Pollokshields Community Council to form breakaway Trust

Members of Pollokshields Community Council are set to form a breakaway Pollokshields Trust to allow for additional local community projects to be developed.

The proposal was unveiled at a meeting of community councillors on October 3.

Bill Fraser – who stepped down from his position of chair of the council during the meeting – is leading the move.

Mr Fraser said, at the October meeting: “The problem with the community council is that it is restricted by its constitution.

“It doesn’t allow for the employment of staff, the ability to own property or the option for its councillors to have limited liability.

“The Pollokshields Trust will hold more power and more authority amongst the city council and charities and will allow us to move projects forward.”

The community council ran the ‘Make Your Mark’ survey in February, which gave local people a chance to suggest improvements for the Pollokshields area.

Residents responded positively, with ideas to develop more green space, have cleaner streets and ensure structural work is carried out on dilapidated buildings.

The intention is that the formation of a trust will allow for these plans to be put into action.

Mr Fraser added: “It’s no longer enough just to be a community councillor.

“Fairly radical action was needed and that action can’t be taken by the community council.

“There is now an expectation of community involvement and that needs to be taken forward.”

David Meikle, Conservative Councillor for Pollokshields, was supportive of the move:

“The idea of a trust isn’t new. It is positive that this is back on the agenda and it’s needed to move matters forward.”

It is yet to be determined when the Pollokshields Trust will be officially inaugurated, however Mr Fraser is hoping to announce further details in the coming weeks.

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Shawlands twins’ band Kinbrae release album to international acclaim

Shawlands-based musical duo Kinbrae have released their debut album to a global audience.

Twins Andy and Mike Truscott recorded the ambient, neo-classical Tidal Patterns with producer Andrew Bush in his Shawlands studio earlier this year.

After signing to Swedish label 1631 recordings, the album was released on 4 November in several countries in northern Europe, Scandinavia and Japan, to critical acclaim.

Andy spent a year on the Inner Hebrides island of Coll and the brothers believe this experience was a big inspiration for the record.

Andy said: “The album depicts a lot of my time on the island and the remoteness of it all.

“Because we don’t use lyrics in the record, it’s hard to make it personal.

“So we’ve incorporated a lot of field recordings from Coll, to give the music a sense of place.”

Mike added: “I would describe our music as ambient and modern classical.

“The starting point of it is the piano and cornet, so it’s quite acoustic based. But we use a lot of synthesisers and electronic sounds and it’s quite a mash-up between the two.”

The brothers were initially nervous about the response to the release, however have been encouraged by early reviews.

Kinbrae were inspired by the idyllic surrounds of Coll
Kinbrae were inspired by the idyllic surrounds of Coll. Credit: Peter Gawthrop (Flickr Creative Commons)

Andy said: “It’s been a bit nerve-wracking. To see the album go from an idea to a full physical release on a good label is pretty exciting.

“But we just hope that it’s well received.”

Mike added: “It’s funny when you hear people say they don’t care about what people think about their music – we’re the total opposite.”

Producer Andrew Bush, who runs Gold Soundz recording studio on Shawhill Road in Shawlands, said: “Working with the Truscott twins was really easy. They’re both great musicians, have very creative minds and a positive approach to writing and recording.

“Recording this album was great fun and I’m hoping to working with them on subsequent releases.”

Kinbrae are planning on touring the highlands and islands in the summer of 2017 with a series of live shows.

Pollokshields set for new arts venue following Playhouse closure

A move to create a new community arts space in Pollokshields is currently underway.

Pollokshields Community Council is exploring potential locations for a venue following the closure of the Pollokshields Playhouse on Albert Drive.

The Playhouse closed its doors on October 1 after the lease expired on previously derelict ground.

A variety of music, theatre, art and children’s events has been hosted at the transformed site in the past 12 months.

Michelle Montgomery Masters, community engagement liaison officer for Glasgow City Council, led the playhouse project and is keen to have it replicated elsewhere in the community.

She said: “Following the closure of the Playhouse, we will take a pause, then undergo a period of evaluation of the venture.

“However, given the success of the playhouse, we hope to find another venue within the community and re-open.”

Pollokshields community council raised £40,000 to finance the playhouse with donations from public bodies and charities.

Michelle hopes extra funding will allow for a new exhibition space to be established and pointed to the positive impact of the venue on the local community: “As well as attracting a great number of visitors, we also had a variety of groups and individuals take part in the events.

“Those who are unemployed, have mental health problems or low self-esteem got involved.

“Meanwhile the likes of the local girl guides and care workers also helped with fundraising and organising events.”

David Meikle, local councillor for Pollokshields, also hailed the achievements of the playhouse and backed the move for the project to be extended: “I’m keen that playhouse continues – what’s key now is locating a new site where it can be situated and I will do what I can to assist with this.

“Hopefully the Playhouse will be open and holding events again soon.”

A location for the new community venue is yet to be established.

Shawlands cat charity features on Lush body lotion pots

A Shawlands-based cat charity is featuring on cosmetic retailer Lush’s charity pots.

Ibiza Cats was set up in 2015 to help save the lives of stray felines on the Balearic island.

Southsider Lorraine Currie and her team spent two weeks in Ibiza in September rescuing cats after being backed by a £10,000 grant from Lush.

340 feral cats were rescued, with each of them being taken to the vet to be neutered.

Now the charity’s logo is being displayed in Lush stores on a body lotion pot.

Lorraine said: “I was shocked that such a big brand have chosen a small organisation like us to feature on their product.

“We’re extremely grateful that they’ve opted to support a young, start-up charity and recognised the need for abandoned cats to be neutered.

“We hope this will promote our charity but more importantly raise awareness of the needs for cats to be neutered to prevent overpopulation and illnesses caused by interbreeding.”

Lush was formed as a small independent retailer in Devon in 1995 and now trades from 820 stores in 50 countries.

Working specifically with organisations and campaigns championing environmental concerns, animal protection and human rights, last year the company donated £6.3m to charities worldwide.

Lush charitable giving manager Rebecca Lush Blum – who is also a freelance journalist and environmental and social justice campaigner – said: “We raise the funds we give away by selling a hand and body lotion called ‘charity pot’.

“All of the money paid by our customers for the product goes to grassroots campaign groups and charities like Ibiza Cats.

“This shows customers the types of groups we fund and gives these groups some extra exposure and publicity.

The charity pots are on sale in the shops in the run-up to Christmas.

Victoria Road’s Milk Cafe bakes Donald Trump cupcakes for anti-racism charity

Milk Café on Victoria Road is selling Donald Trump-themed cakes, with the proceeds going to anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate.

The cupcakes, which feature the US President-elect’s face in icing, were baked in defiance of Trump’s proposed policies on immigration.

Milk opened as a social enterprise café in June 2015, with the aim of integrating women from ethnic minorities into the local community.

Director Angela Ireland feels the cakes represent the café’s stance against rhetoric used by Donald Trump during his election campaign.

She said: “The cakes are a protest. Our café helps to welcome displaced female refugees into the neighbourhood.

“Donald Trump’s proposals on immigration and his treatment of women is worrying. Not just to people in the US, but all over the world.

“We believe everybody should be treated as equal, and we wanted to take a stand against Trump who clearly opposes this value.

“The cakes have been very successful, but many of our customers have made a donation without even taking a cake. They just want to be supportive of our campaign.”

After a photo of the cakes went viral on social media – the image was shared on Twitter and facebook by users around the world – the first batch sold out within 24 hours.

However, a spokesperson for campaign group Scots for Donald Trump attacked the café’s move.

They said: “Hope Not Hate are cultural Marxist cucks for failed global capitalism.

“Any café giving them money will probably be out of business in six months.”

The spokesperson refused to be named.

Hope Not Hate was set up in 2004 with the goal of challenging perceived fascist and racist political movements in the UK and further afield.

Hope Not Hate describe themselves as serving the anti-fascist movement
Hope Not Hate describe themselves as serving the anti-fascist movement. Credit: Hope Not Hate

Communications director for the charity, Nick Ryan, is grateful for the support from Milk Café.

He said: “Any support challenging hatred with a bit of humour (or cake!) is a wonderful idea!

“Some of Donald Trump’s statements, on building walls, creating a Muslim registry and attitudes towards women and minorities, are very concerning indeed.

“Obviously this is a time of rapid changes and many people are fearful of what might be ahead. Rest assured, organisations and campaigns like ours will fight for progressive values.”

Angela Ireland is unsure whether Milk will continue to bake the cakes, however she has pledged to continue generating publicity and donations for Hope Not Hate and its campaigns.