Walk for Maggie’s on 25 October

January 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Local News, Uncategorized

Maggie’s Centre Glasgow celebrated its sixth anniversary with a fund raising walk around Glasgow on Saturday 25 October. The event was attended by former Olympic runner Yvonne Murray MBE. Yvonne said: ‘I have had close family members with cancer who received fantastic support from using Maggie’s. I am looking forward to taking part in the walk.’

Starting at Kelvingrove Park, the walk followed a circular trail taking in landmarks such as Glasgow Cathedral, the People’s Palace and Glasgow Green where lunch was ready.

A second Maggie’s centre is planned for Glasgow at Gartnavel Hospital. If you would like to take part, call Claire Devlin on 0141 341 5670 or visit www.maggiescentres.org/lifewalks

Hot time for Marilyn

January 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

The Southside’s answer to 1950’s blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe has made it through to the second round of the television show Britain’s Got Talent.

And the local look-alike thinks the judges, who include music mogul Simon Cowell, haven’t seen anything yet. She said: ‘Simon is always saying there is no talent north of the border – well he hasn’t met Marilyn yet!’

Her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent is scheduled for Saturday January 21on ITV.

In December, she featured on the Jeremy Kyle chat show on ITV as a panellist courtesy of a very special invite from the show’s producer. Sitting in the front row, she was afforded plenty of screen time as she contributed to the discussion themed; ‘The Truth About Working in the Adult Industry’ – something Marilyn is very much against.

Combined with all this, she has still found the time to update her recently launched website of which she is the web mistress.

The site contains a plethora of photographs of the talented temptress and information on how to get in touch. Visit www.marilynmonroelookalikeuk.com .

Marilyn said: ‘It’s all really exciting and I’m feeling confident. If I get to sit on Simon’s knee I will be sure to tell all!’

MSPs Call for GHA Review

January 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Local News

Concerned MSPs have written to the Scottish Housing Regulator to ask for an investigation into the finances of Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).

Scottish National Party MSPs Sandra White, Bob Doris, Bill Kidd and Bashir Ahmad have written a joint letter to Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Housing Regulator. They are supporting a call from the Save Our Homes campaign for an investigation into the prices of an improvement programme which started in 2005 and is in its final stages now. Labour MSP Johann Lamont has written to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to seek her support for the review. Liberal Democrat MSP Robert Brown has also asked for a review of GHA’s working practices.

Said Sean Clerkin, Chair of the Save Our Homes campaign: ‘We are pleased to get this cross-party support. Our members have consistently complained of overpricing in particular on the overcladding work. We want confidence restored. The only way we believe this can be done is for the Housing Regulator to carry out a forensic financial inquiry into GHA’s tendering process.’

Advertising Sales Rep Wanted

January 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Job Vacancies

Local News are currently looking for part-time advertising sales reps to join our team. If you are interested please call 0141 226 4898 and ask for Jo Anne.

Gaza Protests

Gaza Protest in Glasgow City CentreA thousand people marched through the streets of Glasgow on Saturday January 3 to show their support for Palestinian civilians caught up in the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.

 The marchers called for an immediate end to the violence and the removal of blockades which are preventing aid from reaching the besieged Gaza residents. The marchers assembled at Blythswood Square then made their way to the Merchant City.

 They were addressed by speakers including MSPs Bill Kidd, (SNP) Pauline McNeill, (Labour) and Hugh O’Donnell (Lib Dem), as well as Barrie Levine of Scottish Jews for a Just Peace and Nazia Iqbal of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation.

The following night, a fundraising dinner at the Glasgow Central Mosque by Islamic Relief raised £160,000 for humanitarian aid for Gaza. The dinner was attended by Nicola Sturgeon MSP, who said: ‘I congratulate Islamic Relief and the people of Glasgow for raising over £150k in one evening.

‘This shows the strength of feeling from people about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.’

On Tuesday January 6, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned that Gaza faces an imminent humanitarian disaster. The Committee’s director of operations, Pierre Krähenbühl, said ‘There is no doubt in my mind that we are dealing with a major crisis in humanitarian terms. The situation for the people in Gaza is extreme and traumatic as a result of ten days of uninterrupted fighting. In that sense, their situation has clearly become intolerable.’

Further demonstrations took place in London and Edinburgh on Saturday January 10 by both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups.

 At the London pro-Israeli rally, Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks called for an end to violence saying: ‘We say to those who criticise Israel: You want Palestinian children to gorw up with hope, so do we. You want Palestinians to be able to live with dignity, so do we.’

In Edinburgh around 7000 people marched in support of the Palestinians. As protesters passed the American Embassy, a torrent of shoes was thrown at the building – including ski boots and clogs. Three police officers suffered minor injuries.


Glaswegians in the 2009 Honours

Aileen McGlynn and Ellen HuntA Southside sportswoman is among those who have been acknowledged for their contribution to society in the New Year’s Honours List.

Blind paralympian cyclist Aileen McGlynn of Crookston was awarded an OBE – Order of the British Empire.

Aileen told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘It is an amazing end to the year. Once I received my MBE in 2005, which in itself was a great honour, I didn’t expect to get anything more.’

Aileen cycles tandem with her cycling pilot guide, Ellen Hunter of Cornwall who also received the OBE.  Both meet up in Manchester to train at the velodrome before big events. Said Aileen: ‘The sooner the velodrome in Glasgow is open, the better!’

She won two gold medals at last year’s Paralympic Games in Beijing and even smashed the world record for the 1 km timed trial which she and Ellen had set in Athens in 2004.

Another honour goes to East Ender, Sandra Forsythe, Glasgow Housing Association’s Tenant Chair. She said she was ‘humbled’ by her MBE and added: ‘The recognition was a complete surprise. I am still in shock. However, it’s good to know that those who give up their spare time voluntarily are being honoured. I’ll be accepting the MBE on behalf of all tenant volunteers in Glasgow.’

Sandra was elected Chair of GHA Board in January 2005 and has just been re-elected as chair for another year and as a board member for another three years. The outer East area covering Greater Easterhouse, Shettleston, Tollcross, Baillieston and Carmyle nominated Sandra for the Board but she represents the whole of the city. She has been involved in Glasgow’s housing since 1991.

Raymond Francis Hemmett of North Kelvinside was made an MBE. He is a senior conservator of paintings with Historic Scotland. A conservator for 35 years, he said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted.  It is good for conservators in general because they do not normally get recognised. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes and while the work of the curators is important, the conservators play a part.’ One of his most exciting projects was the re-decoration of the King’s Dining Room in Edinburgh Castle.

Alexander (Sandy) McGeoch was appointed MBE for his services to the Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland (YESC). Originally from Banff in Aberdeenshire he moved to Glasgow and the Maryhill Park area and now lives in Milngavie. He told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘It made me feel extremely good that the industry has recognised me.’ Sandy has worked with primary and secondary schools and further education facilities across Scotland since 1993 and has built up the number of clubs from 23 to just short of 300. YESC provides hands-on experience of science and engineering projects such as ‘Rampaging Chariots’ which gives students the chance to build their very own working robot.

Sandy said: ‘The robot building gives the kids skills in mechanics and construction but it is fun too. Making sure the kids learn through having fun is important or else it would simply been seen as an extension to the classroom.’

The Herald and Evening Times Group’s Managing Director , Tom Thomson, received an OBE for his services to music. He was chairman of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. ‘This honour recognises the outstanding success of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Scotland’s position on the musical world stage as acknowledged by Glasgow’s recent award as a UNESCO City of Music,’ he said.

Ian George Taylor, district manager of Jobcentre Plus in Glasgow received an OBE.  Harry Benson, world renowned, Glasgow photographer was awarded a CBE.

Olympic cyclist, Chris Hoy, received a knighthood. He also has the accolade of having Glasgow’s multi-million pound Velodrome to be built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, named after him.

Chinese New Year on Burns Night

Chinese New Year and the 250th anniversary of poet Robert Burns’ birthday coincide on Sunday 25 January this year.

The Scottish Government will use the date as the launchpad for the Year of Homecoming to persuade exiles and diaspora to return to Scotland to celebrate.

Glasgow’s Chinese communities will settle for a modest, but rousing, New Year event on Monday February 2 in the Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow.

There will be entertainment by various Chinese groups and artists hosted by the Chinese Community Development Partnership (CCDP)

At the CCDP’s annual general meeting at the end of last year, Chinese Consulate- General Shi Yufeng was guest of honour. He congratulated the Partnership of 16 organisations for what they had done for the community. This included a spectacular Chinese New Year Celebration in the Royal Concert Hall in 2008.

Annie Mead, Chairperson of CCDP presented the 7th annual report. She said that an assessment of their plan to have a One Stop Chinese Community Centre, revealed the idea did not meet funding criteria. Despite the disappointment, useful data was obtained which will inform future plans and developments. The Youth project had had a very successful year and would continue to be supported by CCDP but because funding had failed to materialize for the work, it would be up to the young people who had benefited from the previous efforts, to organise themselves into an effective and dynamic group.

‘We firmly believe that as one door closes, another opens,’ said the Chairperson. She gave credit for the considerable achievements of the Partnership over the previous year, to the dedicated, hard-working and efficient staff and the Directors who had given their time, support and advice to the work as well as all the volunteers and their invaluable contributions. She added that she was proud to report that Development Officer, Joyce Tai, had completed her studies at Glasgow University and had graduated as a fully qualified community development workers.

Bailie Gordon Matheson, who chaired the annual general meeting, paid tribute to the CCD for trying to ‘do more, with less.’


Pollok Credit Union and Post Office

January 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow South, Local News

The first ever post office in the UK to be run by a credit union opened for business in Pollok last month.

The merging of Pollok Post Office with Pollok Credit Union has come as a welcome relief to the area not only in securing the future of 14 local jobs but also in ensuring the longevity of a first class lifeline service.

By as early as February the offices will relocate to the Silverburn Shopping Centre in the Winter Gardens where a unit beside Barrhead Travel has already been acquired.

Currently the offices occupy a facility in phase III of Silverburn – part of the older Pollok Shopping Centre.

The new facility will continue to offer the same level of service but footfall is expected to increase dramatically because of the new location.

Four mail counters and two credit counters will be established and the staff will be trained to operate both.

Ian Davidson, South West MP and MSP Johann Lamont joined in the official launch on Monday December 8.

Jim Garrity, manager of the credit union said: ‘This partnership will secure two vital services within the local community. Post office services and credit union services will be delivered from one unit. It is especially appropriate in the current financial crisis that both should be working together closely.’

Pollok Credit Union has an outlet at The Wedge nearby and in Shawlands where much of the office work will still be done.

Ian Smith, Royal Mail’s Senior External Relations Manager said: ‘This will help secure the future of the post office in Pollok with the coming together of two trusted brands.’

Johann said: ‘This is very welcome for the area and is another example of the pioneering people in Pollok. It is a great initiative.’

Editorial – Janaury 2009

January 15, 2009 by  
Filed under The Editor

There was a time when a man’s word was his bond. There was no going back from the commitment. No matter the inconvenience, hardship, cost or effort involved, that honest man would keep his promise.

In today’s casual climate things are not so certain.  With technology able to make silk purses out of sow’s ears and fools out of all of us, even the camera cannot be relied on to reveal the truth.

So it is refreshing to find that a culture of integrity still exists and indeed, on occasion, is recognised and rewarded.

In the New Year Honours List, people such as Aileen McGlynn, the blind cyclist and her pilot guide Ellen Hunter, set us a shining example. Their trust in each other’s commitment has won them gold several times at the Beijing Olympics and now they have been made Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Previously they were humble Members of that Order.

And it is worth keeping in mind they make those promises on training, training and training entirely for themselves. There is no public pressure for them to commit to the punishing schedule to attain and stay at that high level of endeavour. And there is no public salary to do it either.

Chancellor Opens Gorbals Skills Academy

January 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow South, Local News

Glasgow’s new Construction Skills Academy was opened by the Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Chancellor took time out from dealing with the worst economic downturn in a generation to tour the facility and meet some of the young people who are preparing for careers in the building trade. The Academy is based at the former St John’s Primary School in Gorbals.

Short courses started running in August 2008 and 266 training places will be provided during the academy’s first year. Once fully operational, up to 400 individuals a year can be trained. Among those targeted will be people who are not in employment, education or training, including the 16-24 year old age group, many of whom have left school and gone into short-term employment or have not yet entered the employment market.

Mr Darling said: ‘This academy is really important, especially at a time like this when things are slowing down. Now, it’s all the more important to make sure we have the right skills and training. In Glasgow, there are tremendous opportunities in the construction industry as we work towards the Commonwealth Games in six years’ time.’

During his tour of the academy, Alistair Darling met Jennifer Breaden, 18, from Cardonald. Jennifer achieved five highers while she was a pupil at Lourdes Secondary and is working towards an SVQ level 3 in plumbing. Jennifer is the only female plumber taking the course. She told the Chancellor that she was following the same career path as her dad, also a plumber, and that she intends to set up her own business once she has learned the trade.

As well as offering training in skills such as joinery and plumbing, the academy has an outdoor area where students can learn how to handle heavy plant such as JCBs. There are distinctive Nissen huts in the yard where training can continue in poor weather conditions.