgow based design agency, Good Creative. The Galleries were named as one of the most effective brands in the UK and the design company received a bronze award in the Design Business Association’s annual awards for that work. By using Twitter, Good got the Galleries’ message across to the young, mobile, urban shopper.
Good also won gold in the internal communications category for safety work for client Scottish Power and more gold for a new brand identity created for Argyll based Fyne Ales. This clutch of accolades puts Good at third in the Association’s league table. It is the only Association member to win three consecutive gold awards.
“ With 70% of our business now coming from outside of Scotland, it makes sense to be closer to our customers,” said Keith Forbes, who is now looking for a working base in London. He set up Good Creative eight years ago with co-director Chris Lumsden.
Sam Stewart, Buchanan Galleries’ marketing manager, said: “Embracing the effective use of social media has changed perceptions for the better. More than that, it’s created efficiencies with my overall marketing budget which allow me to maximise my spend elsewhere.”