As we went to press, Glasgow City Council was awaiting the reportedly damning findings of an investigation into the activities of Labour councillors.
The report is believed to reach right to the top of the C0uncil, with Lord Provost Pat Lally and council leader Robert Gould in line for severe sanctions, while other councillors face expulsion from the party.
Although Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) was not due to receive the report until 24 Sep, a series of leaks over the past fortnight has ensured that the party’s displeasure with Glasgow is well-known.
The allegations of maladministration include misuse of the Lord Provost’s ’Common Good' fund and the trading of votes for foreign trips — but many councillors are angry about the way
City fathers face suspension
the party conducted its investigations.
One council insider told The List: ’there has been a systematic leaking of different chunks of the report by the national Labour Party. It makes one question the standards of natural justice by which they operate.’
The report is thought to recommend expulsion for four councillors while five more, apparently including Councillors Lally and Gould, are to be suspended and barred from holding party office. It criticises Glasgow for 'failure of the group leadership to set an example of consistently high standards of . . _ responsibility and discipline.’
A further recommendation is that a panel be set up to monitor council trips. No councillor will be able to leave the Glasgow on Council business unless the panel approves the trip,
For several of the councillors there appears to be no way back for their careers in the party. However a Council spokesperson confirmed that Labour had no power to strip Pat Lally of his
position. ’The title of Lord Provost is a civic one, so it is not something Labour have jurisdiction over. There would have to be a change in the standing orders, which would be difficult to do,’ he explained.
A spokeswoman for the Labour Party in London said the NEC itself did not have the power to expel members, but could ask them to defend themselves in front of the National Constitutional Committee.
’We will continue to intervene wherever Labour councillors are not upholding the high standards expected of them,’ she concluded.
Donald Gorrie MP, Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesman, said councillors shoud be given a chance to explain themselves. Of Pat Lally, he added: ’In the past the position of Lord Provost has been virtually bomb-proof, but if the allegations are proven, he should resign’. (Stephen Naysmith)
Running Banks invites Scots to pow-wow
A native American Indian, who served time for assault and rioting, founded his own political movement and taught at Stanford University before appearing in the film The Last of the Mohicans, has arrived in Scotland to spread an ecological message.
Dennis Banks, founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM), is an Anishinabe Indian, born in Minnesota. His autobiography Sacred Soul won book awards in 1988.
Since I978 he has been responsible for The Sacred Run, which arrived in Scotland this week. A group of 30—40 American Indians and international supporters will skirt the Scottish coast before returning to the central belt.
The Sacred Run aims to highlight the delicate balance between the activities of humankind and the welfare of the planet, according to Scottish organiser Lil MacDonald. 'Banks founded it in order to ask people to heed the warnings, to take the message to villages and communities,’ she said. ‘The AIM was founded to protect the traditional ways of American Indian people, one of which is spiritual running.’
So far the run has travelled 58,600 miles in its nineteen years and the Scottish leg will add nearly 1000 miles to the total distance. In the evening, the runners present a cultural exchange programme with traditional Native American songs and dances. They encourage local communities to reciprocate. The run arrives in Edinburgh on Friday 10 October, and reaches Glasgow four days later. (Stephen Naysmith)
"IIEIJST 26 Sap-9 Oct 1997
New studio could lure more ﬁlms to Scotland
Scotland’s status as a destination for top-flight music and movie production is to be enhanced by a new production centre in Perthshire.
The Jam Factor 'A’ has redeveloped an airfield previously used to house a Lancaster Bomber, to prowde a unique venue which is being touted as a big attraction for filmmaking in Scotland.
Atholl McLean, Managing Director of The Jam Factor ’A’ Ltd, stumbled on the site, which also boasts a Victorian castle, and persuaded the owner, Sir William Roberts, to part With the airfield.
’He built the grass airstrip and hangar as a hobby, but it had been lying empty,’ said McLean. ’The hangar has now been converted into a recording studio and multimedia centre and we have permission to film at the castle, which is still the family home.’
A second company, Riverjam, has been set up as a joint venture With Riverman, the management and promotion agency which manages rock band Placebo as well as promoting US acts The Smashing Pumpkins and
The time is ripe, according to McLean, for Scotland to make its mark on the worlds of film and music. ’With devolution and the new tax-varying powers, we may be able to compete,’ he said. 'Ireland has always been the preferred chOice for film-making for many reasons, including tax and faCilitieS.’
A few US companies have already looked at the filmmaking facilities at Riverjam. ’Just the fact that they visited us is encouraging, because of the word-of-mouth effect,’ said McLean. ’It is not the sort of thing you can advertise in The C0urier.'
Lenny Crooks, Director of the Glasgow Film Office, welcomed the new facilities as a boost to the Scottish industry. ’It is substantial and large enough to take on studio work,’ she said. ’If work came to Glasgow looking for something on that scale, we would be able to direct them that way.’
At the moment Parallax Productions, the company behind Ken Loach’s films, is shooting two productions in
Glasgow, including Loach’s My Name ls Joe. ’The next stage is to attract people working with higher budgets,’ Crooks explained. ’We want to attract people who need studio space. They don’t always want to travel down to England for that. It is a bonus for us to have something like The Jam Factor around.’ (Stephen Naysmith)
Loach: locating in Scotland
Club to serve up game stew
The Double Six Club, a cult board games club, is set to take up residence in Edinburgh’s City Cafe every Wednesday. Launched in London in January 1994, the idea has proved so popular that there are now Double Six Clubs in ten different towns around the UK, as well as touring versions which play the university own, the Phoenix Festival, Tribal Gathering and T in the Park.
Run by the unconvincingly-monikered Mr Kensington Velvet, through his company Silly Goings On, the Double Six Club offers over 250 different
board games ’served’ by profeSSional waiting staff, dressed in a kitsch 705 style, who bring fake leather menus to the table and fetch the games which their guests have selected. Tom Jones, Sergio Mendez and, of course, Burt Bacharach prowde a cheesy aural backdrop.
According to Mr Velvet, the secret of the Double Six Club IS that it IS ‘incredibly silly. In fact, we’re the most silly people you'll ever meet.’
Velvet also reckons that he can guess someone’s age according to the type of game that they play. 'Students, who
tend to be about 18—22, go for simple, modern games like Hungry Hippos,’ explains Velvet. ’Thirtysomethings prefer the games which they remember from their own childhood like Crossfire and Ker Plunk.’
Whether the idea Will take off in Edinburgh remains to be seen, but it Will offer an alternative to traditional pub and club games such as Shame Yer Mates, Spot The Dealer and the ever-popular Pull A Lumber.
I The Double Six Club is at the City Cafe, Edinburgh every Wed night, 8pm-close, admission is free. Tab/es can be booked (seriously) on 0731 220 0127.