Newly elected MSP for Glasgow, Humza Yousaf, has urged Glasgow City Council to call a moratorium on their proposals to withdraw concessionary rates for local charities.
The current proposals are estimated, by Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS), to affect 200 local charities, community groups and service providers.
Mr Yousaf has released an open letter to Glasgow City Council from local charities, national organisations, international NGOs, civic leaders and cross party MSPs calling for a rethink on the proposed plans.
The letter urges the city council to consult with the third sector and warns that many local services will be lost, if the plans go ahead, with the cost having to be met by the local authority and taxpayers.
Humza Yousaf MSP said:
“I’ve been consulting many local charities over the last week and it is clear that these plans are making all of them extremely anxious and worried.
“The findings from GCVS clearly indicate that many of Glasgow’s loved charities and local community organisations will have to shut if their rent is forcibly increased by the City Council.
“The proposal seems extremely ill thought out. With local services, such as Carers centres, having to be reduced or scrapped, the taxpayer and the city council will have to pick up the bill
“These proposals are a dagger in the heart of Glasgow’s historic and global reputation as a caring and compassionate city.
“With support from DEC members such as Oxfam and Islamic Relief, Civic leaders from Churches and Mosques and even cross-party support from my parliamentary colleagues, I am sure the call for a moratorium is loud and clear. I urge Glasgow City Council to listen to that call.”
The letter is below:
Charity Concessionary Rates
We the undersigned, urge Glasgow City Council to reconsider its position to withdraw concessionary rental rates for charities across the city.
We believe that Glasgow has an historic tradition of responding to those most vulnerable in our society and current proposals would threaten this global reputation.
Many of the charities affected offer a vital local service which they can only provide because of the concessionary rental scheme. The withdrawal of this will lead to many of them having to either close down or provide a seriously reduced service.
We believe the cost to the local authority of losing these services will far outweigh the income they may generate from withdrawing the concessionary rate.
We therefore call on Glasgow City Council to put an immediate moratorium on their plans and consult with the third sector to find a way forward, whereby Glasgow’s reputation as a caring city is not put at risk.
Judith Robertson – Director Oxfam Scotland
Habib Malik – Chairperson Islamic Relief Scotland
Rev. Neil Galbraith – Moderator of the Glasgow Presbytery
Mr Shaheen Tufail – President of Glasgow Central Mosque (TBC)
Rev. John Matthews – Chair Faith in Community Scotland
Martin Sime – Scottish Council Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
Helen MacNeil – Chief Exec Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS)
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers
Dr Rami Ousta –Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure Scotland (BEMIS)
Colin Lee – Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations (CEMVO)
Gary Christie – Head of Policy & Communications Scottish Refugee Council
Ross Galbraith –Glasgow the Caring City
Agnes G. McGroarty – Glasgow Forum of Scottish Seniors Alliance
Humza Yousaf MSP (Glasgow Region)
Sandra White MSP (Glasgow Kelvin)
James Dornan MSP (Glasgow Cathcart)
John Mason MSP (Glasgow Shettleston)
Bill Kidd (Glasgow Anniesland)
Bob Doris (Glasgow Region – SNP)
Ruth Davidson MSP (Glasgow Region – Scottish Conservatives)
Patrick Harvie (Glasgow Region – Scottish Green Party)
Angela Donaldson – Scotland Director Arthritis Care Scotland
Shirley Maxwell – Epilepsy Connections
Elizabeth Gore – Energy Action Scotland
David Thomson – Destiny Church
Frances Monaghan – Wise Women
Mohammed Rajak – Ucare Foundation
Jack Trow – Harps Community Project
Robina Qureshi – Positive Action in Housing
Firooz Behseresht – Iranian Scottish Association
Derek Goh – Glasgow Chinese Association Kut-O Village Benevolent Society
Furrah Arshad – Ethnic Enable
Arvind Salwan – New Media Corp
Ian Dickson – Your Choice (Strathclyde)
Kiran Women’s Support Group
You can book your place or get more details here.
One of the speakers is Kenneth Clark Senior Manager – Tourism Trade & Investment, Scottish Development International
Name: Kenneth Clark
Company: Scottish Development International
Position: Senior Manager – Tourism Trade & Investment
Where are you based?
What do you like most about the city?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play Keyboards in a jazz rock band
What was your first job?
Systems Analyst / Programmer
Defining moment of career?
Finding the same degree of professionalism in the public sector as in the private sector
Professional goals for the year ahead?
Secure three major hotel and resort projects into Scotland.
Personal goals for the year ahead?
Raise the profile of the team’s activity in Scotland ( as opposed to in our key overseas markets.)
What would you most like to be remembered for in your organisation?
Hopefully made a major impact in a new area for us.
Who in the business world would you most like to meet at a Thrive event? Why?
Richard Branson, for his views on how Scotland should market itself internationally.
The 25,000 sq ft Newton Mearns store represents an expansion by the retailer in Scotland and is part of an ambitious UK-wide growth strategy by the employee-owned supermarket.
The planned new store in Helensburgh – if planning permission is secured – will be the retailer’s first outside the central belt cities. Waitrose will be consulting with local people over the coming weeks and will lodge a planning application later this year.
In a first for Waitrose in Scotland, the Newton Mearns store will offer toys, electrical goods and fashion accessories from its sister company John Lewis, alongside its extensive food ranges.
The store is also championing local and regional suppliers including several new producers who are supplying Waitrose for the first time.
These include a company that is literally on the doorstep of the new branch – family-run Just Add Chilli – as well as Mathiesons Foods, We Hae Meats, Argyll Smokery, Belhaven Fruit Farm, Thistly Cross Cider and Claire Macdonald Foods.
They will join around 400 Scottish products already stocked by Waitrose, as part of the retailer’s strong commitment to local and regional sourcing.
Of vital importance to Waitrose is the provenance and traceability – buyers typically source products from smaller growers and suppliers, where possible close to individual stores.
There were over 2000 applicants for the 200 jobs at Newton Mearns, where customers will benefit from the expertise of fish, wine, cheese and meat specialists.
All Partners (as Waitrose employees are known because they are Partners in the John Lewis Partnership) are co-owners of the business, entitling them to a say in how the business is run and an annual share in its profits from next year.
In March this year, existing Partners received 18% of their annual salary in bonus.
Facts and figures
· The Newton Mearns store will bring the total number of Partners at Waitrose and John Lewis in Scotland to 2656.
· Waitrose is now the same price as Tesco on 1000 branded everyday items; its Price Match commitment tracks prices each week.
· A range of kosher products, including fresh and ambient goods will be available at Waitrose Newton Mearns.
· Food waste from the new branch is being sent to an anaerobic digestion plant. All refrigeration in store is HFC-free.
· The in-store coffee shop seats 46. Customers will be able to choose from a wide range of gourmet and every day fresh dishes, all of which are freshly cooked and prepared on site using ingredients literally off the supermarket shelves in-store.
· Waitrose’s Community Matters scheme starts today – it gives customers a say in how £12,000 a year – £1,000 a month – is spent on local charity projects.
Alison Neilson Deputy Manager for Waitrose Newton Mearns said:
“Waitrose prides itself on getting to know the communities it operates within and building firm relationship with residents and surrounding businesses alike.
“We want to make sure our customers enjoy the best of local produce that our Scottish suppliers have to offer and we are always keen to hear from new suppliers to add to that offering.”
Mark Price, Waitrose Managing Director said:
“We’re delighted to be opening our largest store in Scotland today.
“Waitrose Newton Mearns, together with our plans for a fifth store in Helensburgh, is a further demonstration of our ambitions to make our brand far more accessible to Scottish consumers.
“We’re currently still under represented in Scotland, but our new regional distribution centre in Lancashire will provide a vital platform for future expansion and unlock significant opportunities for us to open more shops in Scotland”
Welcoming Waitrose to Newton Mearns, Vincent Waters, President of the East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said:
“The arrival of Waitrose is a great boost to the retail offering in East Renfrewshire, and will attract people into the area. I’m pleased a business with the strong ethical reputation of the John Lewis Partnership has expanded into our community.”
The Scottish business networking organisation, Thrive for Business, is hosting an exclusive lunch event in Glasgow’s Brian Maule Restaurant, with guest speakers from STV and Capital FM.
Commercial directors Peter Reilly and Pamela Richardson are responsible for driving the airtime and digital revenue for STV and Capital FM respectively, through developing and nurturing successful business relationships with advertisers and agencies.
And they are clearly doing something right – broadcasting figures for the companies currently stand at over 4 million viewers and 6.7 million listeners each week.
With STV recently delighted by an £18m settlement with ITV, and Capital FM teaming up with Starbucks for cross-brand promotion, attendees will have the priceless opportunity to quiz these successful representatives on how best to utilise the wonders of advertising to grow their own businesses.
Thrive For Business host regular networking events every month in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dumfries and soon to be Aberdeen, designed to help businesses grow by creating the opportunity, atmosphere and motivation for success.
For more information and to book a place at the next event, visit www.thriveforbusiness.co.uk
What: Thrive for Business networking event
When: Wednesday, 4 May 2011, 12.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Where: Brian Maule Restaurant, Glasgow
VIP Speakers: Peter Reilly, Commercial Director, STV
Pamela Richardson, Commercial Director, Capital FM