Author Archives: Frank Martin

Steven Purcell will not be taken to court

So Steven Purcell and his pal Ruth Black escape a spell in the dock. STV News

Purcell was supposed to have been worried that Glasgow gansters had footage of him snorting cocaine. I’m not sure why he thought it was a good idea  to be hanging around with gangsters in the first place. Maybe that’s normal practice for Glasgow city councillors?

There was also concern over the £50,000  of council money he tried to funnel into Ruth Black’s new LGBT centre. The worry being that the last one she helped run went bust owing thousands.

She also forgot to pay the tax and national insurance of the employees. Oh they managed to deducted the money from people wages, yeah that bit was fine, it was the passing it on to the tax office that seemed to be the tricky part. Labour ended up suspending Black.

And then there was the allegations that Black was supplying Purcell with drugs. (half way through)

 

 

If you don’t laugh you cry.

 

Council rivals unite to stop school closing

Evening Times
THREE Labour councillors have struck an alliance with SNP rivals in an attempt to overturn a decision by the city council on the closure of a special needs school in Glasgow.

The move sees three members of the ruling administration in the north of the city join forces with two Nationalists to use city council procedures to thwart the plans to integrate children at the Gadburn school into a nearby mainstream primary.

The Labour councillors, including Gerry Leonard, a major party figure in the Springburn area, and their SNP rivals are upset that the head of education, Cllr Jean McFadden, is alleged to have said only a Nationalist elected member raised an objection to the plans.

Mr Leonard and colleagues Gilbert Davidson and Catherine McMaster dispute this and have signed up to the SNP plan to have last month’s decision revisited.

They claim the education department has been too hasty in its plans to shut Gadburn and that most parents are fearful of the impact of integration with a mainstream primary on their children.

We have been talking to parents to get a workable plan
Instead, they have been championing a joint campus with Barmulloch Primary.

Under council rules, five elected members are required to sign a “call-in” notice to have the decision revisited.

It is understood this is the first time there has been a clear bipartisan strategy involving Labour members to undo an administration decision.

Councillor Grant Thoms, who instigated the call-in, said: “The education department is being too hasty at attempting to close Gadburn Special School.

“Councillors have been talking to parents to get a workable plan so the two schools could share the same building in Germiston but keep their separate identities.

“I have no doubt co-location is the way forward to give parents and pupils time to adjust to such a drastic change.

A council spokeswoman said: “A call-in allows scrutiny and enables local elected members to support their constituents.”

Big companies being let off with £25BN in tax while the rest of us are being squeezed dry

A UK wide campaign called UK Uncut has been working hard over the last 14 months to expose tax dodging companies like  Vodafone and Sir Philip Green‘s Topshop, among many others. It’s been estimated that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been going soft of their unpaid bills to the tune of £25 BILLION. After along hard slog, today the subject has made it to the top of the news.

Channel 4 News: HMRC ‘bent rules’ for big firms

BBC News: HMRC criticised for ‘cosy’ deals by committee of MPs

These are not struggling companies, and in the case of Vodafone one year’s profit would comfortably clear it’s outstanding tax debt.  The government says we need to slash public spending to balance the books, so why are profit rich companies being allowed to dodge billions in tax? 

There’s been a number of protests in Glasgow over the past year. To get involved and help get the money back we’re all due, keep an eye on UK Uncut’s Action List.

Topshop Protest - Argyle Street last week (17/12/11)

Store security seemed to mostly ignore the protesters, focusing more on the press photographers, preventing them from taking any pictures.

See also Twitter & facebook

Glasgow photos (bottom two) by Frank Martin – blog twitter facebook - feel free to use and share. No need to credit source.

Save the Accord Centre

Lifted from their facebook page.

Demanding a replacement for soon to close Accord day care centre for people with learning disabilities

For over 20 years the Accord Centre has been a well loved day care centre for people with learning disabilities in the East End of Glasgow. Due to the Commonwealth Games the Accord Centre, situated in Dalmarnock is to make way for a new road to the Games site. We are told that due to the ‘economic climate’ there will be no new day care centre and instead we are being offered a hired room in the Bambury community centre (which was recently in financial difficulty).

“The Accord centre means everything to me, all my friends are there, we get a good laugh there…I don’t want to be in a community centre…I don’t know who will be coming in or out…I want a safe environment” ..Cheryl McArthur, service user

We feel very strongly that this is completely unaccaptable and demand that from the millions being invested into these Games a new day centre is the minimum that the people of Dalmarnock and the East End deserve from these Games, otherwise what is the benefit of this big international spectacle to the people of Glasgow?

Please help us spread the word and raise awareness of this fight. The Accord Day Care Centre, it is more than just a ‘centre’, this is where people go to meet up with there friends, get support doing activities which they enjoy, gaining easy access to health care facilities…

We are fighting hard for our loved ones, and we will not give up.

If you would like to support us in anyway, please get in contact via facebook, twitter or email ( savetheaccord[at]hotmail.co.uk )

School axe battle blow as MSPs back closure

From the Evening Times

A long-running campaign to save the East Renfrewshire school gathered huge support

1 Sep 2011

Parents’ hopes of saving a closure-threatened school have been dashed after Scottish ministers backed a decision to shut the primary.

Hundreds of parents demonstrated against the closure of Robslee Primary School in Giffnock after East Renfrewshire Council unveiled a plan to merge it with Giffnock Primary School.

Education chiefs put forward the proposal in December last year but after consultation with parents and pupils the Scottish Government ‘called in’ the education consultation.

Fund-raising for Wyndford Play Park

One of the many protests back in early 2009

As a result of the Wyndford occupations in April 2009 campaigners managed to save one of the building, and the grounds of the schools, to be used as a community centre (The Maryhill Hub). It wasn’t the result people were looking for but it’s shown that occupation and other direct action is sometimes needed to get the government to listen and take you seriously.

Campaigners in the area went on to form the Wyndford & District Community Council, and now another £75,000 of funding is available to complete the play park outside. It’s nowhere near enough to make a good job of things so they’ve decided to do further fund-raising. The current funds would see most of the area being tarmacked.

They’ll be approaching a whole range of different companies and funds for support. If you would like to help in any way, or you know of a group of company that might be interested in helping please let them know.

WyndfordCC@gmail.com or you can call on 07552 189 082

If you’d like to make a donation you can send a cheque to

Maryhill Hub,  , 186 Wyndford Road, Glasgow, G20 8HF (payable to Wyndford & District Community Council – or get in touch at the details above).

The audit of the bank account is always open for public viewing.

What they’re trying to have installed:

    • Toddler play frames and swings
    • Child play frames and swings
    • Road Park for cycling
    • Community garden
    • Allotment gardens(at the rear of the building)
    • Skate and BMX area

    The grounds of the Hub as they are just now.

    Last two photos by Frank Martin. Feel free to use and share.

    Register your hard won right to vote

    A women is arrested in Dundee, 1910, for demanding the right to vote.

    To vote in the Scottish elections on May 5th 2011 you must be 18 years old and a registered voter.

    Registering to vote is the first part of the process of exercising your democratic rights.

    If you filled out the form that was delivered between August and November by your local Electoral Registration Office you should be registered to vote.

    If this was not done by you or other household member on your behalf you can still register to vote for the May 5th election. You can use the About My Vote website to register online.

    Some people may have worries about going on the voters roll, possibly they have concerns about being harassed by debt collectors or other people who they don’t want to find out where they live.

    There are two versions of the electoral register – the full version and the edited version. The full register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used by other organisations for commercial activities such as marketing.
    You can choose on your registration form whether or not to appear on the edited register.

    You have two votes, one for a constituency MSP and another, often referred to as the “second vote”, to vote for a list, or regional, MSP.

    Two ballot papers are issued, one for the constituency and one for the list vote, you use a single cross to mark your choice, one on each ballot.

    How the right to vote was won

    Your right to vote in the United Kingdom has been hard earned through militant campaigns to give the people the right to choose their political representatives.

    It was only in 1928 that all women finally won the right to vote after a titanic battle with the British state in which many forms of direct action were pioneered; chaining themselves to railings, setting fire to mailbox contents and smashing windows.

    One suffragette, Emily Davison, died after she stepped out in front of the King’s horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby of 1913. Many of her fellow suffragettes were imprisoned and went on hunger strikes, during which they were restrained and forcibly fed.

    Chartists

    Mass meeting of Chartists on Kennington Common in 1848

    Previously it had been the world’s first working class organisation, the Chartists, who had fought for the extension of the franchise from landowners and property holders to the working man.

    In a period of historical turmoil between 1838 and 1850, England, Scotland and Wales were convulsed by uprisings of workers, agricultural labourers and the liberal middle classes demanding the right to vote.

    The Chartists linked their demands for universal suffrage to the economic demands of the working class. Chartists were in the leadership of a series of strikes that swept 14 English and 8 Scottish counties, principally in the Midlands, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, and the Strathclyde region of Scotland. Typically strikers resolved to cease work until wages were increased and ‘until the People’s charter becomes the Law of the Land’.

     

    Glasgow Uni Occupied

    Glasgow University has gone into occupation once again.

    The Hetherington Research Club was closed last year by university management. The former postgrad students’ union was a well loved building that was originally gifted for the use of students. However, despite a strong campaign and finance plan to save it, management have indicated they have no intention of allowing it to be used for students again, and have left us no choice but to occupy the building.

    As in last year’s occupation, we are occupying against fees and cuts, and demanding free education. But we also want to see the Hetherington returned to student use.

    Please come down and support the occupation, and tell everyone you know! The building is on University Gardens, near to where it meets University Avenue. There will be people here 24 hours from now on.

    Scottish Government grants permission to close schools

    A tad late in posting this.

    15/09/2010

    Glasgow City Council has been granted consent to close Stonedyke Primary, St Aidan’s and St Joan of Arc Schools, after providing further information about the educational benefits of the proposals.

    Education Secretary Michael Russell today confirmed HMIE has assessed this informationand are now satisfied that the Council has reasonably addressed the concerns expressed in their original report regarding the educational aspects of the proposal.

    Mr Russell said:

    “The Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 put in place a robust and transparent process for any proposed school closure. I called in the proposals to close StonedykePrimary, St Aidan’s and St Joan of Arc schools to ensure that was followed in this case.

    “Glasgow City Council has now provided further information about the educational impact of these proposals on pupils at all relevant schools.

    “On the basis of that further information and advice from HMIE, I have now granted consent for Glasgow City Council to close the schools.

    “Future cases will be considered on their individual merits.”


    Vodafone – Tax Dodgers

    London protest #ukuncut
    -
    Next action – Glasgow
    Meet at All Saints Buchanan St Glasgow @ 8.30am
    -

    The government has allowed Vodafone to
    dodge £6 billion in tax. That’s money they owe
    the British public.
    The government is not acting to stop corporate
    tax evasion. As well as wiping Vodafone’s debt,
    they are cutting funding to HM Revenue and
    Custom by a quarter, making them toothless in
    the face of the corporate tax evaders.
    Through legal loopholes and tax evasion the
    wealthiest British companies dodge at least £12
    billion in tax a year.
    That amounts to at least £48 billion over the
    course of the next four years.
    Reclaiming that money would make over half of
    the government’s planned spending cuts unnec-
    essary.
    The coalition government is ideologically commit-
    ted to cutting public spending, hitting the poorest
    and most vulnerable in our society hardest. It is
    the disabled, the unemployed, ethnic minorities
    and women who will feel the brunt of these cuts.
    At the same time, George Osborne has cut the
    tax corporations have to pay.
    The government cuts are not ‘fair’, we’re not ‘all
    in it together’ and there are alternatives.
    Here’s one alternative to the savage
    cuts: force the big companies to pay
    the tax that they owe us, starting with
    Vodafone’s £6 billion