Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Glasgow City Council Cuts off water from Wyndford School

Campsie Branch delivered food - and 60 litres of water - to the brave Wyndford Primary School occupiers.

Glasgow City Council showed it's bullying side again today when council workers were sent in to "check out a gas leak" and then turned off the water from the part of the building the parents are occupying. The parent occupiers of Wyndford Primary School were adamant that this disgusting bullying would not put them out. One parent told a visiting Campsie SSP member, "they want to starve us out - but we are here to stay!"

Richie Venton, Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, spoke to parents inside the sit-in.

Sit-in at Wyndford Primary continues – they need your support.

Parents have occupied Wyndford primary school in Maryhill since Friday 26th June, as the doors were slammed shut by Glasgow Labour council at the end of the school year.

This audacious action has thrown the arrogant council leader, Steven Purcell, who expected all to go quiet over the summer holidays, hoping that by the time of the next council elections in 2012, everyone would have forgotten about their dirty deeds against kids and communities across the city.

The council has made no pretence of negotiations with the sit-in. They have just fired out statements that the sit-in is pointless, the school is shut, end of story.

Yet despite all their arrogant strutting, the same council has thrown sops towards the local community in the form of proposals for a new Family and Recreation Centre, based in the neighbouring school (also shut), St Gregory’s.

This is a crude attempt to buy off the anger in the community, generated by their brutal closures, which leaves the Wyndford estate a desert in terms of facilities. None of this would have happened without the ferocious battle mounted by local people, through the Save Our Schools Campaign. And it is too little, too late.

I spoke to several of the parents staging the occupation, inside the school, about their aims and feelings.

I would appeal to everyone reading their comments below to:

(a) contact them with messages of support on 0778 350 8740

(b) try to visit the sit-in at Glenfinan Drive, near Tescos in Maryhill Rd - if possible with supplies of food and water

(c) build attendance of adults and kids at the sit-in’s Water Festival, Thursday 2nd July at 1pm – in response to the council’s dirty tricks department – who today (Tuesday) cut off drinking water supplies under the disguise of checking an imaginary gas leak.

Bring the kids, bring water pistols, bring supplies.

Tell the Council that the school occupation won’t get dirty like the Glasgow Labour Council!!


“We want a school in the community. We have nothing. We are waiting for a Judicial Review on the issue of nursery parents not being consulted on the closure of the primary.”

“We don’t WANT a school – we NEED a school in this community!”

“The other schools offered by the council are too far away, along dangerous routes.”

“On 23rd June the council put a proposal to make St Gregory’s primary into a Family Centre, and to turn the existing Recreation Centre into a power station for the Wyndford estate.

So if St Gregory’s is good enough for a Family Centre, it’s good enough for a school. All we are asking for is one school in the estate, we’re not even being greedy, asking to keep both St Gregory’s and Wyndford primary.”

“Family Centres can be built anywhere, so why compromise a school for it? And the Glasgow council are only offering this because right throughout the campaign we shouted that we have nothing, no facilities, from one end of Maryhill to the other.”

“Our fear is that the council want to demolish the school building – possibly to use the ground for a part of the Family and Recreation Centre. CMI, a demolition firm, has already been in twice to inspect the building, for asbestos before demolition. That’s another reason we’re holding the sit-in, to stop demolition.”

“Since we occupied the school last Friday afternoon we’ve not seen the Council. No talks or negotiations. Then today (Tuesday) they sent along a council worker pretending to be looking for a gas leak, cutting off the water to the school. And it seems it’s just the drinking water they’ve cut off. Well that won’t shift us either.

“In reply we are organising a Water Festival on Thursday (2nd July) at 1pm – a bit of fun for the kids, with paddling pools and water pistols. Our message is ‘join us – don’t let the school occupiers become as dirty as Glasgow city council!’”

“The community is still united. St Gregory’s parents have been in to help us occupy Wyndford, and they have helped stage the barricades on the gates to stop the Council getting equipment out of the building.

“On Saturday they sent in 30 vans. They loaded up with school furniture and equipment. But because parents, kids and supporters refused to budge on the gates, we forced them to unload again and have the vans inspected by us before they went away!

“On Monday they sent two vans to pick up the safe and photocopiers, but pickets on the gates appealed to them, sat down on the road, and the drivers turned away empty-handed.”

“We’re appealing for support and supplies – including food and water – from the local community and people from other areas and schools. We’ve had parents and grandparents from as far away as Barmulloch, St Gilbert’s and St Agnes schools here supporting us.”

“As Barmulloch parents we think it is great what Wyndford are doing. We are happy to help in any way we can.”

“We’re not moving until they give us a school; they can turn off whatever they want. Our message to the council is ‘you’ve shut our schools, but we’re still here, we’re still in your face’.”

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Inquiry into the impact of school and nursery closures

Raised by: Richie Venton on behalf of Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign on 17 June 2009

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to conduct a public investigation into the impact the proposed closures of schools and nurseries by local authorities has on education policies, class sizes, childrens health and safety, social inclusion, jobs, and whether the process of consulting with parents and wider communities on the provision of education complies with local authorities statutory duties and democratic principles.

Sign the petition HERE

Friday, 26 June 2009


- Latest - Council plan to stop people geting in or out of Wyndford from 8pm! Urgently need supplies before then, and anyöne who can join the sit-in...
PRESS RELEASE … for immediate use (26th JUNE)- Latest-

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign


Parents at Wyndford primary school have this afternoon occupied the school in fury at its closure by Glasgow labour council.

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, Richie Venton, today said:

“Parents sacrificed their Easter holidays, occupying the buildings of schools facing closure. The Labour council ignored this community uprising and the mass opposition across the city to their butchery of primaries and nurseries.

“Parents who have re-occupied Wyndford primary as the council slammed the doors shut today are expressing the fury of a community at the damage done to their kids’ education – but also at the Council’s planned demolition of one of the few remaining community facilities in Wyndford.

“This school won numerous awards for high achievement, partly based on smaller class sizes. Now kids are being scattered to the four winds by the heartless Labour axe-wielders, who also hope to bulldoze the building. The parents staging the sit-in against Labour’s vandalism deserve massive public support.”

For more info contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093 or at richieventon@hotmail.com

Or Nikki Rathmill 07894123721


Thursday, 25 June 2009

Campsie Branch SSP urge Council to ensure current Kilmardinny/Westpark development is blocked.

Bill Newman, Campsie Branch SSP member, had the following letter published in the Bearsden / Milngavie Herald about the proposals to build 550 new houses on the Kilmardinny/Westpark site. Photos by Neil Scott.

The Campsie Branch of the Scottish Socialist Party, which covers Bearsden and Milngavie, shares many of the concerns expressed by kwag concerning the plans of Cala/Stewart Milne for the construction of 550 houses on the Kilmardinny/West Park development.

The doubtful future of an adequate replacement for the Allander Sports Centre, the lack of clarity on and the absence of finance for the proposed rail halt, the lack of space for retail construction, serious doubts on building on a functional floodplain and the moving of the West of Scotland rugby ground are all matters which make the Government Reporter's approval of the development surprising, to put it mildly.

Little attention has been paid, however, to the vague undertaking to provide affordable housing.

The question, of course, is affordable to whom? More often than not, promises to provide affordable housing mean nothing to those on modest incomes and, given the total lack of precision in Cala/Stewart Milne's plans, the assumption must be that the housing will be aimed at those with deep pockets.

What is really needed, of course, is a real mix of publicly-owned social housing, and this is not in the interest of private developers to provide. The approved proposals are geared entirely towards the profits of the developers and though the equivocal position of our bizarre Tory/Labour Council should not surprise anyone, it is to be hoped that the public outrage which is being expressed might stiffen the resolve of our Council to forcefully lend their weight,unlikely as this seems, to ensure that the development as it stands does not go ahead.

Bill Newman
Loyal Gardens

Click on Photo to go to the KWAG site for more information and to sign the petition...

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Marion Bernstein - 19th Century Glasgow feminist poet

Marion Bernstein used to publish in the radical newspaper, Forward.


Man holds so exquisitively tight
To everything he deems his right;
If woman wants a share, to fight
She has, and strive with all her might.

But we are nothing like so jealous
As any of you surly fellows;
Give us our rights and we'll not care
To cheat our brothers of their share.

Above such selfish man-like fright,
We'd give fair play, let come what might,
To he or she folk, black or white,
And haste the reign of Human Right.

Manly Sports

How brave is the hunter who nobly will dare
On horseback to follow the small timid hare;
Oh! ye soldiers who fall in defence of your flag,
What are you to the hero who brings down the stag?

Bright eyes glance admiring, soft hearts give their loves
To the knight who shoots best in 'the tourney of doves';
Nothing else with such slaughtering feats can compare,
To win manly applause, or the smiles of the fair.

A cheer for fox-hunting! Come all who can dare
Track this dangerous animal down to its lair;
'Tis first trapped, then set free for the huntsmen to follow
With horses and hounds, and with heartstirring halloo!

The brave knights on the moor when the grouse are a-drive,
Slay so many, you'd think, there'd be none left alive;
Oh! the desperate daring of slaughtering grouse,
Can only be matched in a real slaughterhouse.

The angler finds true Anglo-Saxon delight,
In trapping small fish, who so foolishly bite,
He enjoys the wild terror of creatures so weak,
And what manlier pleasures can any one seek?

Sign the Scottish Government petition - what impact do these closures have?

Sign the Petition:
"Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to conduct a public investigation into the impact the proposed closures of schools and nurseries by local authorities has on education policies, class sizes, childrens health and safety, social inclusion, jobs, and whether the process of consulting with parents and wider communities on the provision of education complies with local authorities statutory duties and democratic principles."

Click on the petition below to go to the online petition:

Saturday, 20 June 2009


Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign

The Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign has reacted with rage at the chaos caused to kids, carers, parents and staff in the final week of term in the 22 schools and nurseries facing permanent closure. Glasgow Labour council tried to shut the schools two days prematurely, on Wednesday 24th, and just days before this was due to happen, reversed their plan, throwing people’s lives into turmoil.

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, Richie Venton, today said:

“The Labour council are not only butchers of our kids’ education, but obscene in their haste to bury the schools, and utterly incompetent into the bargain.

“They have been traumatising kids by sending council vans to pick up furniture, smart boards, paperwork and other equipment as the kids spend their final weeks at schools they love.

“Then they unilaterally decided to shut the schools two days earlier than everywhere else in the city, punishing parents and carers who had to disrupt work and holiday plans, forking out money to get their kids cared for at very short notice.

“Now, after our campaign raised hell about this in our meeting with the Scottish government’s Education Minister last week, the council belatedly declare on Friday 19th that they actually never had permission off the government to shut the schools on Wednesday 24th, so they will stay open until Friday 26th! So they are having to draft in supply teachers and other staff to occupy the kids for the final days of term.

“What about parents and carers who had managed to get time off work, or changed their holidays at short notice, or paid out for childcare for the final two days of the school year?

“Will they be compensated by the vindictive, incompetent axe-wielders in the Labour city council, who have treated kids, communities and school staff with utter contempt on every front over the past 6 months in their crazed rush to cut costs?

“If parents withdrew their kids from school without good reason, or chopped and changed when their kids went to school, they’d face fines. That’s the very least the Labour councillors deserve; the sack would be more appropriate punishment!”

For more info contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093 or at richieventon@hotmail.com

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Scottish Socialist Party to stand candidate in Glasgow North East by-election

A well-attended meeting of Scottish Socialist Party members last night voted to stand a candidate in the forthcoming Glasgow North East Westminster by-election, triggered by the resignation of Michael Martin.

SSP Regional Secretary Richie Venton today said:

“The Scottish Socialist Party has consistently fought elections since our formation nearly 11 years ago. We are determined to give the people of Glasgow North East a socialist alternative to all the parties of greed and profiteering.

“With daily bulletins on the stench of greed and corruption rising from Westminster, we will stand a socialist candidate pledged to remain on a skilled worker’s wage, nothing more, to stay in touch with working class people who suffer some of the worst levels of poverty in Europe.

“With New Labour and the Tories competing in an obscene auction of job losses, pay cuts and the slaughter of public services, the SSP will demand a 10 per cent wealth tax on the millionaires to help fund jobs and services.

“We will demand the Scottish government stand up for Scotland, mobilise the Scottish people and defy £500m of Westminster public sector cuts, instead of playing pass-the-blame at the expense of workers’ jobs and community services.

“With Glasgow Labour council ripping the hearts out of several local communities through closure of schools and nurseries, and the SNP government standing silent in the shadows whilst class sizes increase and education worsens, the SSP will demand class sizes of 20 or less for all age-groups, and investment in local community schools, as part of our vision of an independent socialist Scotland that puts kids before cash, people before profit.”

For more information contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093


Saturday, 13 June 2009

Campsie Branch Minutes 13 July 2009

Our strategy breakfast in the Kirkie Puffer was great - really positive and frank.

11 Campsie members came along.

Congratulations and thanks were expressed to Mark for standing in Bishopbriggs South and also to Brian Pollitt for placarding our branch area.

We had a long conversation about the positive aspects of the election. Our focussed campaign meant six people have asked for membership forms.

The branch is going to have a 10th anniversary of Campsie Branch BBQ in Mugdock on Saturday 1st August - all branches and members welcome (and bring friends!).

We also plan a 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution information/celebration morning in Kirkintilloch - and will hopefully have invited speakers etc.

Next Saturday, members of the branch will go along to the CND demo in George Square... the Campsie banner will be raised against Trident.

Also - in October there is a Suffragettes memorial march in Edinburgh and the branch hope to be represented at it.

Our branch AGM will be on Weds 23 September in Milton of Campsie Village Hall.

A Newsletter will be going out next weekend to ex and present members of the Campsie branch on all of the positive things we plan and have been involved in over the past few months.

The Puffer was a great venue for this meeting - it was free and it was quiet and we had a wee nook all to ourselves.

Next meeting Weds 24th June, Milton of Campsie Village Hall.

Neil Scott
Branch Organiser

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


A delegation of parents affected by Glasgow city council’s school closures are meeting with Scottish government Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Fiona Hyslop.

The meeting will be held in the Scottish parliament on Thursday 11th June at 4pm. We have been invited by Fiona Hyslop, after the Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign wrote requesting meetings with the Scottish government two months ago.

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, Richie Venton, who is part of the delegation, today said:

“We are pleased to be meeting with the Education Secretary of the Scottish government.

“We requested this meeting in April because we strongly believe the consequences of the Glasgow Labour council’s butchery of primaries and nurseries are of national significance – as well as having a devastating impact in Scotland’s biggest city.

“We have appealed throughout for the Scottish parliament and the Scottish government to shout their opposition to the closures from the rooftops.

“The closures will mean bigger classes and fewer teachers, at a time when two-thirds of newly qualified teachers cannot get permanent full-time posts.

“Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign has consistently fought for class sizes to be reduced to a maximum of 20. But classes of 25, 26 and more will be commonplace after these closures.

“That flies in the face of the Scottish government’s aim of 18 in P1-3, so we will appeal to the Cabinet Secretary to unreservedly condemn the closures and to ask Glasgow city council to suspend their ill-considered, undemocratic plans.

“We will ask Fiona Hyslop to make a clear public declaration on behalf of the Scottish government condemning the blatant denial of democracy involved in the city council’s sham consultation process; the savage assault on vital community facilities that go far beyond just being a school or nursery in socially deprived areas; the unreasonable and dangerous distances young children will now be expected to travel; and in favour of investment in schools and nurseries within safe walking distance in every community, with cuts to class sizes, not cuts to kids’ education and closures.”

“We look forward to the government of the Scottish people publicly siding with the people of Glasgow against the worst attack on education in years.”

For more info contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093 or at richieventon@hotmail.com

Saturday, 6 June 2009

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Friday, 5 June 2009

Thursday, 4 June 2009


Polling Day is upon us. Today is YOUR chance to help MAKE GREED HISTORY by voting for the SSP. We have a brilliant team - all with principles that would shake Europe - none of our candidates want to join the gravy train that has seen Gordon Brown's Government rocked - and the Tories exposed as the money grabbing party we all knew them to be.
Read the post below to see how YOU can help!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Registered voters should have received a polling card with polling station details.

The ballot paper is made up of party lists; name of party and list of candidates.
You vote ONCE for your choice of party
Once you have been given a ballot paper, look for the Scottish Socialist Party.

Listed next to the party name are our candidates;
1. Colin Fox
2. Angela Gorrie
3. Johanna Dind
4. Nick McKerrell
5. Raphael De Santos
6. Felicity Garvie

Vote ONCE for the Scottish Socialist Party

If you have any time to spare on Today it could potentially make a big difference to our vote if you can encourage and possibly facilitate members of your family, workmates and friends to vote. If people haven’t voted before it can be quite an intimidating experience and having someone on hand who knows the procedure can be helpful.

Whatever the result, due to be declared in Edinburgh on Monday 8th, the SSP would like to thank all of our members and supporters who have made the Make Greed History campaign a huge success, particularly those socialists in USA, Switzerland, England, Wales and the North of Ireland who have contributed to the fantastic response to our financial appeal (we are not a party of or for millionaires - so donations from ordinary people keep us able to fight FOR ordinary people - to donate, please text a pledge to 07810205747).

Click Candidates pictures below for a short video.

Mark Callaghan is the local candidate in the Bishopbriggs South by-election. Let the greedy "main parties" know what you think of them by voting for CHANGE!

Mark on Woodhill Road, Bishopbriggs South on Wednesday during a whole day of campaigning.

Mark's Press Release as featured in the Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs Herald:

I'm a 43 year old activist, who will challenge the greed agendas of the main parties.

Privatisation con-tricks -PPP/PFI -have been used to build several local schools. Bishopbriggs now has fewer schools and the school buildings are owned by private firms.

This means EDC is hugely mortgaged. For the next 30 years WE will pay millions to giant companies. I am committed to ending this rip-off. I want big business out of schools and hospitals.

This would free up millions to invest in health, housing and education.

I support a wealth tax that will create 80,000 jobs in Scotland with an average wage of £25,000; insulate Scotland’s homes; ensure no schools close; upgrade existing schools; reduce class sizes to 20 and less and pay for free school meals.

The Labour Party and it's Councillors are closing schools - tearing the heart out of communities and cramming children into huge "superschools". The SNP seem powerless to stop this -or don't want to. I will fight this wrecking of our education system.

I will fight the privatisation of Royal Mail. It’s profits (2008-£323m) should be for hospitals and schools and not for shareholders in private companies like TNT.