By Jimmy Hoolet

Inower the Soo side o Glesga the’r a bit place cried Polmadie.  It’s athort a weel kent scheme cried Toryglen.  The name is apposite and manifest for whit’s adae in thon place.

Promises forleetit: A community warsles by

Toryglen has aye strauchled wi the hirple o puirtith that’s afflictit monie’s the community sen Scotland’s industry taen a muckle dunt, but ower the past years gane by the community’s been brocht thegither in an ettle tae improve the environment and become mair o ae oo wi natur.

This darg’s been cawed bi a local charity (Urban Roots, that’s ben the community.  While the neeborheid can aye just wait on the cooncil decidin whether tae pul the area doon – cried a “transformational regeneration area”, it’s pairt o a scheme tae foonder hunders o hooses athort the city for tae big beezer schemes i their steid, that the money for it’s run oot wi the recession – the fowk fae the area has foondit a commonty wuid, a scheme o plots for growin vegetables, has maunt in seein mair better insulation pitten in and aw, and forby that has wrocht tae bring their community thegither in sindry weys.

Mauger their gawsy indifference til Toryglen’s hinmaist weird, Glesga city cooncil has lang operatit a cowp for recyclin at Polmadie.  Afore the last election the cooncil pit forrit a veesion o turnin the place ower intil an engine for creatin haet and electricity (combined haet and pooer) fae luntin the ortins and stovin pipes wi thon reek, but issuin nocht but oam just, that the hainin o the reek would be keppit fae the gas that teemed oot.  That didna last.  Afore the year was oot Glesga City Cooncil had duin a deal wi Viridor – a lang bargain o a generation – tae gie thaim the owerance for the plant. 

The cooncil mannie in chairge o the plant thanadays was Robert Booth, Executive Director o Land and Environmental Services.  He’s ‘retired’ eenoo (he rins his ain consultancy), but afore he put his name til the plans it was kent that he was the brither in law o a senior Viridor executive.  At the hinder end it was decidit that Glesga city would plenish twa hunder o green bin sneddins til the company tae be brent bi thaim.  The dael yokes Glesga tae aye plenishin thaim o this quantity, syne it boost Glesga plenish thaim aagates, e’en tae coffin fae ither cooncil cowps tae haud by the contrack.

It’s weel thocht that the affcome o this is that totty wee bittockie grots is gaun’ae be lowsed fae ooten this plant, intil the neeboorheid and braid city air.  Siccan stoor tae the air is claucht tae monie ailments adae wi the buffs, includin at the hinder end furms o stoory buffs.

This hooever hasna been the tae kinch intil Glesga Labour’s promise tae gie puir fowk mair better, sonsier haet, wi combined haet and pooer.  In a scheme inower Maryhill cried The Barracks (efter the umwhile regiment o sodgers – the Highland Light Infantry – that was billeted whar the scheme is noo) the’r a new combined haet and pooer scheme.  Glesga Labour wasnae adae wi the ploy.  Isteid it was planned bi the Hoosin.  In this case, Cube Housing Association.  Cube gart a wheen companies swink on the projeck for tae uplift social benefit money that was siller pitten oot bi the Government for tae lift fowk oot o fuel puirtith.  Hooandawbe yit the hoosin couldna be annoyed wi manishin the scheme theirsels, and syne brocht in Scottish Hydro for the rin it aw.  That’s proven an ill decision. 

Scottish Hydro’s chairman is the samen boy that rins the Commonweal Gems – Lord Rob, the Baron o Kelvin.  At the Athletes toon the’r a gey and similar scheme forby, and that’s Scottish Hydro that’s daein that forby.  The fecht for residents begoud whan hit become manifest that aw tenants was bein fittit wi key meters.  Efter the Residents Commattee put The Hoosin and Scottish Hydro a speir aboot whit they were daein, they comfirmed that they werena lattin on tae fowk that they didna need key meters installed gin it wasna wantit.  Efter that the Unite union begoud tae get involved and aw. 

Syne efter meetins was hauden wi residents aboot the scheme it was decidit tae hae a demonstration, and lat licht aboot whit was adae.  This Friday at 12:30, fowk will be pittin their concairns aboot the scheme til the company at their heidquarters on Waterloo Street doon the toon in Glesga.  Locals doot that the fowk in the athlete’s toon’ll no can lippen to key meters for their combined heat and pooer, or as Scottish Hydro pit it, “defaulted to pre-payment.”

Whar politics enters thon secont example is that the cooncil has the owerance for fuel puirtith.  The neeboorheid ligs athort  anither “tranformational regeneration area,” and is aye ane o the maist puirest neuks in Scotland.  Syne, the decision tae shift ower til this new scheme will lead tae mair and mair fowk lippenin tae haein a bawbie aw the time for to haud by their haet and het watter. 

Considerin ane o the warst ensamples o sicna puirtith is no bein able tae chairge keys or pooer cairds wi no haein siller for’t, the scheme, at the fundin o it was airtit at it for tae gie remeid til fuel puirtith, the’r a sair problem wi whit’s adae in the Barracks.  Seein as Labour makkit Lord Rob a Lord, and Labour appyntit him til the owerance o the 2014 Gems forby it’s clair that they div hae a siccar relationship wi Lord Rob. 

But still and on Labour’s aye keepin a calm sooch on this quaistion, and hasna been drawn intil it.  Natheless seein as the cooncil promised tae “turn green red” and plenish Glesga wi baith publicly aucht wind turbines and combined haet and pooer tae lift their residents ooten puirtith, hit’s natral gettin that fowk’ll stert tae misdoot thaim on their cry tae settle fuel puirtith, and haud that the’r no serious gettin whan twa cases that was the maist kenspecklest afore the election noo leuks less and less sonsie.

Atweel Glesga is weel kent as haein the maist pollutit street in Scotland (Hope Street).  A puckle o miles, just, fae Hope Street, Glesga is gaun tae be biggin a plant that lowes twa hunder thoosand tonnes o ortins ilk twalmonth.  The city is the maist pollutit in the UK the noo. 

Anither promise Labour makkit afore the election was tae gar Glesga compete in and win the maist greenest city in Europe competition.  Thon twa hunder thoosand tonnes o stoory reek fae Glesga’s maist latest lums’ll no can help wi that, naither will the forced installation o key meters intil ower a thoosand hooses in Maryhill smuir oot the black etin o puirtith.  Whitwey is Glesga City Cooncil ettlin tae caw their promises tae perfection, exackly?

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