Saturday, 28 April 2012

Maryhill / Kelvin. Candidates QT & Glasgow Won't Be Fooled (playlist)

Mohammed Razaq commits to up the number of social homes at Maryhill Locks from 143 to over 400!

Local schools still an issue for Maryhill. The candidates make their pitch for election. Voting records on school closures. Community questions on a range of issues, from council tax to social housing, to potholes, to gender equality and domestic violence. Candidates asked to join community leaders in taking community cleanup public action against Glasgow Life mismanagement of Maryhill Running Track and Tennis Courts, and to support a local cycling centre at Maryhill Locks. The candidates are quizzed on the community agenda.


Sitting councillor Mohammed Razaq commits to strengthen the social housing component of Maryhill Locks Development to over 50%. Candidates discuss the common good fund. SSP candidate commits to support community agenda in full. Green candidate supports all community agenda calls for action on jobs, supports much else in agenda. Candidates answer questions on accountability and community dialogue with Glasgow Life. Local people should be encouraged to use local assets. Discussion of the culture of excessive payments among senior officials in a time when ordinary people's family budgets are being hammered. Potholes are discussed. The question of commitments to tackle gender inequality and prospectus of their parties policies on tackling the issue is put to the candidates. All the parties were invited. The Tories fail to reply. Alex Dingwall can't manage. And the SNP showed up but their candidates were unwilling to be filmed.

Can you help build accountability in this city? Take part in this process. Sign the community agenda petition today:

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Community Cleanup Crew Threatened by Glasgow Life Official

25th April, Maryhill, Glasgow
Glasgow Life official Lynne Colvin has sent a letter to a community cleanup crew in Maryhill threatening that any “unauthorised access or subsequent ‘work’ to either the running track or tennis courts will be reported to Strathclyde Police immediately.”

Local resident and community organiser Nick Durie said: “I was shocked when I saw this threatening letter. The idea that the police will be called in against parents and teachers for tidying up our local area beggars belief.”

 Teacher Stephen Koepplinger, who received the letter, has repeatedly met with Glasgow Life and council officials to have the facilities opened for after-school activities, but they have refused to take action. The track and courts have sat unused ever since Glasgow Life erected a fence to keep out locals in the wake of a community cleanup effort last year.

 Stephen founded and runs the After School Activities Programme Scotland, a registered charity. He said: “Our teens need more to do. People say that our kids are engaging in anti-social behaviour, well, if we don’t give them things to do they’ll find things to do.”

Organisers say they intend to go ahead with their planned cleanup at 3pm on Sunday.

* At present one teenage girl in ten fails to take part in any physical activity at all, even during peak months for sporting or other physical activity. Data shows that this inactivity in children and teenagers is a growing problem. (page 29 onwards).

 * Where Stephen is from, in Aurora Ohio, they have the Ohio model for sports participation after school. At present Glasgow take up of after school sports activities is around 2% of all available participation sessions. In Aurora Ohio takeup of available sports participation sessions is at 41%. Sport Scotland's Active Schools programme urges greater take up of after school sports participation sessions as a means of tackling Scotland's culture of low levels of physical activity. Attached is a photo of the running track in its current dilapidated state.

Stephen Koepplinger, teacher After School Activity Programme
07766 708 363

Nick Durie, community organiser Power in Community
07798 903 944

ASAP (After Schools Activities Programme) was founded by Stephen Koepplinger. He started the charity because from his perspective as a classroom teacher Scottish Teenagers need more to do after school. 

 Power in Community is an NGO dedicated to empowering Scotland’s disadvantaged communities to create change on their own terms.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Stephen Koepplinger: Youth Sports Participation and Accountability

Don't let them fool you this election:

Stephen Koepplinger of the After School Activities Programme talks about his struggles with the council's arms-length management. The tennis courts are there, the running tracks are there, the football pitches are there - why aren't the kids on them?

From: "Colvin, Lynn" <>
Date: 25 April 2012 17:14:21 GMT+01:00
To: <>
Subject: Maryhill locked out
Dear Mr Koepplinger

I am writing to advise you that I have been made aware of a Facebook page publicising an event titled ‘Maryhill Locked Out’.

With regards to the Maryhill Park Running Track and Tennis Courts I can confirm that no permissions have been granted for the activities outlined on this page. The page indicates that “volunteers will set to work restoring the running track and tennis courts at 3.30pm”. Glasgow Life are responsible for the management of this track and tennis courts and have not authorised any such work.

Glasgow Life have brought this matter to the attention of Strathclyde Police as we are concerned about potential damage to Glasgow City Council assets and any attempts at unauthorised access or subsequent ‘work’ to either the running track or tennis courts will be reported to Strathclyde Police immediately.

I understand that you are one of the organisers of this event and would wish to advise you of our position.

Glasgow Life have been in discussion with local clubs and Glasgow City Council regarding potential developments at these sites. If you have suggestions for these facilities I would recommend that you approach Glasgow Life on a formal basis to present your proposals.

Lynne Colvin
Cluster Manager
Glasgow life
20 Trongate

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Friday, 6 April 2012

The White House

Norman Armstrong of Free Wheel North describes how the White House at Maryhill Locks could be used for community benefit.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Glasgow Community Agenda

The Community Agenda | Glasgow 2012.

The Agenda will be put to prospective Councillors at hustings.

The politicians will be asked to commit to each of the following in YES or NO commitments.

We will accept no waffle.

These hustings will all be on camera.

The politicians will be given a fair hearing, and a chance to explain, in five minutes, what they support and what they will do on each of the following points.

Glasgow won’t be fooled.

1. Enhance local democracy

"On Thursday the 22nd of March the Accord Centre for adults with learning disabilities closed, with adults with complex needs moving to the Riddrie Daycare Centre and with adults classed as having moderate needs moved to the Bambury Community Centre. In Glasgow there is a need for day care centres for adults with learning difficulties.
As adults with learning difficulties grow older their needs grow more and their health starts to deteriorate. With everywhere else, in the North and the South of the city, no day centres have closed. Will they commit to building a new day care centre for adults with learning disabilities in the east end of Glasgow?"

- Commit to: in-house the ALEOs.
- Commit to: in-house the GHA, or make the GHA become more accountable (please specify).
- Area Committees - commit to meet outside city chambers, and devolve certain services to them (eg cleansing, as is proposed to be devolved for Athletes Village area which is a precedent).
- Commit to: Community Councils to have representatives on Area Committees

"Would the Council ensure that there is more transparency on who is managing local assets? Maryhill Tennis Courts and Running Track are lying empty this year, again. Unusable."
"Dear (would-be) Councillor,
So as to inform wider public civic engagement in Glasgow, could you please explain:
• What Glasgow City Council’s ‘Common Good Fund’ (CGF) is?
• What your responsibilities are regarding the CGF?
• What you think the CGF should be used for?"
"Will you support the extension of cycling, physical activity and access at Maryhill Locks by ensuring that The White House - an empty building - is transformed into a community hub for cycling and physical activity, YES / NO?"

2. Housing Justice

- Commit to: Address TRA developments tenure mix. TRA Disposals Clawback Agreement being waived = £100 million to private developers in Maryhill: this giveaway is unjustifiable and needs review
- Commit to: More social housing is needed across the city - the council must build more.
- Tackle landlord malpractice in the private rented sector

"All over Glasgow tenants of ‘rogue’ private landlords complain about lack of repairs, rubbish and noisy neighbours. Complete buildings have collapsed due to a lack of maintenance yet the Council does nothing. This abuses the right of every resident to enjoy a peaceful home and neighbourhood.
The city council has a statutory obligation to enforce the laws to stop these abuses but has cut back the budget for enforcement staff so far that officers cannot take action. Will you lobby to restore an enforcement budget to increase the number of staff to an effective level?"

- Commit to: stop the misuse of CPOs to clear local people to make way for private development.

3. Tackle fuel poverty and climate change

- Commit to: If GCC is serious about Combined Heat & Power (CHCP) then it needs to move beyond words and reimplement district heatin g in areas which once had it.
- Commit to: Sustainable Glasgow policy for urban woodland on brownfield sites which have lain empty for 20 years is good. This work should begin in those areas.
- Commit to: implement Sustainable Glasgow and 2014 environment strategies, or more.
- Commit to: Supporting North Kelvin Meadow to continue as a meadow - a volunteer managed green space, which costs the taxpayer nothing but supports biodiversity and community - and other resources like it, against unwanted development.

4. Action on local jobs

[Notes by way of background that GCC funds credit unions, and that the government owns RBS and HBOS, that there is strong moves to 'mutualise' many services, and that Cooperative Bank is very solvent and has good reputation and links to Labour movement]

- Commit to: set up a community development bank, with credit unions playing a role, and with the backing of a high street bank. Maintain local accountability.
- Commit to: investment capital to be found from the generous money given to Glasgow based regeneration agencies, much of which does not directly fund jobs. This money could be more effectively invested in paying for jobs and apprenticeships.
- Commit to: the ALEOs, or future DLO, should be put to work delivering the Sustainable Glasgow programme. This could provide future apprenticeships.
- Commit to: seek a meeting with community representatives, council leaders and Angela Constance, the youth employment minister, and other employment ministers on an annual basis.