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News stories 

FAIR DAY FOR THE FAIR
Published on: June 2005


Govan Fair is getting bigger and better in preparation for the 250th anniversary next year. Almost 40 floats and groups took part in the parade on Friday 3rd June and it didn't rain!
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Marching along in the evening sun were three pipe bands, three groups of majorettes, three schools, two sets of cheerleaders, the shipyard, the hospital, the fire department the cleansing department, Sunny Govan Radio, Govan Youth Informaiton Project, GalGael, Govan Initiative, the Credit Union and the Reminiscence Group among others.
Said Dorothy Courtney, Chairperson of the Govan Fair Association, 'It was a great night. Everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves.' She appealed for photographs and cine film of previous Fairs - especially those in the 1960s or earlier - so that the Association can build up a special presentation for next year.
Norrie Mackie who runs the Pearce Institute, performed the crowning of the Govan Queen, Gemma McQuade. He said, 'When good people get together, great things happen. That's what is happening now in Govan. The Pearce is celebrating its 100th year next year when the Fair will mark its 250th, so there is a lot to look forward to.
Elderpark Primary School provided the Fair VIPS. Irene Donaldson, Head Teacher said 'it was very exciting for the children who were picked to be the Queen and her entourage.' Janis MacGregor, Principal Teacher explained, 'rather than voting, we invited anyone who'd like to be involved to put their name forward and the final choice was made by pulling names out of the hat.'
This brought Gemma McQuade to be crowned as Fair Queen with her two maids being Chloe Campbell and Danielle Early and her two escorts being Christopher Baxter and Dylan McCall.

 


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SCOTTISH ROYAL IN GOVAN
Published on: June 2005


The Princess Royal was in Govan last month to attend a meeting of the Church of Scotland's Glasgow Presbytery which was held in New Govan Church. She is the first member of the Royal Family to do so in the Presbytery's 450 years' history.
Presbytery Clerk, the Rev David Lunan said, 'We were surprised, delighted and honoured that Her Royal Highness included us in her itinerary. She came as Patron of the Save the Children Fund and spoke passionately about poverty. Her comments were received warmly by everyone.'
Earlier in the day the Princess Royal had visited the Lodging House Mission in the city's East End. It was a Royal first for them too. 'It was very uplifting for our work to be recognised,' said project manager Andrew Low who added that the Mission's recent crisis over funding now seemed to be resolved. 'But as a charity, we are constantly having to raise money just to survive.' The Mission provides food, clothes, baths and support for 120 homeless people every day.

 
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INVESTING IN PEOPLE
Published on: June 2005


Yam Publications Ltd, the company which produces the LOCAL NEWS for SOUTHSIDERS, has achieved Investors In People (IIP) for the first time. The coveted standard shows that the business has reached an acceptable level in developing its staff who, in turn, help develop the business.
Set up in 1997, the 16 page tabloid newspaper is published monthly and 15,000 free copies are distributed across the Southside from Gorbals to Govan to Castlemilk. Totally independent, the paper is the only local paper consistently covering the news in Southside communities.

Congratulations to Grace and all the hardworking staff from the Local News for Southsiders - Paul.

Thanks to friends... Boughton Aluph Inn

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GOVANHILL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS' WORK
Published on: June 2005


A colourful international evening was the way Govanhill Housing Association celebrated 30 years of providing homes.
Along with Govanhill Social Inclusion Project (GOSIP) the international entertainment reflected the diversity of cultures of local residents.
Said Housing Association Chairperson, Lyn Ewing, 'The strength of this city and of Govanhill lies in its diversity.'

Great performances were given by Imran Tabraiz who plays Dhol Drum; Ambigai Jeyabalan who is a classic South Indian dancer and Charan Pradhan who is a contemporary 'Bollywood' dancer. Beautifully dressed and disciplined dancers from Tir Conaill Irish School and Glasgow's Oriental School added to the show with an energetic set from Wassyla, a Pan African Arts group giving a global dimension. A unique fusion of voices from Ann Marie Nicholson, a Scottish Gaelic teacher and singer, Bharati Bundhoo, a professionally trained classic vocalist in Sankrit and her daughter Drishti who wants to sing pop, has potential if they have time to develop the sound.

 

 
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SPECIAL EFFORT NEEDED TO FUND SPECIAL OLYMPICS
Published on: June 2005


The Special Olympics with less than a month to go before the starter's gun is fired, has raised only half the £1.5 million it needs.
The event highlights the great abilities of people with disabilities with 2300 athletes taking part. The launch will be on Saturday 2nd July at Celtic Park. For the following eight days, 23 different sports will be played out in venues across Glasgow. Said a spokewoman for the Games, 'in the next few weeks, several large events are expected to bring in about £100,000. But we appeal to everyone to make a special effort to help with the fundraising in the run up to the Games.'
Donations hotline: 0845 272 007 or visit the website at www.specialolympicsglasgow.com.

 

 
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JIM HAS FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
Published on: June 2005


Innocently, Castlemilk Community Can Cycle founder Jim O'Donnell had breakfast with Scotland's First Minister and Bob Geldof and was in the official photograph of them at the launch of the Africa Poverty conference. 'I went to hear the speeches,' said Jim. 'I registered and didn't know where to go. Someone came along and said to the crowd I was standing with to follow them. I ended up having breakfast with the main speakers of the day and Bob Geldof and Jack McConnell. I couldn't believe it!' He handed over the package of information he had with him on the award winning charity which recycles bikes, drinks cans and Barr's glass bottles. 'God's mercy did this for me.' Said the devout Christian.


 
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NEW SUPERSCHOOL SET FOR SOUTHSIDE
Published on: June 2005


Merrylee, Holmlea and Simshill Primary schools are to be closed and amalgamated into a new, £6.5 million superschool to be built on Friarton Road pitches and scheduled to open in 2007. Following a three month consultation, the new school for 470 pupils got the go ahead from Glasgow City Council last month. Said Councillor Steven Purcell, Education Services Convener, 'this is part of the wider pre-12 strategy to revamp the entire primary sector.'


 
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REFUGEE WEEK EVENT
Published on: June 2005


Govanhill will celebrate Refugee Week with an open door event on Tuesday 21st June in Govanhill Free Church in Belleisle Street from 6 till 8pm. International food, holistic therapies and garland making workshops will be among the attractions. The evening is being organised by the Settlement and Integration Network and anyone interested is invited to attend.

 
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QUEEN'S MEN AT CITY CHAMBERS
Published on: June 2005


More than 80 young men from 33 different Boys' Brigade Companies received their Queen's Badge from Mark Hateley, former Rangers' footballer at an impressive ceremony in Glasgow City Chambers. A professional power point presentation showed all the elements that go into achieving the badge which is the organisation's highest award. The three BBs who compiled the presentation as part of their work to secure this coveted high standard were - Sergeant Ross MacKay of the 27th Company, Sergeant Ross McKillop of the 145th Company and Staff Sergeant Andrew Young of the 229th Company.

 
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LIONS IN CASTLEMILK
Published on: June 2005


Two of the Lisbon Lions were guests of honour at Castlemilk Community Centre last month when Mamie's Weans entertained. The dinner raised over £6000 in aid of research into Motor Neuron disease, the condition which Jinky Johnson - another famious Celtic footballer and Lisbon Lion team member, - suffers from.
Both VIPs paid tribute to their former team mate who would have attended but for his deteriorating condition. 'He was desperate to be here,' said Bertie Auld. 'Despite everything, he is wonderfully positive.'

 


 
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LABOUR IN CHARGE FOR FOUR MORE YEARS
Published on: May 2005


The general election on Thursday 5th May 2005 returned the Labour Government for four more years.
Boundary changes have reduced from 9 to 7 the number of Westminster MPs representing Glasgow.
Tom Harris, Ian Davidson and Mohammed Sarwar were re-elected to Westminster in the new Glasgow South, Glasgow South West and Glasgow Central constituencies to herald an historic third consecutive term in government.
Their overall vote, however, was down by an average of 4.5%

The Scottish National Party was trounced into third place by the Liberal Democrats in two of the three Southside seats. And the ugly face of fascism showed with clashes between the British National Party and the Scottish Socialist Party but a strong police presence prevented anything other than verbal assaults happening.
In Glasgow Central, Mohammad Sarwar and the other candidates refused to take to the stage where, traditionally the election results are announced, because they did not want to share a platform with 'Nazis' as they described the British National Party candidate.
Instead, they stood on the floor of the vast counting hall at the SECC and Sarwar, only, made a speech. 'I will work day and night to improve the quality of life for all the people in my constituency,' he said.
In Glasgow South, Tom Harris was elected by 18,153 votes (down 3.3%). Tom said, 'Four years ago when I was first elected, it was the greatest honour I'd ever been given. Today's return is just as great.'
He was heckled when he outlined how Labour would reduce poverty and had achieved unprecedented low levels of unemployment.
The South West constituency returned Ian Davidson with 18,653 votes - a majority of 13,896 (down 1.7%). Said Ian Davidson, 'Now we need to work for 'four in a row' Labour Governments. But we need to regenerate and revitalise the Labour Party and need a regime change.'
Michael Martin, previously Speaker in the House of Commons, was re-elected as MP for Glasgow North East. During his speech he was loudly heckled by a large group of Scottish Socialist Party supporters calling him 'fascist'. 'I'm no fascist,' he responded. 'But I consider it fascist to try to shout down democratically elected representatives.'

Boundary Changes
The new constituencies in the Southside are now Glasgow Central, Glasgow South and Glasgow South West.
Glasgow Central includes Kingston, Pollokshields East, Hutchesontown, Govanhill, Strathbungo and Toryglen as well as areas across the river. The total electorate is 70,378 with 40,052 on the Southside.
Glasgow South constituency comprises Carnwadric, Maxwell Park, Battlefield, Langside, Pollokshaws, Newlands, Cathcart, Mount Florida, King's Park, Castlemilk, Carmunnock and Glenwood. The total electorate is 74,482.
Glasgow South West stretches from Drumoyne, Govan, Ibrox, Mosspark, North Cardonald, Penilee and Cardonald to Pollok, Crookston, Nitshill and Darnley. The total electorate is 66,335.
As these are new constituencies, there are no comparative figures for votes cast and turnout from previous elections. At the last general election only 46.5% of Southsiders cast their vote. The actual turnout on Thursday May 5 was.just under 50%.


GLASGOW SOUTH

Kay Allan (Scottish Green Party) 1,692
Dorothy Entwistle (Socialist Labour Party) 266
Tom Harris (Labour) 18,153
Janette McAlpine (Conservative) 4,836
Finlay MacLean (Scottish National Party) 4,860
Arthur Sanderson (Liberal Democrat) 7,321
Ronnie Stevenson (Scottish Socialist Party) 1,303

Majority:10,832
Turnout:56.17%


GLASGOW SOUTH WEST

Keith Baldassara (Scottish Socialist Party) 1,666
Scott Brady (Conservative) 1,786
Ian Davidson (Labour) 18,653
James Dornan (Scottish National Party) 4,757
Katharine Gordon (Liberal Democrat) 3,593
Alistair McConnachie (Independent Green) 376
Violet Shaw (Socialist Labour) 143

Majority:13,896
Turnout:50.2%


GLASGOW CENTRAL

Maire Gordon (Scottish Socialist Party) 1,110
Thomas Greig (Operation Christian Vote) 139
Walter Hamilton (British National Party) 671
Ian Johnson (Socialist Labour Party) 255
Bill Kidd (Scottish National Party) 4,148
Elinor McKenzie (Communist Party) 80
Gordon Masterton (Scottish Green Party) 1,372
Isabel Nelson (Scottish Liberal Democrat) 4,987
Mohammad Sarwar (Labour) 13,518
Richard Sullivan (Conservative) 1,757

Majority:8,531
Turnout:44.04%

News stories 

2005 U.K. GENERAL ELECTION
Published on: April 2005


A general election will be held on Thursday 5th May. As a result of boundary changes, there is a reduction from 9 to 7 in the number of Westminster MPs serving Glasgow.

The three new seats that cover the Southside will be Glasgow Central, Glasgow South and Glasgow South West.

Sitting Labour MPs Mohammed Sarwar, Tom Harris and Ian Davidson have been selected, respectively, to stand for the new constituencies.

The new GLASGOW CENTRAL includes Kingston, Pollokshields East, Hutchesontown, Govanhill, Strathbungo, Toryglen and areas across the river talking in Kelvingrove, Anderston, Merchant City, Calton, Bridgeton and Dalmarnock. The total electorate is 70,378 with 40,052 on the Southside.

Candidates for this constituency at 18 April were:

Maire Gordon (Scottish Socialist Party), Bill Kidd (Scottish National Party), Elinor McKenzie (Communist Party), Gordon Masterton (Green), Isabel Nelson (Lib Dem), Mohammed Sarwar (Labour), Richard Sullivan (Conservative).

The Glasgow South constituency covers Carnwadric, Maxwell Park, Battlefield, Langside, Pollokshaws, Newlands, Cathcart, Mount Florida, King’s Park, Castlemilk, Carmunnock and Glenwood. The total electorate is 74,482.

Candidates for this constituency at 18 April were:

Kay Allan (Green), Tom Harris (Labour), Dr Janette McAlpine (Conservative), Finlay MacLean (Scottish National Party), Arthur Sanderson (Lib Dem), Ronnie Stevenson (Scottish Socialist Party).

Glasgow South West stretches from Drumoyne, Govan, Ibrox, Mosspark, North Cardonald, Penilee and Cardonald, to Pollok, Crookston, Nitshill and Darnley. The total electorate is 66,335.

Candidates for this constituency at 18 April were:

Keith Baldasarra (Scottish Socialist Party), James Dornan (Scottish National Party), Scot Brady (Conservative), Ian Davidson (Labour), Katy Gordon (Lib Dem).

Other Southsiders are fighting in other places.

The Scottish Green Party has selected Stuart Callison to contest Dunbartonshire East. Stuart is Deputy Director of Gorbals Initiative. The Scottish National Party has selected Jahangir Hanif to contest Central Ayrshire.

A recent survey showed that 55% of Scottish voters know their MP. Just 1% of Scots voters get their information on politics from the internet and 79% said they planned to vote. Only 46.5% of Southsiders cast their vote at the last election.


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CREATION ZONE TO CREATE JOBS
Published on: April 2005


Three projects started by the newly located Creation Zone in St Luke’s Place in Gorbals, aims to help long term unemployed people gain confidence, new skills and ultimately, employment. The specially converted railway arch will house Fab Pad an interior design course for drug users who want to move into work. Home is the name of the furniture renovation project which will encourage participants to set up in business. And The Big Noise is a music based programme to offer modern music production experience, DJ skills, songwriting experience and music video production. The Zone is financed by Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and the Department of Work and Pensions and is managed by Impact Arts and Reed in Partnership.


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MOTORWAY DRIVING AHEAD
Published on: April 2005


The M74 extension WILL cross Glasgow’s Southside. The Scottish Executive gave the green light to the £375- £500m project which will take a six-laned elevated highway from the M74 Fullarton junction in the East End to join the Kingston Bridge and the M8 at Tradeston.

Despite a Public Local Inquiry rejecting the proposed extension, the Scottish Executive sanctioned it. Local residents, campaigners and environmental activists are outraged. They plan massive, co-ordinated, peaceful protests through JAM 74. Beat the Bulldozers’ is the first wave of their resistance.

Councillor Shaukat Butt whose ward of Kingston is where the linking will be effected, believes the project is a good thing for his constituents. ‘No people will lose their homes. Some businesses will have to move but they have already had two years to negotiate compensation and find new premises. Traffic passing overhead will take away congestion on local streets and make them safer while letting motorway traffic flow better. The decision also means we can get ahead with re-development of the area. I’d say things are looking up with the building of the M74 Extension.’

 
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FESTIVAL GRAND FINALE
Published on: March 2005


Govan International Festival held in March, ended with a spectacular concert at the Pearce Institute The show featured local heroes, The Mode. Now an annual event, the festival offered rock bands, classical artistes, Celtic singers, jazz musicians, literature, theatre and a range of innovative and exciting workshops for people of all ages.

 
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SCHOOL PRIZES
Published on: March 2005


Two Southside Primary schools have won competitions recently. Hutcheson’s Grammar Junior School won the Gorbals Primary School Quiz for 2005. They beat rivals in Govanhill, Gorbals and Pollokshields and collected £500 in prize money. More than 350 pupils form the area attended the event which was hosted by Carling Academy and organised by Gorbals Crime Prevention Panel.

Nine schools took part in a competition to design a healthy living advertisement which was subsequently shown on the Buchanan Street screen at the Royal Concert Hall. The winning design was produced by St Francis Primary in Gorbals and was seen by the hundreds of thousands of people who walk past the screen daily.

 
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BUSY AT ST.BART'S
Published on: March 2005


Pupils at St Bartholomew’s Primary School in Castlemilk have been busy recently. They learned to be sculptors, discovered what life was like when ‘Gran was a Girl’ and re-enacted the story of St Mungo, Patron Saint of Glasgow. They also did some fundraising for the tsunami appeal.

 

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GOVANHILL DRUG SEIZURE
Published on: March 2005


Ten people from Govanhill were arrested for possessing and supplying cocaine and heroin in March.

In a major police operation around 100 officers raided four addresses in the Allison Street area early in the morning.
(Note. In autumn 2009, it was repealed the penalty for distributing tablets. After, in the internet published a lot of announcements: "Buy medications now.")

Of the ten arrested, nine have been charged. Those charged with supplying heroin are Sandra Shade (55), Kerry Haq (33),Thomas Finlay (38), Maureen Lyon (27) all from Govanhill; Kenneth McLeod (35), Pollokshields, Rosslyn Robinson (33), Pollokshaws and Ronald McCann (29), Gorbals. They have been released on bail.

Scott Hutchison (19) of no fixed abode and David Thomas Cowan (19), Pollokshields, were charged with supplying heroin and cocaine. Mr Cowan was released on bail while Mr Hutcison was remanded in custody.
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GROUPS CONTEND FOR POOL
Published on: February 2005


Two groups are working on plans to re-open Govanhill Baths, in Calder Street.
Govanhill Baths Community Trust set up by Save the Pool campaigners and Dixon Community Centre, a care and support organisation for elderly people have both drawn up plans for the future of the pool.
At a public meeting to discuss the Trust's plan a 100 local residents, community councillors, campaigners, and elected representatives attended the heated meeting. They set out their five year plan, for the derelict baths to make it into a healthy living centre.

The Council owned baths were closed in 2001 despite much public opposition. A 140 day occupation ended in a riot after the protesters were thrown out of the building and in the resulting pubic anger mounted police charged into the gathered crowd.
There was a lot of heated debate between the Councillors and the local residents. Govan MP Mohammed Sarwar was there to urge every body to work together if they really wanted to reopen the baths.

The GCC Development and Regeneration Services have received an official submission from the Dixon Community for their plans. But have not yet received a proposal from the Trust.


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BASHIR MAAN LEAVES PARTY
Published on: February 2005


After 40 years as active member of the Labour party, 78-year-old Bashir Maan CBE has not renewed his membership out of protest at the government.

The first Muslim to be elected as Councillor in Britain said, 'It was very difficult for me to decide to leave. It took me about 6 months to make up my mind. The final straw came when there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq which proved that Tony Blair lied to Parliament and the British people.'

Mr Maan lived through the 1947 bloody partition of Pakistan and emigrated to Scotland in 1953. He married and had three children and became politically active in 1970. He was then elected as the first Muslim local authority councillor in the UK. In 1968 he became the first Muslim Justice of the Peace. As well as working in many committees and receiving many honorary degrees he was made a Commander of the British Empire CBE in 2000.

The retired activist now spends his time writing his second book on Scotland and Muslims from the 7th Century.


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DOCTOR SEEKS ASYLUM
Published on: February 2005


A highly qualified doctor is on the verge being made homeless and destitute after his appeals for asylum have been refused.
Dr Jim (29)-his name has been changed to protect his identity-has been in Glasgow since March 2003 after fleeing his war torn country in the Middle East where he was given death threats.

He said, 'As a doctor I was asked to perform some unscrupulous activities by the ruling regime. If I refused I was given death threats and imprisoned. I was also part of an anti-government organisation which made things worse.'

Arriving in Glasgow he was given accommodation and £35 per week to live on. During this time he started to do medical exams and shadowed a Senior House Officer at a Scottish Hospital. He was then offered a job at the same hospital but could not take it because he was an asylum seeker and was refused a work permit by the Home Office.

His two appeals were refused on the grounds that 'it was safe for him to return to his country.' His money was stopped and he was served with an eviction order as he awaited his final appeal.

Dr Jim feels bitter and frustrated that his talent and skills cannot be used. He said, 'I try to keep my hope up that I will be granted leave to stay on my third appeal but it is very difficult especially knowing that at any time I could be evicted from the only home I have.'

 

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BIRTHDAY BUNNIES
Published on: January 2005


Govanhill Bunny Girls were a treat for Niven McVicar who celebrated his 90th birthday at the Stroke Club in Daisy Street/Trinity hall.

'I'm a late developer,' said Niven with a happy smile as Violet Robertson and Isa McCourt sat on his knee and fed him home made dumpling.

Both the Bunny Girls and Niven are VOLUNTEERS at the club. 'Only six of our 15 helpers are under the age of 80!' said Violet (left) We all have a great time and this was a bit of fun to make

Niven's birthday special. We would welcome younger people coming to help us run the club which does wonders for people who've had a stroke and are slowly getting back into action.'
Niven has been a volunteer since the club started in 1981. 'This is a very worthwhile voluntary job. I enjoy the Wednesdays from 12 noon and think the Club is as good for me as it is for anyone who's had a stroke,' said Niven. 'We all have a laugh and simply enjoy ourselves.'

 

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ALADDIN IN GOVANHILL

Published on: January 2005

After watching the New York gang film, West Side Story, a group of Govanhill kids wrote their own Southside Story.
They based their play on their personal experiences of gangs and violence and produced it in less than five weeks for family and friends.
Around 100 young people came to see the play, which starred group members aged from 10 to 21.
Says Megan, aged 10, 'I didn't think I could do it, but I got the confidence to get up there and do the show.'
They are following this up with a Christmas panto 'Aladdin and the Magical, Mystical, Dancing, White Glove' which will be performed in Trinity church in Daisy Street, on Tuesday December 21. Again, they wrote the whole thing themselves but made this one a comedy for a change.


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JOBS FAIR BONANZA FOR TORYGLEN

Published on: January 2005

Residents of Toryglen who are on Incapacity Benefits will have the chance to check out jobs when a Jobs Fair is held in the Prospecthill Square offices of The Initiative on Wednesday January 19.
First Bus will be among the employers looking for local people to train.

 

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COMPANY ON THE MOVE

Published on: January 2005

Govanhill Housing Association is planning to move offices early next year into the nearby former Samaritan Hospital building. The buildings have won awards for conversion work into quality homes.

 

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PENILEE KIDS FUNDRAISER

Published on: January 2005

Nine children skipped, jumped, climbed, danced and sang to raise money for their Christmas trip at Penilee Community Centre recently.
Parents and volunteers from Home-Start Glasgow South Penilee Project got together to arrange a trip to M&D's in Strathclyde Park for all of the parents and children who attend the Penilee-based project.
'We raised over £500 for the trip and are still holding raffles until the beginning of December.' Says Margaret Gillies, Senior Co-ordinator. The group meets every Thursday between 1.30pm and 3.00pm.

 

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COMMUNITY COMPANIES MAKE THEIR MARK

Published on: January 2005

Local organisations Govan Initiative, Glasgow Science Centre and Beat 106 Radio are all working towards their Community Standards Mark.
This coveted award shows how each business is involved in its own local community, and how that effort is translated into sound commercial results.
'It gives us a positive profile and is a lot of fun', said Karen Woodrow of Beat 106 Radio. Through the station's efforts thousands of pounds have been raised for charities by involving listeners.

 

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LANGSIDE COLLEGE AWARD CEREMONY

Published on: January 2005

More than 90 students of Langside College were presented with hard earned awards at a ceremony last month.
Covering a vast range of ages, abilities and outcomes, the students reflected earnest endeavor and had received unstinting staff support. The students were selected by their teachers for achievements based on things other than academic marks.
'This is a celebration of the Langside Learning experience,' said Principal A Graeme Hyslop, who was proud of everyone who won an award.


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FAREWELL TO A FAVORITE HEADTEACHER

Published on: January 2005

As 100 balloons floated off into the gray November sky, Greenfield Primary School completed an uplifting good-bye to Margaret Eadie, their Head Teacher who died on 16th October.
They were released by the school pupils at the end of a happy memorial service held by pupils, former pupils, staff, educational professionals and friends from all walks of life who wanted to pay their last respects.

 


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TORYGLENS MULTICULTURAL GALA

Published on: December 2004

A jubilant Toryglen is assessing the success of its first ever Multicultural Day.
The local communities which include 16 nationalities among asylum seekers and refugees in the area -proudly marched from North Circus Community Centre to St Brigid's Primary School with hand crafted banners and balloons flying in the warm September air to show how cultures can share fun. There was a full programme of entertainment with dozens of stalls and attractions for everyone. 'We estimate that one in ten local people turned out on the day.' Said Rachel Lees of Impact Arts which co-ordinated the event. 'By any standard that is a very large representation and means between 600 to 700 people were involved.'

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BUILDING YOUR SKILLS DAY

Published on: December 2004

Govan Initiative's 'Building Your Skills Day', at Govan Shopping Centre and the Hills Trust Learning Academy successfully highlighted job opportunities in the construction industry.
Over 200 people dropped in for information on working in construction. Singer and song writer Mamie Lang kept young children entertained and computers were available for older children. Joyce Facloner, better known as Roisin, star of BBC Scotland's TV series River City shared her achievements and explain how she constructed her career. She told the LOCAL NEWS, 'I had to work my way up in small parts in plays and never had a full time pay until I got the job at River City. I was over the moon when I got the job.'
Pam Courtney Assistant Chief Executive of Govan Initiative said, 'It was a family day out with plenty of fun and activities to keep everyone entertained. Overall it was great success.'


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GOVAN GATHERING SUCCESS

Published on: December 2004

More than 3000 people were estimated to have attended the Govan Gathering in September-one in ten of the population of the area.
The family fun day in Festival Park had something for everyone -and sunshine thrown in! And the contrast between old and new highlighted how the future is linked to the past by events such as this. Young people rework things learned from older who pass on the excitement and knowledge of things they experienced in their youth.
One the key organisers Helen Kyle of the Arts Regeneration Co-ordinator explained, 'This is about craft, culture, and cuisine. It's a carnival for all the family to celebrate life in Govan.' She had spent several sleepless nights making sure that local gangs didn't damage the tents put up in the park to house the wide variety of activities. 'The Govan Gathering is a way to bring the community together and celebrate the multicultural society we are. It is also one of the major events on the local calendar. In February there is the Celtic Fringe, June has Govan Fair and December is Gathering Lights, 'she added'.


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CONCRETE CLEARWAY

Published on: November 2004

Devastated residents of Craigton are trying to come to terms with the fact that a concrete plant will become their neighbour in Barfillan Drive with an estimated 336 heavy goods vehicles passing their door every week for the next five years.
Patersons of Greenoakhills Ltd won their case on appeal, and now have authority to set up a plant at 121 Barfillan Drive.
Local people fought a strenuous campaign to prevent the company coming to the site which is only accessible through the residential area of Jura Street and Barfillan Drive.
The Reporter appointed by the Scottish Executive listed 14 conditions Patersons will have to observe. They include the five year limit, operating hours from 7am till 5pm Monday to Friday and 7am till 1pm on Saturday and a voluntary speed limit and driving time ban by the company to avoid peak times for children attending Craigton Primary School.
Mike Dailly of Govan Law Centre advised residents they had no grounds for appeal and could only monitor the situation very carefully to make sure the company kept the conditions. Councillor John Flanagan commented that the planning process was flawed when the democratic decision of the City Council's planning committee which originally rejected the application, could be overturned by one individual. Said local householder Annie McAlpine, 'houses have collapsed probably because of old mine workings and there are obvious cracks in the walls of many houses along this road, and that's before concret lorries come thundering along.' Her neighbour Sadie MacDonald added, 'We've no-one to speak for us if the people in Edinburgh don't listen to the City Council.'

 

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BOY CYCLING WONDER
Published on: November 2004

Scotland's cycling hero, Chris Hoy, better watch out for Castlemilk cyclist Thomas John McDougall. The 22-year-old is the latest member of the Scotland West Team which will compete in the Special Olympics National Summer Games in Glasgow next year.
Having a learning disability has not stopped the enthusiastic young man from competing. He is on a strict training regime to prepare for the three cycling events he will be competing in - Time Trials, Mountain Biking and Road Race.
Also known as TJ, he commented, 'I've been attending Govan-based 'Let's Go' programme for four years. This has really improved my confidence and made me realize a lot of dreams. My care respite worker takes me out to many different activities which is really great. He has raised £250 needed to compete in the Games and sings for pensioners and youth groups. He has taken up Brazilian drumming and takes drama classes. Rachel Newman, Manage of 'Let's Go' said, 'We are very proud of TJ being selected for the Special Olympic Team. The games will be held in many city venues from 1st to 9th July 2005 and around 3000 athletes with learning disabilities, will be competing.


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VOLUNTEERS IMPROVE CASTLEMILK ENVIRONMENT
Published on: November 2004

A chance to work in the great outdoors has inspired a group of young volunteers in Castlemilk. Their effort and enthusiasm were rewarded when they were presented with John Muir Discovery Awards at a ceremony in Glenwood Busienss Cedntre. Handing over the prized awards, Toby Clark, Regional Manager, West Scotland for the John Muir Trust said, 'These volunteers have hit the mark. They are the perfect example of what the Trust was set up for. They have discovered how to work in a team and take responsibility. They have made new friends and started a journey of caring for people and caring for the environment. I believe they will find this to be a pleasant, lifelong task which will make this world a better place.'
Each of the Castlemilk Environmental Trust Volunteers gave apresentation and they were introduced by local Community Open Space Officer, Susan Rutherford who said, 'We couldn't operate without volunteers. This group was amazing for their perseverance and reliability and the wide range of volunteer projects they completed.' Aged from 16 upwards, the volunteers contributed to the Trust's work for many months and some fo them for as much as three years. The volunteers were Bobby Graham, Nayyara Rai, Marina Costello, Bobby Graham, Paul White, Richard Roper, Jamie Gore and Zack Bleasdale.


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HOME OFFICE VISITS GORBALS
Published on: September 2004

A surprise visit from John Gieve, Permanent Secretary to the Home Office to The Initiative in Gorbals thrilled the staff at the Adelphi offices.
Said Chief Executive Candy Munro, 'It's really great that Mr Gieve took time out to visit Gorbals. It underlines the success story Gorbals is when a senior civil servant such as Mr Gieve shows such an active interest in what we are doing.'
Mr Gieve is the most senior civil servant in the Home Office, working closely with David Blunkett, the Home Secretary.
He had heard about Gorbals Intitiative and asked to see the work they are doing. During his visit he heard how unemployment in the area has dropped by 33%. He also heard about a new peer advocacy project which the Initiative is piloting. Newly arrived asylum seekers will be matched with established refugees who will be trained to provide support and help.


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CENTENARIANS TO BE HONOURED

Published on: November 2004

A celebration to honour people aged 100 or more, will be hosted by Glasgow City Council in the City Chambers on Wednesday 24th November.
Promoted by Lambhill Court company which has four care homes on the Southside, the day is planned to be an entertaining outing for centenarians and their carers.
Said Deepak Poddar, Operations Director of the company, 'We'd love to hear from anyone in touch with centenarians. We have a variety of very special celebrities lined up to attend the day and everyone aged 100 or more, is invited.' To contact him call Syd Duman, Activities Manager for the company on 0141 423 7070.

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CONCIERGES ON THE FRONT LINE

Published on: November 2004

Deliberate 'dithering' by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) could force Gorbals tenants to leave or move to a private landlord. That was the claim made at a 'Save Our Homes' meeting in St Francis Centre, Gorbals in September.
'Deteriorating conditions in the flats is a war of attrition,' claimed Sean Clerkin, Chairperson of the Glasgow Campaign Against Housing Stock Transfer which organised the meeting. 'The newest part of that war is a plan to make concierges redundant. There will be voluntary redundancy followed by compulsory redundancy,' he said. 'This means tenants will get minimal service. Lack of repairs is deliberate and it all means someone is after the land.' He forecast that tenants would be forced by the deteriorating conditions to find new accommodation in the private sector at higher rents.
A spokesman for GHA said their assessment of the conditions of the houses would be completed by the end of this year. 'Only when we have that information can we plan how the work can be done. Any other way is to put the cart before the horse.'

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CASTLEMILK FAREWELL

Published on: November 2004

Members of Castlemilk Pensioners' Action Group said farewell to their friend William Keir who died, aged 63, a week after returning from his dream holiday in Amsterdam. The Group had raised the funds for the trip after William mentioned he'd never been away on holiday. Devastated Group Manager Margaret Urquhart said, 'We are really saddened that we'll never see William again. But he was on cloud nine when he came back.' The popular club member had inspired everyone with his cheerful and positive outlook after he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer last December.

 

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DIGGING IN FOR GORBALS ORCHARD
Published on:  November 2004


The first phase of the unique Orchard project in the new Rose Garden in Gorbals was brought to a close by local pupils from Blackfriars and St Francis Primary Schools planting the final range of wildflowers, herbs and greenery. The Orchard concept was the vision of artist Amanda Currie who saw it as a place for people of all ages to enjoy nature, tend fruit trees and bushes and hold seasonal community events based around the cultivating of the Orchard.
'We had a real fun day with all the helpers having a great time,' said Amanda. 'This is a unique place because we have planted some rare species.' Volunteers are now needed to give time and attention to the Orchard and Amanda would be pleased to hear from them on tel 0141 422 1196



 

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