John Mason MSP questions impact of Parkhead Bus Depot closure

03 Dec 2015

John Mason today asked the Scottish Government for an update on the proposed closure of the First Bus Parkhead Depot.

 

After receiving a clarification from the Transport Minister that there will be no redundancies as part of the move John Mason highlighted the poor communication between First Glasgow and its employees.  Some of the staff have deliberately chosen to live near their job in Parkhead and may be forced to leave if they have challenging childcare or other arrangements.

 

He also noted the concern of the general public in the local area regarding the possibility of a negative impact on the East End bus services.

 

Commenting on the closure John Mason said:

 

“I am still very much uncertain over the proposed closure of Parkhead depot. From what I have heard there seems to be a lack of communication with much of the workforce.

 

“Alongside this lack of any public consultation there have to be concerns about the impact this closure would have on East End Bus services.  Surely if buses are based on the other side of the River, it is going to make the service less dependable?

 

“Next I plan to meet First Glasgow soon and would hope to be able to address some of these concerns at that point.”

 

This comes in the middle of First Glasgow’s planned closure of the Parkhead bus depot and subsequent transfer of most of the staff to the Caledonia depot in Govan.

 

You can watch the question from 2:45 to 4:30 at the following link : http://bit.ly/1N5ykje

 

Or you can read the full transcript below :

 

3. John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP): 

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with FirstGroup concerning its proposed closure of the Parkhead bus depot and the potential for redundancies or job transfers. (S4O-04896)

The Minister for Transport and Islands (Derek Mackay): 

As it happens, I visited First’s Caledonia depot on Tuesday and I was impressed by the substantial investment that has been made in what is now the biggest bus depot in Britain. First explained that it is discussing with staff how it can best use that investment to improve staff facilities across Glasgow. I understand that First Glasgow’s business director, John Cahill, has written to Mr Mason confirming that there will be no redundancies arising from the closure and offering a meeting to discuss the situation in more detail.

John Mason: 

I wonder whether the minister would agree with me that First has been particularly poor at communicating with both the public and some of its employees. There remains concern in the east end of Glasgow about the impact on jobs and on bus services.

Derek Mackay: 

I know that Mr Mason takes such matters very seriously. I also know that FirstGroup has gone beyond its legal obligations. It is about being proportionate. I am advised that First consulted through a formal letter to the three Unite conveners in First Glasgow followed by a formal presentation to the joint consultative committee. It has gone beyond the requirements and has been clear about there being no redundancies. I am sure that that reassurance is welcome.

On the condition of the Parkhead depot, it is a 93-year-old building. As the changes and investment are made, I encourage good communication with the staff, because this should be a positive move from the operator that can improve facilities and, in due course, the wider transport network in the area.”

Co-operative Announces Funding For Local Groups

21 Sep 2015

The co-operative has just announced today that it is going to give away the proceeds of the 5p plastic bag levy to local groups in Scotland that “make a difference to their community”. The local fund already contains £750,000 of which local groups can get grants from £200 to £2500.

I have met many of the local groups within Shettleston Constituency that provide valuable services to the community that could benefit from such a fund and as such I am delighted to hear of this new initiative from the Co-operative.

It is great to see a company acting ethically in line with the principles behind the plastic bag charge and I hope that many others will follow the example set by the Co-operative.

I would encourage any local groups that are eligible to apply for the fund and wish them the best of luck.

Link to apply for fund : https://www.co-oplocalfund.co.uk/good_cause_overview.aspx

S4M-14086: Children Using Sectarian Language

31 Aug 2015

That the Parliament notes the recent comments by David Kelly from Aberlour Youthpoint Glasgow that many children attending his group’s events were using sectarian language; agrees with Mr Kelly that verbal abuse can have as damaging an effect as physical abuse; believes that sectarianism, anti-Catholicism and anti-Irish racism are unacceptable in 2015, and hopes that all parliamentarians will prioritise tackling what it sees as this recurring blight on Scottish society.

S4M-14044: Church Unity

25 Aug 2015

That the Parliament notes the serious fire damage to St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Old Kilpatrick and what it sees as the speedy response of the Old Kilpatrick Bowling Church of Scotland in offering its building for the displaced congregation to worship in; understands that, traditionally, there have been strained relations between different Christian denominations in the west of the country but notes positively the comments of the Rev John Harris in stating that, “I’ve always said that church unity is not an optional interest, it is a gospel imperative. If you look at all the wars and the way religion is getting blamed today, church unity is an essential. We have no message for the world if we continue to stay divided” and those of Father William McGinley who said, “I am overwhelmed with the love and the fraternal aspect of the ecumenism involved, and so are all the parishioners”; believes that all of the main Christian denominations agree on 90% of their teaching, and hopes that this example of Christian unity in Old Kilpatrick will be seen as an excellent example to be followed by Christians throughout Scotland.