A community group has been given an environmental award for transforming derelict land at the centre of a dispute with Glasgow City Council.
North Kelvin Meadow Campaign received a merit certificate as part of Beautiful Scotland's Neighbourhood Awards.
It was for efforts to transform former playing fields in Clouston Street by planting flowers and vegetables.
The council aims to sell the land for a housing development and has taken legal action against members of the group.
Under the Glasgow City Council plan, the 1.4 hectare site would be used for a mixture of flats and houses, along with new playing facilities.
The authority said the proposals had been endorsed by local people during a community consultation day.
There can't be many community groups being threatened with eviction one day and winning awards the next
Patrick Harvie MSP
Scottish Green Party
Earlier this year, the council secured a court order preventing two members of North Kelvin Meadow Campaign from continuing their work.
The interdict against campaign chairman, Douglas Peacock, and treasurer Karen Chung, prevented both from erecting any more raised vegetable beds or installing bat boxes on the site.
It did not cover other members of the group, who have now installed 10 bat boxes.
Praising the group's efforts to transform the site, Beautiful Scotland Assessor Brian Chennell, said: "The project is at a very early stage but does have great potential, given the number of people involved and the size and location of the site.
"If they had the co-operation of Glasgow City Council, the group could develop the meadow into an alternative community area for the benefit of residents."
Scottish Green MSP for Glasgow, Patrick Harvie, said the award should prompt a change of direction from Glasgow City Council.
"There can't be many community groups being threatened with eviction one day and winning awards the next," he said.
"This award is yet another clear message to Glasgow City Council - it must now be time to abandon your efforts to undermine the good work the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign is doing and instead get behind their efforts to improve their neighbourhood.
"The administration appears to have forgotten who it was elected to serve, but hopefully this award will refresh its memory."
Wyndford Task Group
Minutes of final meeting on Tuesday 28 April 2009
Councilor Jim Coleman Chair
Alan Davidson Development and Regeneration Services
Stephen Egan Land and Environmental Services
Liz Simpson North CHCP
Bob Cranston Anniesiand College
Brenda Wallace Area Education Manager (North)
Cathy Lang Glasgow North Regeneration Agency
Jim Gray Chief Executive's Department Community Planning
Niki Smith Culture and Sport Glasgow
1. Councilor Coleman welcomed everybody and explained the background to the setting up of the group. He indicated that Councillor Purcell will attend some of the meetings
2. Community and Safety Services and Cube housing Association and Strathclyde Police will be asked to attend future meetings.
3. The group will be looking at a range of options for Wyndford. These may include
investigating whether one of the school buildinas can be adapted for community use.
4. The group looked at the the various other near by premises including Wyndford Recreation Centre
5. It was agreed that Education Services will look at the earlier surveys of the 2 schools and will pass these to Chief Executive's who will look at them with assistance from DRS.
6. There is currently little involvement from Wyndford in local community engagement structures. The existence of a new Wyndford Resident Association will be investigated.
7. The childcare provision in the area was discussed, particularly the nursery school. There appears limited scope for any expansion other than extending hours 8-6.
8. Youth provision was discussed. In particular, some of the outdoor activities and dance activities were mentioned,
9. There is a 5 aside blaze pitch which might be upgraded.
10. There is a toddler's play area still to be built at an agreed location. There may be a multi-purpose games court. This was to be checked as there was some doubt expressed.
11. There is another disused pitch which might be available for development.
12. LES has been looking at a proposal to 'white light' the area. Malcolm Macdonald, Lighting Manager to be invited to the next meeting. There may be scope for lighting the 2 multies
13. Other potential improvements discussed 1-icluded-
a, Raised flower beds
b. Arts development work
c, Lunch Club
d. Outreach work by credit union and advice agencies
e. Local Festival
f. Expand Learning Centre
g. Health contact point
h. Advice to loan parents
14. It was agreed to set up a series of meetings between relevant parties prior to reconvening. These included:
a. Cube Housing
b. regarding the school surveys
15. Jim Grey to arrange date for next meeting before end of May and to keep councilor Coleman updated in meantime
In an embarrassing gaffe [sic] by members of Glasgow City Council, revealed over the weekend, it was shown that the principal reason put forward for the closure of nearly two dozen schools in the city earlier this year could not now be supported by official statistics. In April this year leading Labour politicians within the country's largest local authority revealed that they intended to close a significant number of city schools because of "falling school rolls".
However, it has since been found that school rolls in Glasgow are actually on the increase, although city council planners and politicians claim that the rising number of children attending schools in the city has taken them by surprise.
Councillor Stephen Curran, the politician responsible for overseeing service reform within the council, confirmed the rise in pupil numbers when he said that there were "more children in Glasgow than we had been expecting". In an added development the councillor intimated that the rise in school rolls would now mean that politicians would have to make an extra £2million in cuts to the city's education budget to accommodate for the increased number of pupils in city classrooms.
Although pupil numbers are on the rise, the council has appeared to rule out any possibility of a reversal of the controversial, and deeply unpopular, closure of 20 city schools earlier this year. In a number of cases - as with Barmulloch Primary School in Glasgow North East (shown below) - the school has already been demolished, despite the fact that the term has only recently started...
FOI REQUEST - WHAT INFORMATIOn
MORE FROM GO APE!
Council rejects SPP maladministration charge
Rejecting our recent letter of complaint the Executive Director of Corporate
Services at GCC replied:
'I am satisfied that the Council sought appropriate advice, both internal
and external, on the application of the law of common good to the
development. I am also satisfied that the Council consulted appropriate
parties, including the National Trust for Scotland, at the relevant stages
of the consideration of the development. I would further confirm that the
Council's policy for accounting for common good assets has been the subject
of detailed discussion with Audit Scotland and that the Council's current
policy has been agreed by Audit Scotland. I cannot, therefore, agree with
the conclusions in your letter.'
We have now referred the matter to the Scottish Pubic Services Ombudsman
seeking a ruling on this dispute. In our submission we say:
'Save Pollok Park, is seeking a ruling from SPSO that there has been
maladministration by Glasgow City Council in respect of the Go Ape proposal
in Pollok Park in respect of their failure to identify at a sufficiently
early stage that the asset is part of the common good and that Glasgow City
Council did not enter into negotiations with NTS at a sufficiently early
stage. We also ask that SPSO make recommendations to Glasgow City Council
that any future activities involving common good assets involve an early
identification of the common good interest and that the fact that the asset
is common good is taken into account at an early stage, and that Councillors
are made aware at an early stage that the use of common good assets are
Council fails to respond adequately to FOI request
Under Freedom of Information laws, we requested 'full disclosure of
correspondence and details of expenditure dedicated to (the Go Ape) project
...from the date of the adoption of the Parks & Open Spaces Strategic Best
Value Review and Implementation Plan in 2005 to the decision of Adventure
Forest Ltd in July 2009 to abandon the project'.
What is clear from their reply is that the phrase 'Common Good' does not
appear in any of the internal correspondence we received. Crucially, in
documents disclosed so far, the implications of privatising common good land
were not disclosed to Councillors by officers before they were asked to
approve the scheme in principle.
The papers supplied by the Council stop in October 2007; we are told that
the Council holds no relevant written records after this date! So, we are
asked to believe that in the subsequent period no correspondence exists
covering - for instance - the significant public opposition, multiple
public objections, planning committee briefing and decision, referral to
Scottish Government, subsequent discussion with NTS and Go Ape on the
relocation of the reception areas to Knowehead Lodge, renegotiations on the
'free places' offer and the decision to cancel the project in July 2009?
On the subject of how much the Council spent on this doomed project, they
say 'ln relation to your request to provide full disclosure of expenditure
dedicated to this project, detailed on a monthly basis, we can advise that
Glasgow City Council does not hold the information that you have requested
in relation to the "Go Ape" proposal'.
SPP has now appealed this lack of disclosure to the Council, as required
under FOI. If we do not receive a satisfactory supplementary answer, we will
refer the case to the Scottish Information Commissioner who is already
considering complaints from others about Glasgow's refusal to provide
information on Common Good assets.
...and finally - more news about Go Ape
SPP's success in repelling Go Ape in Pollok Park has reached a world-wide
We have been contacted by a group opposing similar developments in Sydney
where Go Ape wants to build on protected land described by the local council
'.. towering eucalyptus forest, weathered sandstone cliffs, sparkling creeks
and sheltered rainforest gullies, Bidjigal Reserve is an island of natural
habitat in the heart of the Hills area. 370 native plant species, over 140
native animals, myriads of birds, spectacular varieties of native orchids
and a diverse show of fungi makes a walk through Bidjigal Reserve an
interesting, relaxing and educational experience.'
Full details at Save Bidjigal Reserve <http:/
Closer to home, a public park near Southampton is under threat. The park is
described by the campaign group as having Sites of Scientific Interest and
as necessary green space for a rapidly expanding population. Sounds
familiar? The protesters would like those who support their fight to vote in
a poll organised by the local paper. If you would like to express an
opinion, read the article
_from_protesters/> 'Go Ape plans not popular with residents near Itchen
Valley' in the Southern Daily Echo and vote in the poll.
Save Pollok Park <http:/
Tel: 0141-424 0447
Mob: 07775 832 461
Fax: 0141-626 4235
A new report published today on the growing restriction of taking photographs in public, highlights the often bizarre interpretations of what defines a security threat.
The report, Policing the Public Gaze, examines how privacy, security and public order rules, made by police, community safety wardens, private security guards or self appointed ‘jobsworths’, are preventing photography in public places. Examples of this include:
· Grandparents, marched out of a shopping centre for taking ‘unauthorized photographs’ of their grandchildren- security staff insisted that cameras were banned because of the risk of terrorist attack.
· A mother and her partner, taking photographs of their 11-month daughter, ordered to stop by a park warden who informed them that it was ‘illegal’ to take pictures of children in the park.
· An Austrian tourist, photographing the iconic Arup- designed Vauxhall Bus station with his teenage son. Informing them that taking photographs of anything to do with public transport was illegal, Police officers took their names, passport numbers and addresses and ordered them to delete a number of ‘sensitive’ images.
· Conservative MP Andrew Pelling, stopped and searched by police on suspicion of being a terrorist after taking photographs of a cycle path in his constituency, near East Croydon station.
The new Manifesto Club report, written by Pauline Hadaway, the director of Belfast Exposed photography, argues that the assault on street photography represents a suspicion of the citizen, verging on paranoia, that identifies the citizen photographer as a potential pedophile or terrorist.
“There are an increasing number of ‘no-go’ or touchy subjects for citizen photography. As a result, many children are growing up with gaps in the family photo album – no sports day or first swim photos - and as a society we have big gaps in our archives.”
Anxieties around street photography are hitting amateur photographers hard in England. Attitudes to street photography in Northern Ireland remain more relaxed, although anecdotal reports of challenges to photographers are growing. Certainly there seems to be a nervousness amounting to self censorship around ‘no go areas’, including:
· Photographs in parks or at the seaside, where children are playing
· Subjects related to authority – CCTV cameras, policemen.
· Subjects related to any potential terrorist threat - transport facilities, official buildings, Arab-origin people taking photos, political demonstrations.
“Throughout the 20th century, millions of unskilled ‘citizen photographers’, largely anonymous, recorded almost every aspect of human experience, from intimate family occasions to uncensored images of war, bestowing a vast photographic legacy, which informs our collective consciousness of the history of the modern world……….
“One of the recurring features of Belfast Exposed’s early outreach work was its ambition to go beyond mainstream representation of the conflict, through giving people the means to portray their own experience. One of the outcomes has been the creation of a substantial archive, which records a turbulent historical period from the perspective of those who experienced it at first hand. Yet, with contemporary anxieties around the predatory gaze many of the photos in our collection – particularly photographs of children, police or army officers, or conflict – would today be subject to official or self-censoring sanction.
“In a climate of uncertainty, where the mere act of looking may be enough to trigger suspicion, it is time to stand up for citizen photography against the anti- democratic impulse to police the public gaze.”
End News Release
Notes to editors:
1. Policing the Public Gaze is published by the Manifesto Club, web site http:/
2 The Manifesto Club campaigns against the hyper regulation of everyday life.
4. The Manifesto Club will be hosting a Salon to discuss these issues in London on 30 September http:/
5. Pauline Hadaway is the Director of Belfast Exposed, a gallery of contemporary photography, which also maintains a substantial archive of citizen photography recording the life of the city over three turbulent decades.
6. Belfast Exposed will be hosting the Belfast Salon’s discussion: “Policing the Public Gaze” in Belfast on 29 September.
7. For more information:
Contact Kiri Barker (Publicity manager) 028 9023 0965; email@example.com
Belfast Exposed Photography
The Exchange Place | 23 Donegall Street | Belfast | BT1 2FF
t | 028 9023 0965 | http:/
*London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network
*Media Release: 13.10.2009
*London's local Friends Groups vow to work together to value, protect and
improve the capital's parks and open spaces
**- successful first ever conference
- launch of new London-wide Friends network
*Over 80 representatives of local Friends Groups from seventeen London boroughs*
gathered together for the first time for a major conference on Saturday October
10th. The event celebrated the achievements of the 500 or so such groups across
London, with those present sharing their experiences and their ideas, and
discussing ways to support each other in each borough and across the capital.
* Friends Groups from the following London boroughs attended: Camden, City of
London, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Havering,
Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Richmond, Southwark, Tower Hamlets,
Waltham Forest, Wandsworth
It was organised by and for London's Friends groups, supported by the London
Parks & Green Spaces Forum. The venue was the Broadwater Community Centre by
Lordship Recreation Ground in Tottenham (Haringey).
The conference, in launching the new London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network,
unanimously passed the following mission statement:
*' The Friends and user groups at this gathering agree to continue to celebrate
our efforts, share our ideas and experiences, and to support each other in
valuing and improving London's parks and open green spaces. To that end we agree
to launch a London Green Spaces Friends Network. We'd like to see the
development of Friends Groups for all London's open green spaces, and
borough-wide forums and networks of such groups in all London boroughs. '
*After the gathering, the Conference Chair - Dave Morris [Friends of Lordship
Rec, Haringey] - said:/
" It was inspiring to hear about the incredible work being done by local
residents and park users all over London to protect and improve their green
spaces. We agreed to continue to work together and support each other, to swap
information and best practice, and to speak out for all London's green spaces
now and into the future. We call on Londoners to form Friends groups for all
green spaces, and to establish Friends Forums in every borough. "
/The gathering began with a keynote presentation by a representative of the
Birmingham Open Spaces Forum. This was followed by workshops/discussions
introduced and facilitated by members of local Friends groups with particular
expertise, skills or success stories to tell. The themes included: Establishing
strong Friends groups; Developing good relationships with Councils / Parks
Officers; Organising Citizen Science projects; Lobbying for greater funding and
resources for green spaces generally; Protecting parks and green spaces from
urban development; Ensuring greater Friends involvement in monitoring,
maintenance and management; Organising successful events; Fundraising
successfully for events, projects and improvement works; Restoring and
regenerating neglected green spaces; Developing strong borough-wide
Friends/Users Forums throughout London.
There was also a 'Just A Minute' session in which 9 Friends Groups had 60
seconds each to tell their inspiring success stories to the whole gathering.
Delicious food cooked on site was provided by Haringey Back To Earth, local
residents based at the Broadwater Centre. The Friends of Lordship Rec also
organised a lunchtime guided tour around the Rec. Staff from the London Parks &
Green Spaces Forum provided much of the administrative back up for the
Gathering, which was funded by a grant they had obtained from KPMG.
The new London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network will hold a follow-up meeting
for Friends Groups on 2nd November at City Hall, SE1. Borough/town/regional
Forums of Friends Groups throughout the UK are networked through the National
Open Spaces Forum. The next NOSF meeting, at which delegates from London will be
attending, is on 31st October in Birmingham.
*London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network
*/c/o 0208 211 0916 firstname.lastname@example.org
/*Supported by the London Parks & Green Spaces Forum
*/0207 983 4468 / 07525 475633 email@example.com
Gimp free Graphic software (Like photoshop)
How the Finance Industry is set to gobble up yet more public money propagandizing to school children its failed economic system, absolve itself of responsibility by individuating its crisis ("Financial education in schools is vital to making sure future generations are more resilient against economic downturns and upheavals because they manage their money better", CEO life insurance and pensions company Aegon UK), and pander to a 'prudent', 'thrifty' nationalist stereotype:
"[The Scottish Government] 'will work with a range of partners to establish a delivery plan for financial education'... alongside teachers and experts from the financial services industry."
It will also immerse education within the rubric of "single purpose" government...
All Scots pupils to be given lessons on managing their cash
Published on 6 Oct 2009
Every pupil in Scotland will be taught how to look after their personal finances
Every pupil in Scotland will be taught how to look after their personal finances under a new Scottish Government initiative.
The move follows a report into financial education in Scottish schools that found provision was “patchy and inconsistent”.
The evaluation, carried out in 2008, found that some 14% of schools did not teach any financial education – while less than half of those that did treated it as a topic in its own right.
The research, by Edinburgh-based George Street Research, also found that some school staff lacked the confidence to teach the subject, and some schools were unaware of the wide range of resources available to help them.
Secondary schools place less focus on providing financial education than primary schools, the report said, adding: “There is a lack of co-ordination and communication across different departments in many secondary schools and this leads to delivery of financial education in a piecemeal manner.”
As a result of the report, Fiona Hyslop, the Education Secretary, has asked curriculum body Learning and Teaching Scotland to produce a plan to drive forward improvements to financial education.
Speaking during a visit to Gylemuir Primary School, in Edinburgh, Ms Hyslop said she wanted to ensure that good quality financial education was delivered to every pupil.
“Ensuring our young people have a strong understanding of financial and money management skills is critical – particularly at this time of credit crunch, economic uncertainty and change,” she said.
“The research demonstrates that many schools provide very effective financial education for pupils and that a wide number of organisations – in both the public and private sectors – are offering support to schools.
“However, that is not good enough. We need to make sure that no child misses out and every school in Scotland offers the high quality financial education our young people need.”
Bernard McLeary, chief executive of LTS, said the development of “financial capability” in young people was crucial.
“We will work with a range of partners to establish a delivery plan for financial education linked to numeracy developments in the context of the new school curriculum,” he said.
“The delivery plan will support schools by providing a planned, coherent programme of financial education from early years to 18.”
A working group of numeracy specialists will now be set up by LTS to take forward the delivery plan for financial education alongside teachers and experts from the financial services industry.
The delivery plan will set out how financial education can be taught through a general focus on numeracy skills, as well as developing specific new teaching resources.
The body will also look at improvements to the advice and support available for pupils.
The Scottish Government also believes that the Curriculum for Excellence – a Scotland-wide reform of what is taught ins schools – will help young people understand how to manage budgets, learn about affordability and develop money management skills.
Financial education currently takes place within a number of subjects, including maths, personal and social education, environmental studies, business education and home economics.
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