Tea was much in evidence at the launch of Glasgow’s booze busting campaign.
The location was the newsagent’s shop and general store in Yoker run by Mrs Nirmal Kaur and her husband Joe Singh who manages their in-store Post Office.
Mrs Kaur had set out a big pot of tea to welcome all her visitors who included Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson and Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House who instructed his officers to drink up while he was interviewed by a multitude of media.
The shop is at the forefront of the fight against Glasgow’s alcohol problem.
With a black belt in Karate, Mrs Kaur has floored an attacker with one action. ‘He got six months,’ she said. Other of her customers joke that they wouldn’t dream of trying to steal money or drink from her because she can ‘run faster’ than them. And she has a clutch of medals to prove that too.
She has no hesitation in asking for age ID and has a hot line to the local police office when anything unsavoury happens.
‘I’ve dealt with the public all my life,’ said Mrs Kaur. ‘My husband and I work seven days. And I don’t stand for any nonsense.’
From Saturday 1 October, none of the policing or public agencies will stand for nonsense either.
Strathclyde Police, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Community and Safety Services, Glasgow Housing Association and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue have combined forces to deal more effectively with people whose drinking causes problems to others.
Co-ordinated enforcement measures will be meted out by a dedicated Alcohol Task Force.
Information on problem premises, retailers and people will be shared with tough action promised.
A new community payback scheme is being discussed with the Procurator Fiscal to ensure that people who commit alcohol related offences carry out work in the communities they’ve abused.
Any person or place involved in alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour will meet a Zero Tolerance attitude from all the agencies.
And tenants who cause problems or whose children cause problems will be given one month to change their behaviour or they could be evicted.
Said Councillor Matheson: ‘Ordinary decent people – including the vast majority of the licensed trade – are fed up with the misery caused by booze and we are standing up for them. Whether it’s parents who have no idea what their children are up to at night, or shopkeepers who sell alcohol to kids, or people at the weekend who make a fool of themsleves in Glasgow after binge drinking – they need to take responsibility for their actions and they’ve got a month to change their ways. Then we’re cracking down on them.’
Chief Constable House said: ‘Through a multi-agency group we’ve set up, we will gather every available bit of intelligence on the people who are causing misery so that we can take swift action against them. We will work with those who act responsibly and punish those who don’t.’
Among the new ideas worked out by the Booze Busters group are:
Chill Out Hour which will permit certain pubs and clubs to stay open for an extra hour on Fridays and Saturdays to sell hot food, play softer, calming music and dispense only soft drinks and water so that patrons are fitter and in a better frame of mind to go home.
SOS Bus to provide first aid, be a refuge for lost people and a resting place for those who are too drunk to go anywhere. Street Pastors will also be on duty to give pastoral care.
And there is a firm commitment to crack down on the social media services which deliver alcohol to customers at any time of night. Said a spokesman: ‘We will track them. We will target them and we will arrest the people who run them, especially if they are selling to under age people.’
A commuter waterbus service brings back a boat to the River Clyde in Glasgow on a regular daily basis.
In time for Easter, the Motor Vessel Silver Swan, will ply the River from Yoker to Braehead to the Science Centre to the Broomielaw pontoon behind the casino. Purpose built for Clydelink, the little launch and the sister ship MV Island Trader which serves the Yoker crossing exclusively, are part of a quarter million pound investment in the future of the River by Silvers Marine of Roseneath.
Said Managing Director Mark Aikman: ‘I have a passion for boats on the River and believe where there is more traffic, more people will use the river and that makes good business sense.’
Clydelink was formed last year with only three days notice to fill the gap left by SPTon the closure of the Renfrew ferry link. ‘We’ve carried 100.000 passengers and made a small profit there,’ declared Mark. ‘We have two more vessels in the pipeline and they will be ready soon.’
The new service to the heart of Glasgow has enabled the company to take on two apprentices. Said Scott Cairns (22) who is one of them: ‘I’ve always wanted to do this. It’s brilliant I’m getting this chance.’ His skipper Paul Malone (22) added: ‘Now people can see what they’ve been missing.’
A youth programme which helps reduce anti-social behaviour in the North and West of Glasgow has been hailed as a success by former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson.
The former Scotland International captain was among special guests at the annual awards and dance shows run by A&M Training – a programme which is part funded by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).
Run by ex-Dundee United winger Andy McLaren, the A&M Training scheme tackles youth disorder, racism and gang violence. Founded on his own hard experiences, the scheme encourages youngsters to keep fit through football and dance classes.
Around 2000 youngsters have already signed up for Operation Reclaim in the North of the city and also the West End Diversionary Project.
Birmingham City star Barry Ferguson presented trophies at the Operation Reclaim awards night at the Mitchell Theatre recently.
Barry said: “I’m delighted to support A&M Training which delivers top-quality diversionary coaching activities across Glasgow. Each week around 2000 young people benefit from these services – and they are free.
“I attended the dance and awards show and was blown away by the numbers involved, the talent on show and the quality of the coaching.”
GHA and the Scottish Government fund the West End Diversionary Project, which covers areas including Drumchapel, Yoker, Scotstoun and Anderston. Operation Reclaim is funded by GHA and North Glasgow Community Planning Partnership and runs in areas including Sighthill, Springburn, Milton and Royston.
GHA’s Executive Director of Development and Regeneration, Alex McGuire, said: “Projects such as Operation Reclaim and the West End Diversionary Project are making a real difference to young people in the North and West of the city.
Former Scotland footballers Robbie Winters, Charlie Miller and Gary McSwegan are also lending their support to programme.
Andy McLaren, founder of A&M Training, said: “We’re the only sports coaching charity in Scotland providing free coaching services delivered by professional footballers and dancers.
“The programme has had a tremendous benefit in reducing youth crime and disorder and improving the health and well-being of large numbers of young people.”
by Stuart Maxwell
Glasgow’s children are being given the Right to Blether by voting for things that they, as individuals, believe are important.
The DRC Youth Project in Yoker was visited by Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, on Thursday 18 November, as a legion of local youngsters were initiated into world of voting.
They had to mark an X next to policies relating to four key issues: MY HOME, WHERE I LEARN, MY COMMUNITY and THE COUNTRY I LIVE IN. The first issue read: ‘To make children and young people’s lives better IN THE HOME, I think Tam should….’. The Yoker Youngsters then chose between three policies for each issue and then lined up to drop there ballot paper into the box.
Throughout November 50,000 kids from across Scotland will vote in The Right to Blether. The results will be announced in January next year and the the key issues voted for by Scottish youth will be discussed by key policy makers at a Right to Blether conference in February.
After helping the Yoker kids to vote, Commissioner Tam said: ‘This vote is a chance for children and young people to tell me what things in the their own life- or the lives of other children and young people- need to be made better.
The Right to Blether is being ran primarily to introduce youth to voting in a country that is often seen as apathetic during election times. However, the initiative also marks the 21st anniversary of the UN Convention on the Right of the Child. Said Tam:’ It’s a great way to mark the 21st anniversary…a convention that is a useful tool to help achieve lasting change such as ending the detention of child asylum seekers in the UK and new, national guidance on how to move and handle children with disabilities- which came directly from young people themselves.’
The vote is open to all children under 18. You can vote online at www.arighttoblether.co.uk/vote.
People from Momentum’s Energiser programme in Yoker were presented with certificates after completing an intense two-day First Aid course in August.
The innovative programme is designed to support disabled and socially excluded people to move on to employment, education or training.
The 12 week scheme focuses on all aspects of personal development including confidence-building sessions, stress management, goal setting and health.
The group learned to deal with a variety of outdoor and cycle-related injuries, including broken bones, control of bleeding, CPR and rescue management, as well as covering the basic first aid curriculum.
The training was offered through De’ils on Wheels, a local community project, part of the Dumbarton Road Corridor Environment Trust, which helps people to recycle, re-build bicycles and encourages them to get active.
Momentum service user and Yoker resident, Tam Shearon, said: ‘It was great to learn skills in First Aid that could potentially, help me to help others. Momentum’s Energiser course has given me the encouragement and confidence to learn new things and I am now looking forward to starting a new Art and Design course.’
And Michael Brown, also from Yoker, said: ‘Having passed the First Aid course, I feel more confident about applying for jobs. Attending Momentum’s Energiser project over 12 weeks has really helped me to prepare for the next step – looking for employment.’
Schoolchildren across Glasgow will have the chance to show off their footballing skills this May as part of a tournament that also brings them lessons in equality and understanding.
More than 500 primary seven youngsters will take part in A League for All Tournament at the Petershill Complex in Springburn.
Each school’s team of five will be drawn from a pool of 10 players, and organisers hope that linking the beautiful game to issues of race, gender, co-operation and competition will be an education for the children.
Tommy Breslin, of action group Show Racism the Red Card, said: ‘Football is a very important tool in helping tackle racism. We look at our football teams, they’re largely multicultural, multi ethnic, multi faith, multinational positive working environments and the fan base reflects that as well.
‘We’re delivering a lot of anti Islamophobia workshops in secondary schools in the Glasgow area, and the young people again are listening to us and the responses that are coming back are pretty positive. They’re questioning their assumptions, their attitudes and the peer pressure that’s put upon them.
‘Glasgow’s always been a very diverse society and I think that can only be a positive for the city.’
Besides SRRC, Glasgow City Council, Partick Thistle, the Scottish Refugee Council, the Jags Trust, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and trade union Unison are backing the initiative.
Former Jags player Jim Duffy – now manager of Brechin City and a big supporter of community campaigns in football – wants to see teams work harder to reach out to potential fans from all backgrounds.
He said: ‘I think it’s long overdue that players get a bit more involved in the community, particularly the primary schools because they are still seen as role models – whether they like it or not. They go into the schools, the kids love it and I think eventually all the clubs will take part.’
Jim added: ‘We pride ourselves in being a diverse country, but it’s not all about that. For too long football clubs have just opened the doors and expected people to come to them, but these are changing days. They have to work harder and it is happening.
‘Unfortunately, as is the way with football, when there’s something negative it gets lots of publicity; when there’s something positive it gets little publicity, so we’ll chip away at it and
encourage more people to take part.’
The May tournament will precede Refugee Week Scotland, which takes place in June. The nine schools participating in A League for All are St Paul’s Primary, Blairdardie Primary, St Ninian’s Primary, Yoker Primary, Bankhead Primary, St Brendan’s Primary, Corpus Christi Primary, Garscadden Primary and Knightswood Primary.
Alison Burns, acting Principal, Knightswood Primary, said: ‘Obviously, football is going to be high on any 11-year-old’s list of priorities, so we feel that by teaching about racism, sexism, and sectarianism through football we’re going to capture their attention. They’re enthusiastic about participating in the programme and because football is played regularly within the school we think this will bring another aspect to our PE.’
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has voted 14 to five to withdraw the Renfrew Ferry service which links Yoker and Renfrew. The move will save SPT around £430,000 per year in subsidies which it pays to support the route. SPT pays around £3 for every passenger journey, while the fare is only £1.20. A ferry has operated the route for over 500 years.
The current vessels, the Renfrew Rose and the Yoker Swan, are reaching the end of their working lives and do not comply with accessibility laws. To bring them both in line with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) would cost in excess of £2 million. SPT Chairman Alistair Watson said the decision to end the Ferry service had been made with great regret. He said: “The decision to close the Renfrew ferry was not an easy one and we recognise that it has served communities across the Clyde very well for a long time. “The sad reality is that we are living in an exceptional financial climate. Like all local councils we have had to make extremely difficult choices on where to cut public spending. “SPT is making a substantial loss to keep the ferry running and that is simply unsustainable.”
SPT are in talks with four private firms who may be interested in maintaining the ferry service.
By Alan McCrorie
Staff at Momentum Scotland, the volunteer network which helps people meet the challenges of living with disability, delivered a sobering message along with their thanks to BT after the telecoms giants gifted the group with a laptop and free internet access for a year.
Momentum, who run their Adapt & Assist service to help those with serious spinal injuries access computers and the internet, were made the award by BT Community Connections and are one of 6,000 groups to have benefited from the scheme since 2000.
Assistive Technology Co-ordinator, Garry Ryan, and Volunteer Co-ordinator, Doug Ross, told a gathering at Momentum’s Yoker offices that a disability may only be the beginning of a person’s problems unless their world is adapted around them in order to help them cope.
Professional and private lives can collapse, Doug explained. One in six people who become disabled lose their jobs while the incidence of divorce rockets and, for some, isolation threatens – all this and more on top of lives that have changed beyond recognition.
Garry said: ‘Simply being able to do their own shopping online and communicate with others via email or social networking sites can help ease the challenge of living with a disability.
‘By learning new skills and working with members of our volunteer team we can boost confidence and social inclusion.’
He also explained the use of such devices such as the head mouse, where a camera mounted on the screen will track a dot attached to the user’s forehead or spectacles, allowing the computer to interpret movements of the head and cue the computer.
BT Scotland’s Senior Partnership Manager, James McClafferty, gamely volunteered to work a voice recognition programme, and joined John Roberston, Glasgow North West MP, Co-Chairman of the All-Party Communications Group and former BT manager, in struggling to operate a keyboard that resembled the controls of a melodion.
‘This is what it’s like to live with disability,’ said Garry, looking on. ‘Everything changes completely.’
Mark Longhill, the Chairman of the BT judging panel who made the award to Momentum, tested a remarkable retina-based mouse control programme, while a sip and puff switch, which controls the mouse with the mouth, was also demonstrated.
I joined Councillor Danny Alderslowe on pothole patrol outside Queen’s Park just after 7.30 am recently, writes Martin Graham. The idea was to make cyclists aware of the Council’s commitment to repair potholes within 24 hours on main roads and within 5 days on side roads. We handed out leaflets and free bike maps to over 50 people and the response was tremendous: people were delighted that someone was taking an interest. Also, there was an element of camaraderie which let cyclists know that there were other folks out there concerned about their issues.
If you spot a pothole you can call the council on 0800 373635 to report it. You can also let Danny know via email at email@example.com
Pedal for Scotland
This year’s Pedal for Scotland took place on 14 September, and was the biggest yet, with over 5000 people making the 55 mile journey from Glasgow Green to Victoria Park in Edinburgh, via Linlithgow and South Queensferry.
There were plenty of refreshment stops on the way, and Avonbridge Parish Church laid on their usual home baking tent for the ravenous cyclists. The pit stop was needed as one of the biggest hills on the route is just after that village. At Linlithgow, Sustrans had a huge tent serving pasta, soup and sandwiches, the queue was massive!
Participants ranged from experienced cyclists to complete novices and special mention must be made of Patrick, aged 5, who was enjoying the day with his dad.
Bad Luck in the Clyde Cycle Tunnel
I’ve had a run of punctures recently, then a broken chain out at Mugdock Park. To trump it all, I was out on a ride with my brother and we went through the Clyde Tunnel. My bro ended up crashing just at the bend on the southbound cycle path. Luckily he was wearing a helmet and his wheels took the brunt of the force, but it could have been much worse, as the tunnel is a very enclosed space with a metal barrier running down it.
The tunnel is a great route linking Govan and Yoker, and is the only way to negotiate the river between the Science Centre and the Ferry at Whiteinch.
Glasgow City Council has recently secured funding to progress some upgrades to the tunnel, including a controlled entry system supported by CCTV cameras. Hopefully, this should discourage anti-social behaviour in the tunnel and make it a more pleasant environment for cyclists and pedestrians.
There is also talk of a new ferry between Govan and Partick which would re-instate a centuries-old link.