Campaigners against the £50 million-a- mile M74 extension in Glasgow are determined to remind people about the city‘s ‘forgotten motorway‘. as crunch planning meetings begin this month.

The protesters are desperate to raise the profile ofthe case. which they say has become confused with the long- running M77 campaign. inevitably tree- top protests make better headlines than council sub-committee meetings. But this is the time when opposition to the urban motorway stands the best chance of succeeding. as the city council prepares to consider Strathclyde‘s planning application. .

‘The M77 grabbed the headlines because of the trees which were felled.‘ says Rosie Kane of the No M74 campaign. ‘The M74 will run through Auchenshuggle Wood. but that is only the halfof it. The motorway will be built on urban areas. right over the top of schools and houses.‘

‘The consultation was wholly inadequate.‘ Kane claims. ‘When politicians want to get elected then you can't move for brochures. but nobody in the area knows a thing about this.'

No start date has been set for

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construction. but the regional council says it wants to secure planning consent before the new Glasgow city authority takes over in April. ‘We have no plans to start building. but when Strathclyde ceases to exist. trunk roads will become Scottish ()flice responsibility.‘ according to a regional council spokesman. ‘We wanted a democratically elected local authority to determine it.‘

However protesters claim that the Labour-controlled region‘s enthusiasm for the extension scents curious. given

that Scottish Labour Party policy opposes new urban motorways. Protesters have demanded a meeting with Labour Party general secretary

f Jack .\=lc('onne|l. ‘We will be asking

that they stick to party policy on urban motorways.’ says Kane.

A spokeswoman for the Labour Patty in Scotland stated: ‘Nationally the view is that more should be spent on public transport than roads.‘ However she refused to criticise Strathclyde‘s motorway proposal. adding: ‘That policy shouldn't apply at every turn



we have to look at local instances.‘ An independent report commissioned

; by the regional council says that noise

from the road will affect over 170

houses and l20 blocks of flats. Local

businesses are likely to be affected by compulsory purchase orders. which may benefit absentee landlords but not shopkeepers who could lose their livelihood.

‘We have had motorways for ages but there are still no statistics to prove they are of any economic benefit.‘ says Kane. (Stephen Naysmith)


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Kll: re-creatlng the journey to Auschwitz

Artist puts on Holocaust mystery show

Anyone who signs up for a bizarre performance art project staged during an international conference on theatre and the Holocaust is in for a surprise. ‘As a member of the “audience” you will be transported to a secret location outside the city,’ states director Hess Birrell about his project It”. ‘When you arrive at your destination you will experience events which may shock.’

I!!! is part of The Shoah and Performance conference which has been organised jointly by the Universities of Glasgow and Tel Aviv to mark the 50th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation. According to conference organiser Claude Schumacher, representations of the Holocaust in art remain a controversial issue.

‘There are people like the American writer Saul Bellow who say that the Holocaust was such a horrible experience that it’s debasing to do anything artistic with it,’ says Schumacher. ‘llllhat we say is that art activates emotions which are just as important as an intellectual response.’ (Eddie Gibb)

For further details on The .9th and Performance conference which runs from 15-20 Sept call 0141 330 5162.

Dads support group helps men become father figures

‘I was apprehensive, but we discovered that it didn’t make us feel any less macho,’ says Derek Sinclair, a member of a pioneering Edinburgh group set up to encourage fathers to take an active role in bringing up children. Dads and Kids on Tour was set up last year to help provide support for working class dads of kids attending Muirhouse schools.

For Sinclair, a lone parent bringing up three children, the group was a revelation. ’I know more about how

nurseries and schools work and I am a lot closer to my son because of it,’ he says. ‘After three years on my own with the kids I still felt alone going into the parents’ room at their school.’ However, despite initial success, the Edinburgh group is threatened with closure after numbers dwindled. Home-link teacher Helen Caddell, who founded the group, is still convinced of their value. ‘Dads groups lead fathers to be more relaxed and communicative with children and

other parents in and out of school,’ she says.

According to the National Childbirth Trust, which is backing a conference on fatherhood, family life has changed dramatically in the 90s as employment patterns change. More unemployed men are becaming lone parents or ‘house-husbands’ while partners go out to work. The conference in Stirling aims to tackle these issues. ‘More and more, men are finding themselves without work, at home looking after the children,’ according to Patrick Boase oi the Parent-Link Network, which is organising the conference with HOT. (Stephen Naysmith)

The Changing Role of Fathers is on 9 Sept. Call 0141 946 3873 for details.

Poor Things wins £1 million on arts lottery

An adaptation of Alasdair Gray‘s 1992 novel Poor Things is to be the first UK feature film to benefit from the National Lottery with a {Cl million pay- out. The film. based on a I’ygnialion- style period story set in Victorian Glasgow. appears to be the perfect candidate for lottery funding which is channelled throught Scottish Arts Council. Gray‘s work is regarded as culturally relevant but with commercial potential.

‘The basic criteria is to do with “the public good".' says SAC film adviser Eddie Dick ofthe Scottish Film Production Fund. ‘lt is to do with cultural significance first and foremost. but what we're trying to avoid is social subsidy filmmaking. When it comes to feature films. we will not be encouraging lottery money to go into films which nobody will go to see. As far as we're concerned. culture and commerce work hand-in-hand in the lottery.‘

It is hoped that any profits recouped from lottery investments will be ploughed back into film production.

The project. with a projected budget

of over £6 million. is being developed by Scottish producer lain Brown. who has also been trying in vain for nearly ten years to bring Gray‘s epic novel Lunark to the screen. Poor Things has already attracted interest from Hollywood players like Demi Moore and George Romero. ‘()nce a film hits that strata. things can easily spiral out of control. and the whole thing has to end up being set in Boston.‘ says Brown. ‘Our light has been to keep Pour Things at the level we want. because that‘s the kind of film it really is.‘

The other Scottish film projects which have received lottery funding are state- of—the—nation documentary 'I'runsilimz and The Ring ()1 Trth from a short film script by the late Bill Douglas. Glasgow University has also awarded £900,000 to develop its theatre. film and television studies centre. which will include a lSO-seat cinema. (Alan Morrison)

4 The List 8-21 Sept 1995