Common Good Links on related stuff

Safeguard your common good assets nation wide
From our Edinburgh friends
Some people have taken the time to collect addresses and present ideas for letters, organise petitions – and work ceaselessly to try and protect our Common Good. But “we” also need to say what we think.
Now there are official folk who can do, and have to do things when we register our complaints or queries. But if they don’t know (i.e. we don’t tell them) they can do nothing about anything. Here is some advice on how to go about having your say. It’s easy:

“Concerned individuals and community organisations are now in a position to begin a fight back! You are urged to write to the Chief Executive of your local council asking for accurate, up-to-date information on common good assets held on your behalf by your local authority. Obtain the name and address of the relevant chief executive; below are skeleton sample” letters and further information and advice.

Say bye bye – Let the Great Privatisation begin…
The following Culture and Sport Glasgow tenders are available on They reveal officially – for the first time – the real extent of the potential impending danger to the private company’s 2,500 current employees. (GlasgowLOST)

Is there anyone involved in campaigns concerning Common Good issues, or want to start or join one, help out in one. Remember the CG covers a lot of ground. It will affect us all probably sooner rather than later – particularly in Glasgow where the privatisation plans are much more advanced than elsewhere.

Haringey Federation of Residents Associations
a wee taster of just what is possible when we get together and build democratic structures where residents groups and campaigners can come together, free from political interference or bureaucracy, which can help us co-ordinate and gain a real say in our communities, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations have produced a new film, which stands as an example of just what is possible.
Glasgow Residents Network: See here for summer Conference. If you want to help also(or make a film even): 07976718111

10 things you should know about Culture and Sport


Andy Wightman, an author and researcher who has been campaigning on the Edinburgh Common Good Fund for the past 18 months, will be the speaker. He said: “Across Scotland, hundreds of millions of pounds in funds and capital assets are missing from Common Good Funds. This wealth belongs to the people and this talk will highlight how this state of affairs has come about and what should be done about it.
The Story of the Common Good Fund”, will take place at St Stephens Centre, St Stephens Street on Wednesday 27 June at 19:30 BST.

Kennington Park birthplace of People’s Democracy
Public Executions * A Radical Black Methodist * The World’s First National Labour Movement * The Chartists * the Significance of 10th April 1848 * The World’s First Photograph of a Crowd * The Occupation of Our Common by the Royal Park * The Horns Tavern and Charlie Chaplin * The Princess of Wales Theatre * The Scandal the Unmarked War Grave * The Squatters * ‘Red Ted’ * The Return of the Commons Spirit

How come they didn’t ask “City Strolls” if it backed the bid?
Is there anyone out there who was asked to back the bid? We would be interested to know how the question was put. Don’t Back The Bid!

Glasgow Core Paths Plan (More creeping ) See below
Is the intention to replace in the public consciousness the concept of rights of way with that of core paths ‘giving’ access – which gift might subsequently be bureaucratically revoked, whenever it is felt desirable so to do, by those who consider themselves to be our masters?

Common good assets being given to new leisure Trust?
For the attention of Ronnie Hinds, CEO Fife Council
Please find below for your information a copy of an e-mail sent to all 78 councillors in Fife.

Aborigines lose welfare appeal right
THE Commonwealth will remove normal rights of appeal for Aborigines in the Northern Territory, prevent customary law being considered in sentencing and give itself open-ended powers to acquire land or ban alcohol under legislation to be introduced to Parliament today. (No surprises there then)

More News and Facts at Don’t Back The Bid!
Keep your eye on those facts and figures

Maybe the megaphone is to try and tell the council leader something he doesn’t want to hear, about how the staff feel [and the public] about the councils senior management. Who knows what they will come up with next in these developing times. Maybe a comprehensive register of our common good assets would be a start. Then an “Outsider” magazine, about how the public really feel. We are not behind your farcical games Councilor Purcell. Just tell us what we own and why you’re trying to giving it away. It is time the citizens of this city demanded a Register of common good assets. Now!

We only hear of the victors of the “business” games, never the victims
(Olympics Greece)“You won’t hear about it in NBC’s gauzy coverage, but Amnesty International estimates that anywhere between 40 and 150 construction workers died in work place accidents building Olympic facilities. The new center right government of Costas Karamanlis, terrified of international embarrassment for not having a modernized infrastructure, turned the screws to finish facilities by any means necessary”

Community Management and Ownership of Assets
Government Response to Quirk Review Published

The Government has published its response to Making Assets Work, the Quirk Review of community management and ownership of public assets. A practical action plan, “Opening the transfer window” sets out how Communities and Local Government will work with partner organisations to implement the review’s recommendations in full. You can download a copy at .

Don’t Back the Bid Blog
Don’t back the Commonwealth Games

Games Monitor (Olympic)

Olimpic Watch Human Rights
The mission of Olympic Watch is to monitor the human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games and to campaign to achieve positive change in the lives of the people of China.

Local People Leading
calls on the new coalition government to recognise the economic, social and environmental value to Scotland of having a strong and independent community sector.
Action 1: Put power in the hands of local communities. Commit to the principle of decentralization and invest communities with greater control over decision making and responsibility for matters which shape local quality of life. Links

Klondike park
In case people are unaware the authorities are proposing to build a school in Kelvingrove Park. The experts see the idea as a wonderful opportunity, most parents and locals involved see the idea as stupid. I find it difficult to waste time on their reasoning for this school anymore. The basic difference is. One side want there kids to go to a safe, secure, local educational, environment and the other can only think of how to make money from anything, (that’s public) they can get there hands on.

Andy Wightman
The Story of the Edinburgh Common Good Fund (audio)
“Across Scotland, hundreds of millions of pounds in funds and capital assets are missing from Common Good Funds. This wealth belongs to the people and this talk will highlight how this state of affairs has come about and what should be done about it.” The story of all our Common Good funds

O Rose, thou art sick!
Outsourcing Glasgow’s Cultural & Leisure Services. Variant
On April Fools’ Day , Glasgow City councillors rushed through the removal of the City’s entire Cultural and Leisure Services and staff from the control of the people and delivered them into the hands of bankers: the Charitable Trust and Trading Company ‘Culture and Sport Glasgow’. Drawing on UNISON and activist sources this is an otherwise missing public account of the hiving off of Glasgow’s common good. PDF

Taxpayers won’t foot Games bill
” Mr Purcell said the council would sell surplus property and land to meet the costs of hosting the event.” Duh! So who owns the surplus property?

Curtain up on Tory plan for private firm to run theatres and museums Edinburgh
Comments are always more enlightning

Local Government and Transport – Session 2
Remit: To consider and report on matters relating to local government (including local government finance), cities and community planning and such other matters (excluding finance other than local government finance) which fall within the responsibility of the Minister for Finance and Public Services; and matters relating to transport which fall within the responsibility of the Minister for Transport.

Letters& comments Scotsman: Disgraceful plans

‘Pseudo-charity’ threat to Glasgow’s culture and leisure services
“Outsourcing Glasgow’s Cultural and Leisure is likely to prove an election issue. Glasgow City Council is proposing to transfer nearly 2,500 staff working in Glasgow’s libraries, museums, leisure centres, swimming pools and other sports facilities, and arts development to a private charitable trust, in order to avoid paying tax and business rates.”

Leisure Trust Failure: Alternative Option for East Hertfordshire District Council East Hertfordshire’s Leisure Services contract with Enfield Leisure Centres Ltd (Aspire Trust) had a major financial crisis in the first year of operation. It had a £500,000 deficit – a crisis in the making during the evaluation of the market testing bids in 2005.

Public Private Partnerships Staffing Protocol UNISON
The STUC and Scottish Executive have agreed a Protocol covering employment issues in Public Private Partnerships. UNISON Scotland played a major role in the preparation of this Protocol and has welcomed its introduction as an important step forward in protecting staff and eliminating the two-tier workforce

UNISON’s Twin Track Approach Negotiations are continuing with CLS regarding the imminent transfer of the department to Culture and Sport Glasgow . While UNISON objects in principle to the transfer, talks have continued with a view to ensuring the protection of members’ jobs, terms and conditions. In tandem with this, we are obtaining legal advice and campaigning against the principle of the transfer.

Leisure Trusts Briefing UNISON
Glasgow City Council, amongst others, is considering setting up a charitable trust to manage all its cultural and leisure services. This idea is based on a belief that there will be substantial savings in taxes and that a charitable trust is more likely to attract private donations than a council department. Museum and leisure trusts have been in place for some time but there is little evidence that the savings and improvements promised actually materialise.
UNISON briefing no 36 Public Interest Companies:
” Companies (which can raise and pay dividends) and from the public sector (which cannot raise finances on the capital markets). This means a PIC can raise money when it needs to for things like new buildings, but it does not run the risk of conflict of interest between shareholders and the public interest. ““The Scottish Executive is open for business”
Big banks looking after big business
The creeping begins, as the cities jewels start to slip from its hands
Mandelson: we are all Thatcherites now
Well at least they are admitting it
Andy Wightman’s Blog
Common Good Land
Who Owns Scotland
Land Reform Scotland
Green Olympics?
Land reform Newsletter

Lessons from LA Gentrification of American Cities
Hacking Democracy
City Strolls
Council Votes
Subterranean methods
Rushed decision to transfer control of Common Good
We are all Thatcherites?

Parks Planning?pdf
Against Labour Policy

What are we waiting for?
The Scottish Executive is open for business
Sport Connections
London Olympics Greed
Spectator Sports
Sport and resistance
Olympic Sized Horror in Greece
Strolls Sports Page
Common Good
Politics for the common good
Americans want to engage in ‘fair minded politics’. A politics that understands that truth and certainty are not the same thing.
(Comment Gardian)
The common good
This is not the Rich List, the Power List or the Fame List. Guardian journalists interviewed 200 public servants – from a hospital porter to a general. Their voices are not often heard. The results are surprising – and inspiring (Comment Gardian)


From: Brian D Finch
To: Herald
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 2:10 PM
Subject: Glasgow Core Paths Plan

Brian D Finch

Tuesday 7th August 2007

Dear Sir,

On reading the expansive, and presumably expensive, Glasgow City Council produced glossy document entitled Glasgow Core Paths Plan: Consultative Draft (consisting of one page listing the contents, plus seven pages of text and colour photographs, one mapping index sheet and fifty-eight pages of single-side printed maps, plus one double-sided comment form and one page of notes for completing said comment form) I am immediately struck by the extreme paucity of the information contained therein. Apparently this Core Paths Plan was drawn up in response to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which placed the duty on (all?) local authorities of drawing up a plan for a system of paths ‘…sufficient for the purpose of giving the public reasonable access throughout their area’. The intention is that core paths will be: ‘Sign posted, Well maintained, Barrier free, Monitored, Inspected on a regular basis and, Continually improved’.
Disturbingly, though the text states: ‘A Right of Way may become Core Path but not all will; it depends on the outcome of this consultation process’, I can find no other mention of public Rights of Way anywhere in the entire document – and certainly not in any of the maps. Why not? Is the intention to replace in the public consciousness the concept of rights of way with that of core paths ‘giving’ access – which gift might subsequently be bureaucratically revoked, whenever it is felt desirable so to do, by those who consider themselves to be our masters?
Given that the public consultation period (which ends on Friday 31st August) is almost halfway through, the City Council do not seem to have been diligent in bringing this plan to public notice. I have found a few copies of the plan in Hillhead Library and none in Maryhill. As far as I am aware, they are not on public display in the Mitchell Library. Why not? Are there pallets loaded with boxes of these books piled high in warehouses, ready to be pulped when this sham consultation is concluded?

Yours sincerely,
Brian D Finch