Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Clutha inquiry S05

Back in the news.

This week…

Clutha Inquiry: Pilot says he never had low fuel warning

Clutha helicopter crash – Handover pilot tells inquiry he has ‘never experienced’ low fuel warning in flight

Clutha: Helicopter instructor had no issues with pilot

Clutha Inquiry: pilot ‘very good’ in proficiency test

Pilot ‘has faith’ in Clutha aircraft despite fuel issue

Clutha Inquiry: Helicopter model ‘had fuel indication issues in months after crash’

The Clutha Bar 2019

The Clutha Bar 2019

07/07/2019 Posted by | Aviation, Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens S03

It’s been quite a while since anything bubbled up in my news feeds about the Winter Gardens attached to the People’s Palace – the last summary is dated 04 November 2018, more than 7 months ago. (There may, of course, have been items I didn’t see).

Now that it has resurfaces, I have to say the news is not good.

And I don’t mean for the Winter Gardens!

The first item that landed on my virtual desk was news of a so-called ‘protest’staged outside the City Chambers in George Square aimed at saving the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

I’m sorry, but I really do have to ask “Saving them from what?”

The People’s Palace has re-opened following a short closure while alterations were made to accommodate the extended closure of the Winter Gardens.

The Winter Gardens have been closed for an indefinite period on safety grounds, which are valid as stuff has been falling randomly from the roof – which is glass. That stuff’s both heavy AND sharp!

The protesters appear to be a small but noisy group who seem to be ‘making stuff up’ to justify their own existence:

Roughly 100 protesters descended on George Square with banners to call on Glasgow City Council to re-open the Winter Gardens with straightforward repairs rather than repurposing or reimagining the venue.

The protest was particularly opposed to the private nature of council meetings on the fate of the Winter Gardens, fearing that plans would put “profit before people.”

Part of the protest description reads: “We oppose decisions made behind closed doors to steal away the People’s Palace and keep our Winter Gardens closed and neglected.

Protest held outside City Chambers to save People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

The second items was really just an expansion of the claims being made by this group.

I’ve made bold the specific responses from the council to these claims. Sadly, this group of (yet MORE damned) activists seems more interested in whipping up disquiet rather than doing anything productive or helpful.

Fears are growing that the prolonged closure of Glasgow Green’s Winter Gardens is to accommodate a new commercial operation for the glass house.

A series of council reports and internal emails seen by Glasgow Live have referenced the commercial viability of the Winter Gardens, while emphasising the need to establish a ‘sustainable’ future.

One report entitled ‘Palace for the People/People’s Garden’ and circulated in an internal email chain on February 4th makes repeated reference to the financial viability of the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace.

The report says that the venues must be “economically sustainable”, while pointing to the Wales Botanic Gardens, Kroller Muller and Jupiter Artland as examples of how the garden could be run – despite the fact these attracts charge an admission fee.

Glasgow City Council have confirmed, though, that no direct entry fee will be charged to enter the exhibit.

A different internal report, circulated on January 18, also mentions cost. The outcomes section at the end of the brief report and internal agenda says that aims to: “Identify opportunities for shared investment, partnerships, increased income and reduced costs.”

This item then goes on with a whole load of ‘Smoke and mirrors from campaigner Mairi Robertson Carrey:

Speaking to Glasgow Live about the ongoing closure of the Winter Gardens, campaigner Mairi Robertson Carrey said that examples such as the Kibble Palace show that the council could and should mend the Winter Gardens faster.

She said: “There are too many question marks over the future of the Winter Gardens. On the other hand, the Kibble Palace in the west end was restored with no questions raised at all.

“We want a restoration of the Winter Gardens not a reimagining. We don’t want to see it repurposed and new ideas tested, we just want to see it mended. However, all the decisions have taken place behind closed doors. We’ve been locked out of the process.

“Such an iconic building means so much to so many people in Glasgow and deserves protection. The only real public amenity in the east end is the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, so we can’t lose them.

“The fear is that if the council finds a way to begin charging for entrance, they could roll it out across the city. It could be a testing ground for ways to charge for Glasgow Life museums across the city as a whole.

However, a spokesperson for Glasgow City Council confirmed that the Winter Gardens will remain free of charge when they eventually reopen – though made it clear final decisions were still to be made on how the space would run in future.

A spokesperson said:“All of Glasgow’s nine civic museums, including the People’s Palace, remain free of charge. That will not change.

Fears raised over how People’s Palace and Winter Gardens will fund repairs

I find it sad that this group is, and this is of course just my interpretation of their actions, doing more to harm the future of these assets than protect them. I’m reminded of arguing parents, fighting about their problems, while the kids die of starvation and neglect.

Rather than embrace and explore alternatives to the existing venue management and funding, which can hardly now be claimed to have worked well given the situation we have arrived at, this mob just want anything new to be shouted down, and have more of the same delivered. I liken their demands to taking a headache pill to deal with a brain aneurysm. You feel better, but your ‘cure’ kills you.

Previous systems may have worked in the past, with apparently bottomless financial reserves to call on, but these are days of austerity, years when the Council Tax was frozen, budgets have been cut, and things like ‘equal pay settlement’ have magicked more than £500 million from the council’s coffers.

I could go on, and touch on things like new payouts for personal care and the (growing numbers of) elderly, or funding for new transport schemes and cycle routes (which also now appears to be looking for yet more ‘new’ money to buy out, and run, a bus company).

This group just doesn’t seem to have any concept of reality – or has some other agenda of its own.

If something doesn’t feel ‘right’, it can pay to look behind the ‘front’, and see if something else is going on.

The group is quick to point at ‘secret’ council meetings – maybe the favour should be returned.

People's Palace And Winter Gardens

People’s Palace And Winter Gardens

Let’s discuss it over a round of golf

I note that the council is also expected to hand some of the thousands I pay in Council Tax over to some folk who think I should be subsidising them to hit a ball around a carefully curated lawn, using a bent stick.

Guess what, the ‘concerned MSP is a golfer!

There are three 18-hole courses – Littlehill, Lethamhill and Linn Park – and three nine-hole courses – Knightswood, Ruchill and Alexandra Park – operated by Glasgow Life.

Shutting the courses was considered when budget plans were being drawn up by the council earlier this year.

However, the option was not included in the SNP authority’s final budget, which was agreed at a meeting in February.

It is believed the closures would bring savings of more than £1m.

Glasgow Life said it would not be commenting further into the consultation had closed.

A spokeswoman previously said: “We manage six public golf courses on behalf of the City Council. Low usage figures combined with a substantial annual deficit incurred in the maintenance of these facilities has led us to open a consultation with all interested parties, including golfers, non-golfers, and local communities, as to the future provision of these courses.

MSP ‘concerned’ about proposal to axe public golf courses in Glasgow

Looks like past members trained in the school debating society have got hold of this one, and has carefully dug up reason to argue against even the consultation, never mind any decisions that may come from it!

A campaign group in the east end of Glasgow have hit out at a consultation by the city council into golf courses, saying it is not open for long enough.

The Save Whitehill Pool Campaign as well as Friends of Alexandra Park are disappointed at the length of time that the council are collecting public opinion on golf courses, worrying the Dennistoun course could face closure.

Last month it was announced that the council was opening a consultation with the public to determine the future of the city’s golf courses. Low public engagement has led to a deficit in the leisure budget, forcing Glasgow Life to consider tough decisions.
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Options being weighed up include reducing fees, restricting opening hours or scrapping public courses in Glasgow.

In a post on Facebook, though, Save Whitehill Pool, who are campaigning to maintain all leisure and fitness facilities in the area, claimed the consultation was inaccessible to those without good internet literacy, not open for long enough and that the council were missing a chance to ask questions in person.

Campaign to save golf in Alexandra Park as council weighs up course’s future

It would almost be funny, but for the worrying diversionary nature of all the side issues being raised by the council’s critics.

More (of the same):

Glasgow’s golf club consultation blasted by councillors as authority prepares to make decision on future of six venues


How strange…

After the nice campaign group pointed out that Glasgow City Council had not had the consultation open for long enough, the period was extended.

Not the sort of response campaigners like – how can they whine and complain?

A consultation on the future of public golf courses in Glasgow has been extended by two weeks.

Glasgow Life , the sporting and cultural arm of Glasgow City Council, announced today extra time has been added due to “continuing interest” and a huge number of responses from residents.

They had opened discussions on whether to bring the axe down on six of the city’s dedicated sporting facilities last month because of “low usage” and a “substantial annual deficit”.

The process had been due to end last night, but controversy has surrounded the consultation, with a number of councillors and members of the public raising concerns about the proposals and branding it a sham.

They suggested a decision had already been made by authority officers, as well as by SNP elected members.

Glasgow’s golf club consultation extended by two weeks due to ‘huge response’

Ah well…

Give it a few more weeks and if (or when) the decision about the golf courses is announced, and it is not in accordance with the decree issued by the campaigners, they’ll still be able to jump up and down. wave their arms in the air, and cry “SHAM”, and demand another hearing, and do it again and again until they get the result they want.

07/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Kelvingrove’s ‘old’ Coffee Shop is back in business

Yet another thing missed when I fell out of circulation recently.

I had actually taken the pics just before that happened, and forgot all about when I was ‘diverted’.

Relocated to make way for Dippy, the Coffee Shop was moved into the space that had been dedicated to a display reminding visitors about the Burrell Collection in Pollok (while that’s closed for extensive refurbishment of the building), that display was itself relocated in advance of Dippy’s arrival.

So, it’s back where it used to be, and the related signs on the walls (they were never taken down, or covered) now make sense.

I’m sure some visitors must have wondered if space warps were part of the museum, if they were unfamiliar with the ‘normal’ layout,

Looks busy…

Yes, there IS an organ recital underway too.

Kelvingrove Coffee Shop

Kelvingrove Coffee Shop


Kelvingrove Coffee Shop

Kelvingrove Coffee Shop

The temporary space has been cleared, but the hardware is still in place.

Former Temporary Kelvingrove Coffee Shop

Former Temporary Kelvingrove Coffee Shop

07/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Strawberry Sundae Day

07 July is Strawberry Sunday Day.

See, I told you that after being Tell The Truth Day, things would get better, and I told the truth.

First, I noted it was Chocolate Day.

And now I can tell you it is also Strawberry Sundae Day.

Nice and simple, just strawberries, ice cream, and cream.

But feel free to carry on and embellish the basic recipe with your own favourite extras.

Strawberry Sundae

Strawberry Sundae

07/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Chocolate Day

07 July is Chocolate Day.

Today may have started badly, being ‘Tell The Truth Day’, but a couple of things are going to make it better.

First is realising that it is also Chocolate Day (to tell the truth, it’s one of a number of Chocolate Days, but who cares. You can’t have too many Chocolate Days).

No suggestions needed, I’m sure you know how to mark Chocolate Day.

Just don’t overdo it, and spoil it.



07/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Tell The Truth Day

07 July is Tell The Truth Day.

Don’t hold your breath.

I like one description, where someone said just having one day like this meant folk had a year to get over being told the truth.

You have been warned.



07/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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