Spot cheeks set to leave drivers fuming

DRIVERS IN GLASGOW will face spot checks on their exhaust emissions and instant fines of £60 if they fail, under plans to be debated in Parliament this week.

Lab0ur is expected to confirm that it Will press ahead with the trial scheme put in place by the previous Government to tackle pollution. Glasgow is the only Scottish city of seven in the UK where local authorities are to be empowered to carry out the checks.

However motoring organisations claim the policy is unfair and councils will be under too much presswe to fine drivers.

The Automobile Association (AA) protests drivers Will be given no period of grace to rectify the fault, unlike ’potentially more serious' motoring offences such as broken headlights.

'It is quite possible for a car that is regularly maintained and servrced to still have a faulty catalyst,' said Neil Greg, AA roads and enVironment officer for Scotland.

’There are no in-car emission Systems to alert drivers to the state of their vehicle’s emiSSions, so they c0uld be completely unaware that there is a problem,’ he added.

No additional funds are available to

Pearce: seeking dance partners

New Year’s Dave

RADIO 1 DJ Dave Pearce will provide the cornerstone of Glasgow's New Year celebrations With his Hogmanay Dance Party, broadcasting live from the Merchant City.

At the same time, the city's celebrations are to be broadcast around the world with events transmitted by satellite and on the Internet.

Pearce said: 'With clubs like The Tunnel and The Arches, Glasgow is firmly on the map.

‘Two years ago during our massive New Year dance party we kept getting loads of mad calls from people having a seriously good time in Scotland. I hope we'll find some of Glasgow's loudest and most flamboyant party people in the crowd.’ (Stephen Naysmith)

24 THE lIST 5—18 Dec 1997

More action—heeded o‘n childrights *

CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL action on children's rights are likely to be renewed this week, followmg a shocking two part TV documentary about child eprOitation.

Brian Woods and Kate Blewett made 1995’s The Dying Rooms, which sparked an outcry after it revealed appalling conditions in China's orphanages. In Innocents Lost, Woods and Blewett Visit 21 different countries and interview Victims of explonation and abandonment from destitute street children in Latin America to infant camel-jockeys in the Middle East

The programme looks at how governments have failed to live up to

councils to pay for the scheme, whic h is :ntended to be self-financiig This will force Glasgow to fine offenders heavily, Greg I lairtied 'The self-financing regime WI“ increase the pressure to set higher penalty Charges out of line with other motoring offences

However, Tom McDonald a spokesman for Glasgcm's Environmental Services department, defended the scheme 'The aim is to take positive action to target people driving vehicles which are gross polluters It is an area of cOncern to many people '

He said many drivers would be surprised when they were stopped 'The

standards set by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, despite it being the most universally accepted treaty in history.

Sudanese toddler Yassiin was bought for around £250 from a hospital to be trained as a camel iockey in the United Arab Emirates When producjer/clirectoi Woods met him he was only two and half years old - lie was only lost talking The older roc'iceys were reszgned to their lives, they tinderstc‘ioci. He was so innocent, he had no idea

Woods argues that Yassim faces a life of abject poverty deprived of his own language and culture, yet for the price

New 00A chief to head renewal

THE NEW YEAR c0uld bring dramatic changes to Glasgow's Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) as it awaits a January decision on its £7 8 million National Lottery bid.

If the application is successful, the CCA will embark upon a {10.4 million revamp of its Sauchiehall Street premises. Provided additional funding can be seCUred the five-year-old multi- media arts venue Will close in March 1998, reopening 18 months later with the floorspace almost doubled.

Glasgow-based architects, Page and Park will refit the Alexander ‘Greek' Thomson building to house performance spaces, cafes, a bookshop and offices for ’cultural tenants.‘

CCA's newly-appomted director, Graham McKenzie is confident the CCA can fulfil the reqwrements of an arts centre for the 21st century. ’The CCA will be promoting openness and accessibility, th0ugh we have to recognise that the arts need to look to earned income rather than depending entirely on subsidy,' he said.

McKenzie is conscious of the CCA's importance to Glasgow's arts scene. The reduction in exhibitions at the city's Tramway and the lack of patronage of

yOung Glasgow-based artists by the Gallery of Modern Art, has put it under additional pressure to excel

McKenZie, 39 years old and formerly Principal Arts Officer for Glasgow's South East area, believes the arts centre concept is still valid for the new millennium ‘It is harder and harder to categorise art forms We want to

develop more eouity between performance and exhibitions programmes but also develop

contemporary and electronic music ' MCKENZIE believes the centre shOuId

amount of vehicles failing the MOT standard is incredzble

'It doesn't necessarily go With the age of your vehicle People Will think everything: OK and they Will fail.’

The £60 fine will rise to £90 for those who do not pay within four weeks and the Government is also expected to introduce fines for motorists who leave their engines running unnecessarily at the roadside

A Scottish Office spokesman said the scheme would be a trial, partly to gauge the response of drivers to the idea 'This is part of the Government’s Air Quality Strategy We hope trials will begin towards the end of this year or early in I998,’ he said (Stephen NaysinithI

of one racmg camel the UAE could provide all the lOtkCYS in the state with housing and education

'The UAE is sensitive to pressure from the outside and it wouldn't take much of a push,’ he explained.

The Dying Rooms provoked such a huge response when it was first broadcast that a special trust was set up Woods hopes that by allowmg the children's own voices to be heard in the mtervrews Innocents Lost Will also provoke people to take action and bring pressure to bear on governments (Stephanie Noblett)

I Innocents Lost, Channe/ 4, Mon 8 Dec 8' Toe 9 Dec, 9pm

take a lead 'We have proven that we can put on difficult and challenging work and it's important that we continue that,’ says McKenZie.

However, some in the artistic community have been critical Of the CCA in the past Glasgow artist Ken Currie claims it does not attract the same breadth of audiences as its predecessor the Third Eye Centre.

'The CCA seems to have lost its way and it's not as exciting as it Once was,” he said However he can see grounds for optimism 'It could be transformed very easily it ,ust needs a bit more energy' he added (Susanna Beaumont)

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CCA: turning the corner