ID Cards Protest at Brand Street

Guy Fawkes says \'Down With This Sort of Thing\'Protesters gathered outside the UK Borders Agency office in Brand Street, Govan to protest against the introduction of ID cards for non-EU citizens wishing to apply for student or marriage visas.

The demonstration was organised by action group Glasgow Anarchists who fear the cards will make it easy to steal a person identity and will be the iceberg in the creation of a national identity card scheme

On Tuesday November 25 the biometric ID cards came into force across the UK. They will contain a photograph linked to a fingerprint and personal details of the holder.

Action groups including NO2ID, No Borders Scotland and UNITY showed their support at the demonstration. Each card will cost £30.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: ‘The first ID cards are being issued to people making applications to remain in the UK as a student or based on marriage. This will be followed in 2009, by identity cards for British workers in sensitive roles and locations and extended to young people in 2010.’

They added: ‘This national identity scheme will help protect against identity fraud, illegal working and immigration, crime and terrorism, and those trying to abuse positions of trust. It will make it easier for people to prove they are who they say they are.’

But two students who were at the demonstration are not convinced.

Steph Spoto of California is at Edinburgh University and will have to apply for a card to remain in the country. She said: ‘This is just awful, I hate the idea. I love Scotland and want to be able to continue working here. I am mainly concerned by the database which will hold the information – we really have no idea who will have access to it.’

Stephen Dietrich, who is studying Human Ecology at Strathclyde University and volunteers at UNITY, a support base for asylum seekers,  said: ‘This is identity theft made easy. I am not convinced about the security of the database.’

A spokesperson for Glasgow Anarchists said: ‘We are very suspicious of the ID cards. If your card is lost or stolen, essentially, you will have lost your identity.’

Similar demonstrations were held across the UK at six Border Agency offices, Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Croydon.

Stow College – Glasgow to New York

Experts from Stow College recently told delegates at a New York conference that the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths needs a radical overhaul to encourage more young people to study them.

Senior staff at the Glasgow learning establishment were invited to return to the American conference run by the Association of Community College Trustees for the second year in succession to share their secrets of success.

Stow College is bucking the international trend for falling student numbers in science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM subjects. The city centre college has had a 36% rise in applications for science and engineering courses alone, this year. It has introduced new pathways into STEM subjects and careers with courses tailored to suit school age pupils through to mature students. Stow is also the first place in the West of Scotland to introduce a new ‘Skills for Work in Energy’ course to attract school pupils to careers in renewable energies. It recently introduced a new exit route from its phenomenally successful ‘Access to Medicine’ course into Dentistry at the University of Glasgow.

Said Alex McLean, Vice Principal of Stow College and one of the team to take New York by storm: ‘It is vital we address the problem of falling numbers of students in the STEM subjects. Our national and international economies demand skilled workers in these areas to meet current needs throughout the developed world. We are working closely with partners in Scotland to address this problem and to meet Scottish Government priorities. We also plan to work with international partners to address the issue in a global context.’

Dr Peter Hughes is the Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, a key partner of Stow College. He said: ‘A key element of a successful Scottish engineering sector is the supply of well-qualified, motivated, young people. Many companies have difficulties recruiting such personnel because of the downturn in pupils studying the key subjects of science, technology and mathematics. Initiatives to reverse the trend can play a vital part in developing key skills for the future. Scottish Engineering is pleased to support Stow College in developing effective pathways into science, engineering and mathematics.’

Boys’ Brigade 125th Anniversary

More than 750 people crowded into Glasgow Cathedral to mark the 125th anniversary of the Boys’ Brigade (BB) in October with boys from, naturally, the 1st Glasgow Company taking many of the duties during the service. This included laying a wreath on the plaque in the Cathedral to Sir William Smith, the BB founder. The Boys’ Brigade is the oldest existing uniformed youth organisation in the world.

Despite heavy rain which forced the displays and activities before and after the service to be held in the nave of the church, the Anchor Boys, the Junior Section and the Company Section all gave of their best. The 231st Glasgow Company’s pipe band also entertained.

The Right Revd David Lunan, Moderator of the Church of Scotland gave the address. 

And celebrations will continue till April when a Tattoo will be staged in Braehead Arena to showcase the talents of BB members from across Scotland.

A Seniors Dinner was held at the end of last month in Rutherglen Town Hall. 

From its origins in Glasgow in 1883 the BB has spread to over 64 countries around the globe and it has been an inspiration and influence to countless of other youth organisations.

This session of 2007-2008 is, in fact, the 125th session of the 1st Glasgow Company In May 2008 the Company held its 125th Annual Inspection which was a great success. The Company is still very active and continues to serve young people in the same area of the city.

The Glasgow Battalion has six districts covering six geographic areas. Within these districts there are 76 smaller companies. A total of 3074 boys and 801 staff are managed by the Scottish headquarters which are based in Ibrox.

Knightswood Youth Theatre

December 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow West, Local News

Knightswood Youth Theatre has scooped a Philip Lawrence Award and £1,000 for using drama to bring together asylum seekers and refugees with young people to enhance mutual understanding.

They were presented with the award by News at 10 stalwart Sir Trevor MacDonald, home secretary Jacqui Smith MP and Frances Lawrence at a special ceremony in London last month.

The national scheme rewards those aged 11 – 20 who have achieved excellent standards in citizenship by making a positive difference to the world around them.

Knightswood Youth Theatre, which formed last year, grew out of a series of pilot workshops in the area under the leadership of drama worker Aileen Ritchie.

They meet weekly running drama workshops which they take to the stage to benefit the local community. The group regularly perform for free in places such as schools and community centres.

Nine groups in total received an award this year in the scheme which was set up in 1996 in memory of head teacher Philip Lawrence who was murdered whilst protecting a pupil outside his school.

It recognises groups helping their local communities by working together, understanding faiths and overcoming difficulties faced by some young people.

In the short time they have been together they have sold out two nights at the Tron Theatre as part of Refugee Week 2008 and performed in Stirling and Edinburgh in the National Theatre of Scotland Exchange festival.

The group can be contacted at 200 Lincoln Avenue, G13 3PR or by telephoning 0141 958 1640.

The group will be pleased to receive any donations to fund future projects.

Three Judges Scoops Another Award

December 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow West, Local News

Good things come in threes at The Three Judges pub at Partick Cross. Last month it won its second award from CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale – and it celebrated ten years of its resident Sunday jazz band – Muldoon’s Rag Time Band.


Alistair Boyd from CAMRA presented manager Angela Bradley with the coveted Glasgow Pub of the Year 2008 title. Only weeks before, the pub was named CAMRA’s Scottish Cider and Perry Pub of the Year 2008.

 Angela, who took over as manager in January 2008, told the Local News: ‘I’m over the moon to have scooped a second award so early in my bar managing career. The competition was of an exceptional standard so it really is an honour to win. It’s quite a change from working as a park ranger at the Botanics! And I’m loving every minute of it.’

On the night of the Pub of the Year presentation, each customer was offered a complimentary pint of cask ale on arrival. Added Angela: ‘Credit goes to the whole team. They have really pulled together and continue to deliver excellent levels of service and dedication to our customers.’

The Three Judges beat off stiff competition from pubs including The State Bar, Blackfriars and the Bon Accord to win the prestigious title after continuous monitoring and mystery visits from the Glasgow and West of Scotland branch of CAMRA.

A favourite with real-ale lovers, the Three Judges has enjoyed a long-term reputation for its varied range of regular and guest beers, and was awarded a bronze medal by leading UK licensed trade body The Publican for the Best Cask Ale Pub in 2006. The place to go for a combination of quality and choice, the pub has served over 5,000 different cask-conditioned ales from across the UK over the past fifteen years.

Angela threw another party to mark ten years of jazz on Sundays from Muldoon’s Rag Time Band, ‘It was a great night!’ said one customer who remembers most of it.

Albany Learning Centre Opened

December 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow West, Local News

With a flourish, the Albany Learning and Conference Centre in Woodlands, was opened by Scottish Government Minister for Schools and Skills, Maureen Watt.

Anne Jarvie, Chair of Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS) which saved the listed building to create the Centre, told the audience: ‘We are rarin’ to go!’

She said: ‘This building would have been boarded up, lying unused, but now it is running events, learning and training, and is providing space which can be used by the voluntary sector and the local community.’

She praised the GCVS staff, and board for their commitment and hard work to achieve the objective. She also thanked Bailie Hanzala Malik who had been supportive from the beginning and a wide variety of organisations which had also helped along the way – from Charing Cross Housing Association, across the road in Ashley street, to Glasgow Community Planning and the City Council’s Development and Regeneration Service.

The event, on Monday November 17, attracted a large crowd of representatives from bodies which have already used the extensive facilities, café and meeting space in the Albany Centre or are potential users.

Helen McNeil, Chief Executive of GCVS which has its headquarters in the building, said: ‘This has always been a facility for learning, first as Woodside Secondary School then as a Community Education Centre and the Gaelic School, and now as the Albany Learning and Conference Centre. Our turnover is around half a million pounds. And in an increasingly complex environment of governance and change we provide good quality learning. Till we opened, this kind of course could be found – but you had to search all over the city to source it. Now it can all be found here at one, purpose-designed, centre.’ She added that the programmes offered at the Albany fitted particularly well with the city’s needs and the active citizenship agenda.

Margaret Doran, Executive Director of Glasgow City Council’s Education and Social Work, commented that it was a ‘significant day’ in terms of learning in the city.

‘The Albany Centre is bringing something special and vibrant. It is a centre, a source and a place of sharing for the entire community.’ She emphasised how the Third Sector was greatly valued because it brings life chances to citizens and has a network of learning providers. Citing the fact that 80% of children being supported through child protection legislation are in families where parents have addiction problems, she said that one in three of them fall into a ‘black hole’ on leaving school and don’t show up in statistics for people in work, training or learning.

‘Education and learning are the ways forward if we are to challenge proverty,’ said Margaret Doran, ‘This is being promoted not just in schools but in eight areas which are targeting early learning. We are working closely with community learning development and GCVS to strive for innovation and excellence. More than ever, we need the voluntary sector to challenge the funding given for this vital work. All the public agencies need to work together, put people first, and make a difference to the life chances for so many.’

It was appropriate that The Minister for Schools and Skills, Maureen Watt, formally opened the Albany Centre. She was the first MSP to use Doric when being sworn in. Her maiden speech in the Scottish Parliament was on drug treatments and rehabilitation. She was also a prison visitor for 14 years before becoming a Member of the Scottish Parliament.

This background enabled her to congratulated GCVS for their hard work in developing the innovative facility which would encourage collaborative working, teamwork and employee development.

She said: ‘The Third Sector in Glasgow is extensive, dynamic and diverse, reflecting Glasgow’s position as Scotland’s largest city with a unique culture and situation. The Scottish Government believes that the Third Sector is a vital contributor to the Scottish economy.’

By investing and encouraging this sector, she said, it would increase its role in delivering public services and enabling social enterprise to flourish.


The Minister said that £93m had been allocated to the Third Sector in the Scottish Government’s spending review in November 2007. The £30m Scottish Investment Fund will support asset and business development in the Third Sector and a £63m Development programme will include an ‘Enterprising Third Sector Action  Plan.’


Said the Minister: ‘The Action plan will show solidarity, cohesion and sustainability. Solidarity with individuals and communities from the retired to long term unemployed and other groups. Cohesion to encourage development across Scotland and sustainability by promoting recycling, renewable energy and sourcing local food.’

She said the Scottish Government wants to create the right environment for delivering services to people ‘who are at the heart of everything.’

She added: ‘The Albany is an exciting new, learning and training resource for the Third Sector and the community. It will have space for meetings for groups of up to 100. It will help organisations to be more efficient and more effective. And the Scottish Government will keep it in mind when we are organising events.’

Destroyer Takes Shape in Govan Shipyard

December 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow South, Glasgow West, Local News

Bow and Mast of HMS DuncanAn early Christmas present arrived on the Clyde this month in the shape of the steel bow and mast pictured here. They are destined to become HMS Duncan, the sixth, Type 45 Destroyer to be built at BVT Surface Fleet’s facility in Govan.

The sight will have heartened many, not least the 3500 workers employed at the Govan and Scotstoun shipyards where the contract for the six warships is being fulfilled. Each contract is worth £650 million.

Speculation that the current economic crisis could delay or even reduce work at the yards has been quashed by the arrival of the components which are heralded as a ‘significant step in the programme’.

The day before the arrival of the bow and mast at Govan, Vic Emery, BVT Surface Fleet Managing Director, announced he would be taking early retirement. This sparks fears for the yard which will have no dedicated manager. His replacement, Mark Cooper, will manage all BVT’s shipbuilding activity in Glasgow and Portsmouth.

The bow and mast came on a barge after a 500 mile trip from the Clyde yards’ sister yard at Portsmouth Naval Base in Hampshire.

Work will be ongoing over the festive period and will continue throughout 2009. The task of installing the bow and mast will begin after the launch of ship 5, Defender, in October 2009.

Between now and then, work continues on ship 3, Diamond, and on the outfitting of ship 4, Dragon which launched in November. Ship 5, Defender, is already starting to take shape on the berth at Govan. Angus Holt, Type 45 Programme Director said: ‘The progress that BVT is making in the programme is proof of the company’s commitment to delivering all six ships to the Royal Navy on time and on budget. The workforce in Glasgow is continuing to make hugely significant steps forward and it is as a result of their commitment that we have achieved several milestones in recent months with even more to come before the year end.’

Fundraising for Hyndland’s Old Station Park

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow West, Local News

The Sharif brothers Mohammed, Ibrahim and Omar bust a moveFriends of Old Station Park have entertaining friends. The West End campaign to claim back space into community use in Hyndland, held a fundraiser which had top line performers.

Top of the bill was Christine Bovill whose amazing voice put such emotion into numbers from Elvis to Ella Fitzgerald  and from Edith Piaf to her own compositions that some members of the audience were moved to tears.

And an inspiring second was Keith Jack who made it to No 2 in the search for Joseph. Now he’s playing pantomime in Aberdeen and had his own fan club on the night demanding his autograph and dancing to his songs. A seasoned musician remarked his rendition of a Van Morrison number was better than Van’s!

He’s just finished his album tour and has dedicated his song ‘If an Angel Falls from Heaven’ to Children in Need.

But in many ways the stars of the show in the Novar Drive community hall, were the three Sharif brothers. Their hip hop dancing had the audience mesmerized. Ibrahim (19) Mohammed (18) and Omar (16) told the LOCAL NEWS, ‘It’s in our blood. Our father was a dancer.’ Self taught, they teach the art of these street contortions at Barmulloch Community Centre on Thursdays and can be contacted via email:

Winter Fuel Savings Advice

With the cost of fuel rising dramatically, Money Matters, a charitable, community, money advice group based in Govan, held an information day on fuel poverty at the Pierce Institute (PI).

Greater Pollok Citizens’ Advice Bureau set up another at Pollok Health Centre and Ladymuir advice Centre held another in Cardonald Library.

More than 50 senior members of the Govan community dropped into the PI to find out how to save energy in their home and what grants they might be eligible for. They were also able to get advice on fire safety and credit unions. All left with free, energy-saving light bulbs, a device for powering down home computers and a wealth of leaflets on money saving tips.

Dick Carabine,  Chairman of Govan Community Council said: ‘The PI event has been a breakthrough, if something like this takes place in the area again more people are bound to come along.’

Debbie Young, Money Matters financial inclusion officer who put the event together said: ‘We will run another event soon – possibly just as the big winter fuel bills are due to come through the post.’

Among the agencies supporting the PI day were Age Concern Scotland, Glasgow Credit Union, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue (SFR) and the Energy Saving Trust.

Fiona Herriot, Community Safety Co-ordinator with SFR said four people had signed up for home safety visits. She added: ‘Our home visits to advise on safety, are free.’



 The Scottish Helpline for Older People, SHOP, can provide confidential advice to anyone over 50 on issues such as help with central heating bills and eligibility of benefits. The helpline is open from 10am until 4pm Monday to Friday, call 0845 125 9732 or Textphone 0845 226 5851.



 People over 60 and registered disabled people can access a free service to assist them with minor repairs and household tasks. Age Concern Scotland, in partnership with Glasgow Care and Repair, run the service for home owners and private rental tenants. They can fit smoke alarms and replace batteries, wire electric plugs, unblock sinks and even fit new locks and security items. Telephone 0141 420 3686 or 0141 433 2749, Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm.

All personnel carry an ID photo card and wear official clothing.


Home safety visits


Strathclyde Fire and Rescue (SFR) offer free home safety visits to everyone. They will carry out a home fire safety check and if required, can provide and install smoke alarms.

To arrange a free visit, call in to any fire station or freephone 0800 0731 999. All employees of SFR are required to carry official ID and will happily produce this on request from a householder.


Staff at the Ladymuir Advice and Information Centre on the Southside, hold a drop-in surgery in Cardonald Library every Thursday. They provide information on welfare rights and money issues. Call 0141 883 2153 to find out more.


The Energy Saving Trust is a government advice agency assisting homes and businesses to become more energy efficient. Call 0800 512 012 or log on to .

Old Firm Support for Cancer Centre

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow West, Local News

Team captains Barry Ferguson and Stephen McManus join cancer survivor Lynn Murray for the Beatson Pebble AppealOld firm rivals, Celtic and Rangers,have pledged to support a £10million cancer research centre to be built in Bearsden. This will become the largest comprehensive centre of its kind in Scotland.

The clubs are supporting the fundraising drive to build the Beatson Translational Research Centre, TRC. This will be the final piece in the creation of the Glasgow Centre for Cancer Research which will study some of the most common cancers to affect people living in this country.

The Beatson Pebble Appeal – to build the centre stone by stone – has been pledged support by the teams led by captains Stephen McManus and Barry Ferguson

The centre is to be built in Garscube Estate and since the summer of 2007, £1.5 million has been raised. A spokesperson said: ‘The centre will convert basic cancer research into real improvements in treatment for patients. The scientists housed there will focus on all types of cancers that affect all ages. Cancers such as breast, prostrate, ovarian, lung, throat, mouth, stomach and intestinal, some of which are the most common in Scotland, will all be studied.’

The University of Glasgow, the Beatson Institute, Cancer Research UK and the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board are jointly developing the Beatson TRC. Construction is due to begin in the middle of 2009 with an expected opening date of summer 2011.

Barry Ferguson, Rangers and Scotland captain said: ‘Cancer affects so many people from all walks of life that anything we can do to tackle it is vitally important.’

Stephen McManus, Celtic captain said: ‘If we work together, we can all help in the fight against cancer.’

Professor Jim Cassidy, head of the University of Glasgow’s Cancer Sciences Division said: ‘The TRC will be the final vital factor in the equation to solving cancer, spanning the journey from the scientists in the lab to the patients in the clinic. It will be a much needed catalyst for accelerating the process of understanding the disease, improving existing therapies and identifying new ones, and bringing them to patients.’

To donate to the appeal, log on to or call 0141 330 3000.

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