The Cowgate Day Centre for homeless and vulnerable people in Edinburgh moved to a temporary location on the Pleasance last Monday. following the demolition of its old building to make way for accommodation for homeless people.
Since 1976 the Centre has provided a unique service as a drop-in facility offering assistance. activities and advice to homeless people on a range of issues from housing and welfare rights to health, education and training. However. the most important aspect of the Centre‘s work is to build relationships with individual attendees and so be able to provide them with on- going support.
‘The new accommodation will bring a breath of fresh air into our service.’ said one of the four workers at the Centre on the morning it was due to open for the first time. Although it is about the same size. the new building
The old Cowgate Day Centre before demolition
makes better use of the available space to provide shower facilities for the first time. as well as increased laundry facilities. inside. the informal cafe format is retained with the added bonus of windows with a view out onto Calton Hill, instead of the claustrophobic sight of the depths of the Cowgate.
The role of the Centre. which is always under review. is likely to move forward with the introduction of ‘Care in the Community‘ and the changing needs ofthe client groups. While the direct effect of the ‘Care in the Community‘ policy has yet to be fully felt. lan Ferguson. coordinator ofthe Centre pointed out that it will create more uncertainty for people whose life is already uncertain. More women and young people are attending the Centre. and specialist groups run on weekday momings are changing to reflect this.
Training boost for TV and ﬁlm
Scotland’s screen industries have joined together to set the future of the country’s filmmaking and broadcasting media on firmer ground. Scottish Broadcast and Film Training will co-ordinate and develop existing training schemes and will give staff members and freelances improved access to new technologies, keeping Scotland at the forefront of production. The initiative is funded by BBC Scotland, Scottish Television, Grampian Television, Borders Television, The Gaelic Television Committee, Scottish Film Council and the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television.
SBFT is a first for Scotland, as no other European country has brought together people from across the production spectrum to address the issue of training in this way. As Training Executive, John McVay (formerly Course Co-ordinator of the Edinburgh Video Training Course) will travel throughout the country, meeting people in the screen industries to encourage and develop training. ‘Training is now seen as so important
4 The List 7-20 May I993
that it has brought together the entire film and television industry in Scotland,’ he said. ‘A training infrastructure will demonstrate the professionalism of the industry and will help to attract new business to this country.’
The new initiative was warmly welcomed by the film and broadcast industries in Scotland. Allan Shiach, Chairman of the Scottish Film Council, said it would, ‘make Scotland even more attractive to indigenous filmmakers and to increasingly mobile international productions’. BBC Scotland’s Controller John McCormick commented that, ‘televlslon is becoming increasingly international, and if Scotland is to continue to compete at this level, we must have a workforce trained to world-class standards’, while Gus Macdonald, Managing Director of Scottish Television, added that, ‘lt is important that all of us working in the broadcasting and film industries have access to training to keep Scotland as a centre of excellence in programme
_ First stages
A new theatre company, which aims to produce multi-media, text-based, _ highly visual performances, is about to hit Glasgow. TV Productions, a non- profit group, will make its debut with a production of Copi’s The Homosexual as part of Tramway’s Into The Blue Season in June, before taking the play to major festivals of gay culture in Manchester and Glasgow later in the yeah
Before then, however, the company needs to raise funds, and has organised a unique club event. Club TV takes place at The Tunnel in Glasgow’s Mitchell Street on Tuesday
11 May, beginning at 11pm. The club will feature a performance by Michael Clark-collaborator and tendon nightclub personality Leigh Bowery, who will also act as host. The focus of the evening will be a flamboyant catwalk show of major design labels, including contributions from Ichi lli San, lex McFadyen, Vidal Sassoon and Butler 8: Wilson. Various guest DJs will present a jazz/funk/trash finale. (AM)
Club TV, The Tunnel, Tue 11 May. Tickets (£5) from Ichi lli San, The Tunnel, via the Citizens’ Theatre and on the door.
Test case for water polluters
Environmental group Greenpeace is to prosecute lCl Chemicals for illegally discharging chemicals into British waterways. including the River Forth. The case will set a legal precedent for the prosecution of industrial polluters and will challenge what Greenpeace sees as ineffectual government policy which allows the continued poisoning of the country‘s rivers and seas.
‘There are an enormous number of chemicals which industry routinely discharges without a permit and which the authorities are not even looking for.‘ claims Greenpeace marine pollution campaigner Debbie Adams. ‘Nobody knows the true extent of these discharges or the impact they will have on our rivers and seas. The exact quantity and range of highly toxic chemicals being continuously discharged from thousands of outfall pipes around Britain is only hinted at by the results of our tour.‘
The ‘No Legal Pollution‘ tour by Greenpeace ship MV Solo in September 1992 found that 2| out of 26 companies sampled were polluting waterways with unlicensed chemicals. Local companies BP ()il Ltd. BP Chemicals Ltd and lCl Plc. Grangemouth Works were all found guilty of discharging dangerous chemicals into surrounding rivers.
Analysis of samples taken from 34 outflow pipes across the UK found 100 different organochlorines and related chemicals being discharged without permit. ()rganochlorines are recognised as extremely dangerous pollutants and have been targeted for elimination by the year 2000 under the international Paris Convention. to which the UK is a signatory.
Greenpeace is also concemed that the takeover by HM lnspectorate of Pollution (llMlP) of the regulation of chemical industry discharges from the National Rivers Authorin on I May will make the situation worse. HMlP operates a policy of allowing the industry to take its own samples. and Greenpeace believes that a move to self-regulation will only lead to further unpoliced pollution.
The environmental group will prosecute lCl under Section 85 ofthe Water Resources Act (I991) in relation to discharges from plants at Fleetwood and Wilton. submitting that the discharge of toxic chemicals without licence is illegal. Because it is not possible for them to prosecute all the companies due to the costs. Greenpeace hopes that the Government will instruct HMlP to take legal action against offenders. (Alan Morrison)
Scotland could have its first national classical music label within three months if plans by two businessmen go ahead. Andrew Graham-Stewart, once manager of Tangerine Dream and ex-president of Caroline Records Inc, and Edinburgh business consultant lan Grant Cumming plan to set up a holding company with an artistic board that will oversee and finance the recording of pieces by such composers as Hamish MacCunn, Alexander Mackenzie and Charles McLean.
‘We do not want to detract from what other poeple have done in this field,’ said Cumming. ‘There are already
labels producing Scottish classical pieces. What we want is a nationwide label that will exclusively deal with this neglected area. Swiss, Swedish and Mexican composers are better represented on record than the Scots. The talent is there, but over the years it has been ignored. There are successful contemporary Scots composers, but we seem to have forgotten our classical musical heritage. ’
Given appropriate sponsorship and backing, the structure would be in place in three months, and the first recordings should take place within the year. (Stewart Kirkpatrick)