Hope for Fairfield Farmhouse development

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Plans for development of a forgotten corner of Elder Park are moving forward with the formation of a working group of key players.

Linthouse Housing Association and Linthouse Urban Village, LUV, who were behind the original £4.5 million project to renovate the Fairfield Farmhouse building at the Govan Road corner, are now working on a scaled down project costing around £1.75 million.

Detailed plans suitable for a planning permission submission, are expected to be ready in a few months’ time.

Following extensive community consultation in January and February last year, the group has worked hard to listen to the whole community and has formed Fairfield Farmhouse Working Group incorporating The Friends of Elder Park, Glasgow City Council’s Land Services, Development and Regeneration Services (DRS), Glasgow South West Regeneration Agency, Social Economy Team in Govan, a Big Lottery advisor, Anniesland College, landscape gardeners and architects.

Ingrid Campbell co-coordinator with LUV fears if work isn’t started soon the derelict farmhouse could collapse. She said: ‘If it goes, this will add great expense to the project.’

John McBride, director of Linthouse Housing Association said: ‘We want a proposal agreeable to everyone and something which is sustainable.’

At various public consultations local people were sceptical of earlier proposals which not only included a re-vamp of the farmhouse but the construction of four, two-storey barns in the corner of the park.

Now the barns have been scrapped and the focus is on the historic farmhouse and yard.

Landmark Churches at Risk

Landsdowne Parish ChurchKelvinside Hillhead ChurchThe Heritage Lottery Fund has rejected an application from the Four Acres Charitable Trust for less than £1 million to save and re-vitalise Lansdowne Church on Great Western Road.

Said David Robertson, Project Director at Four Acres: ‘They had six applications totalling £4.5million in front of them at their December meeting. But the Fund had only £1.5 million to give out. We’re in good company, however,’ he added. ‘An application from Glasgow’s St Andrew’s Cathedral on Clyde Street, was also rejected.’

He said it is not the first time the Trust has experienced such a knock-back. ‘We’ve been here before, so we’ll fight on.’ The Trust saved Downhill Church which is now the successful pub/restaurant known as Cottiers.

Roy Henderson, minister of Lansdowne Church of Scotland told the LOCAL NEWS, ‘It is remarkable how well Landsdowne people have taken the news. They are very sanguine about it.’

A major landmark on the skyline at Kelvinbridge, Lansdowne is ‘A’ listed and in need of significant funding for essential repairs and conservation work. The proposal between the congregation and Four Acres Trust was for the Trust to buy the property, obtain grant funding to repair, restore and convert the elegant space for commercial and community use – such as worship for the congregation.

The congregation turned out in force to a public meeting called by Friends of Glasgow West to examine the situation of Church Buildings @ Risk. David Howat speaks for the Friends ad hoc group concerned with Church Buildings @ Risk. He said: ‘Lansdowne and Kelvinside Hillhead Church are among the finest examples of Glasgow’s exceptional Victorian heritage. Their loss would be unthinkable. There is a very real danger either might be lost for ever if a viable and sustainable use cannot be found for them and funding put in place to carry out essential repairs and conservation of important stonework and stained glass.’

He added that the physical condition of both buildings is deteriorating rapidly.

Kelvinside Hillhead church in Observatory Road off Byres Road has a major problem with its roof which was badly damaged by storm a year ago. It had been offered Heritage Lottery Funding but only if the Church of Scotland was prepared to guarantee that the church had a future as a place of worship. That assurance has not been given, so far, so the building’s future is in jeopardy. The interior roof framework has now been seriously affected by the unattended storm damage.

The Friends had called the meeting in Hillhead Library on Wednesday 4 February, to bring attention to the urgency of the situation.

Around 60 people attended on an icy cold evening to hear David Howat, David Martin a conservation and architecture specialist and David Robertson of the Four Acres Trust.

‘There are 165 religious buildings in Scotland on the Civic Trust ‘at risk’ register,’ they were told by David Howat, a solicitor and one of the Friends of Glasgow West. ‘Of these, 25 are ‘A’ listed. And neither Lansdowne nor Kelvinside Hillhead features in the 11 ‘at risk’ in Glasgow.’ He said that such beautiful examples of art and craft were an intrinsic part of the community and irreplaceable parts of the landscape. ‘Each day the dry rot destroys another bit of a building. We wouldn’t let this happen in our close and we shouldn’t let it happen in our churches and communities.’


Said Ann Laird, Chair of Friends of Glasgow West, who chaired the meeting: ‘There is an opportunity for innovative answers. Cottiers is just one example.’ She urged anyone concerned with the spectre of losing such landmark buildings from local neighbourhoods to lobby city Councillors and Members of the Scottish Parliament and Westminster MPs.


  • A challenge to photographers to record the interior of Lansdowne has been made on flickr picture sharing site by tom@clearwood.co.uk The first open day for photographers was on Sunday 8 February.
  • Minister Roy Henderson has a blog on Steeple 208 with some interesting insights into how the congregation and the community might proceed.

esure ensures jobs

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Esure ensures jobs


Five hundred new jobs will be created in Glasgow’s international financial district in the next five years.  The announcement by Peter Wood, Chairman of esure today (Wednesday 18 February 2009) means that within the next 18 months to two years, esure the car and home insurance e -company, will be hiring 250 people. ‘These are good jobs for enthusiastic people,’ said Peter Wood who pioneered direct insurance in the UK with Direct Line. ‘In these terrible times it is even more important that people protect their home with insurance and it is a legal obligation to have car insurance. People are shopping around on the internet and esure is a great brand name. We have several horses in the race with Sheilas’ Wheels and esure. And in Glasgow we have the combination of excellent people, superb infrastructure and a can-do ethic which makes this a perfect place to do business. ‘


He chose to locate the new jobs in Glasgow because it is the ‘engine’ of the esure business and is his favourite city. ‘Anyone who would locate in London needs their head examined,’ he said candidly. ‘With their transport problems and overpriced offices it means highly paid staff have great difficulty getting to work. I cannot understand why anyone with telephone and internet-centred businesses would choose to locate anywhere but Glasgow.’


The company will invest around £17m in the Glasgow development in their own, purpose-built building – Equinox – in Cadogan Street where 610 staff are already employed. There is ample space for the new personnel and a 24 hour operation is planned.


The Scottish Government has provided a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant of £1.4m but Peter Wood emphasised that, while it was a help and made him feel confident the company and the Scottish Government were ‘working well together,’ no amount of RSA would induced him to forgo the competitive advantage. ‘The reason this is happening in Glasgow is because of the excellent workforce.’


There is no requirement to ensure that people from any particular deprived area of the city or people from any agencies preparing those who are out-of-work for the jobs market, will be given a fast track interview or job opportunity.


First Minister Alex Salmond attended the announcement at the esure building in Glasgow. He said: ‘This is a ringing endorsement of one of Scotland’s greatest strengths – our human capital.  The skills, expertise and commitment of our workforce have secured this investment and expansion for esure’s Glasgow operations. I welcome this jobs expansion which is a beacon of hope and optimism. Companies like esure will guide Scotland out of the recession and into better times.’








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!’

Icy reception

December 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

The Ice Man cometh


Icy conditions under foot brought a number of complaints from local residents to Councillor David Meikle in Pollokshields Ward on Tuesday 2 December. ‘People were concerned about the lack of gritting on the roads and pavements this morning,’ he said. ‘I got in touch with Land and Environmental Services (LES) to raise these concerns and received this response:

“I can advise that following receipt of the weather forecast on Monday 1 December and in accordance with our Winter Maintenance Plan, LES resources carried out precautionary salting of our Secondary Routes from 0800 hrs until 1600 hrs. At 1800 hrs, these resources were allocated to our primary routes (roads & footways) and a full precautionary treatment was carried out.  Following receipt of an update in the weather forecast involving wintry showers, a follow-up treatment of our Primary Carriageway Routes was carried out at 0200 hrs. Unfortunately, showers that were not forecast, moved across the City at approximately 0500 hrs. These showers immediately froze on cold surfaces causing ice to form on our roads and footways. All available resources have been deployed to gritting duties (roads & footways) since 0600 hrs this morning and this operation will continue for the remainder of the working day and into the evening. Our forecast suggests that the freezing conditions will continue for at least the next five days with moderate snowfall possible within that period. Resources will continue to be allocated from all available depots and regular updates will be provided as necessary.”



Save Pollok Park Public Meeting

December 2, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow South, Local News, Uncategorized

Save Pollok Park will hold a public meeting at 7.30pm on 28 October in Pollokshaws Burgh Hall to plan the next phase of their campaign against Go Ape.

Their campaign received a boost when National Trust for Scotland (NTS) Chairman Shonaig Macpherson publicly confirmed their objection to having Go Ape in the North Wood of Pollok Park. She said they were “concerned about the proposed location”. In response to questions from the Save Pollok Park campaign at the NTS AGM, the NTS stated they were in discussion with Glasgow City Council ‘to find an alternative, less sensitive, location within the park.’

Save Pollok Park has launched a new petition calling on Glasgow City Council to rethink its plans to allow Go Ape to open an adventure assault course in Pollok Park. Bill Fraser, a spokesman for Save Pollok Park, said: ‘It’s now clear that the City Council has no legal right to grant a lease to Go Ape without the approval of the Maxwell family and the National Trust for Scotland. Both organisations have refused to give their blessing to the project.’

The National Trust for Scotland has agreed to appear at the public meeting on 28 October to answer questions.

Citizens Advice Staff Are All Ears

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Local News, Uncategorized

The team at the Citizens Advice Direct office on Bell Street is now fully trained to deal with calls from people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The office deals with between 600 and 900 calls a week and the team of 13 staff and 55 volunteers are now proficient in the use of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, RNID, Typetalk telephone system. Typetalk connects people who cannot speak or hear by phone with other people through a text-to-voice and voice-to-text relay service. Joe Forrest, who has been operations manager at the office since it opened in November 2004 told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘Out team are far more confident in dealing with Typetalk calls from deaf or speech impaired people. Talking more slowly and asking more succinct questions are among the things we have had to look at.’ Trainers from RNID visited the Glasgow branch to provide on the spot training. The Citizens Advice Direct service differs from a traditional Citizens Advice Bureau as it deals with both telephone and face to face appointments with customers. To access the Typetalk service call the office on 0844 848 9600 with the prefix 18001. The office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.

Pupils Star in Refugee DVD

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Pupils from St Paul’s Primary School in Whiteinch and a former pupil of Drumchapel High have starring roles in a new DVD aimed at easing the integration of refugee and asylum seeking children into Glasgow schools. Called Shared Futures, the DVD comes with a resource pack and retails at £20. The project was developed by London based charity Salusbury WORLD and showcases initiatives from across the UK, including two in Glasgow, that are helping to make it easier for new arrivals to settle into schools and local communities. Currently there are more than 100,000 children in the UK seeking sanctuary.

At a launch in Glasgow City Chambers, Margaret Doran, Executive Director for Education and Social Work Services, introduced the DVD to 200 people including staff from schools and community projects.

Primary six and seven pupils, Kerry Jenkins, Christian Zihalirwa, Sharon Jakisa and Henock Ngonde from St Paul’s demonstrate in the DVD how they work with their parents in school. One project which lasted for ten weeks involved pupils and parents creating an enterprising puppet show.

Eleven year-old pupil Christian came to Scotland with his mum and two brothers from the Congo in 2005. He said: ‘I have found it really easy to make friends at my school.’ Through an interest in football he is now the school football team’s top goal scorer.

Jane Fellowes, English as Another Language (EAL) teacher at the school, also features in the DVD. She said: ‘Children don’t learn in isolation. We have become creative in the school and in the work with parents.’

Amal Azzudin is a member of the Glasgow Girls, a campaigning group of young women who passionately stand up for the rights of asylum seekers. As a former pupil of Drumchapel High School she is now active in highlighting dawn raids undertaken by immigration officers and this features on the DVD.

Amal, who came to the UK from Somalia in 2000, said: ‘I find the communities in Glasgow very welcoming and helpful towards asylum seekers. I didn’t find London as welcoming.’

Comic Relief funded the DVD. Those featured in the nine short films are mostly young asylum seekers. The pack is available to anyone working with refugees and not exclusively to those in schools. Email: mail@salusburyworld.org.uk and website: www.salusburyworld.org.uk

New Southern General – Advisors Appointed

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow South, Local News, Uncategorized

Currie and Brown have been appointed as Technical Advisers to help with the completion of the South Glasgow Hospital. The £842 million development will replace the Southern General Hospital.

The hospital should be completed by 2014 and will have 1109 adult beds, 240 children’s beds and a laboratory. The new children’s hospital will be supported by an upgraded maternity unit on which work has already begun as part of a separate project.