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 :


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.”

Commonwealth Games

03 Nov 2014

John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government what the estimated economic impact of the 2014 Commonwealth Games was for (a) Glasgow, (b) the west of Scotland and (c) Scotland during the Games.


Ms Shona Robison MSP: (Minister for Commonwealth Games & Sport): The Scottish Government is committed to maximising the benefits and creating a lasting legacy for the whole of Scotland from Glasgow hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games. These Games have provided the entire country with an excellent opportunity for regeneration, innovation and sustainable economic growth.

As part of the Games Legacy Evaluation, we are working with Games partners to deliver a robust economic assessment of the Games. This report will be available for Glasgow and Scotland in Spring 2015, however early indications from the pre-Games report, published on 28 April 2014, show that:

• Construction and refurbishment of the venues and Athletes’ Village, over the six years leading to 2014, has contributed (on average) £52 million to Scotland’s GVA, and supported 1,000 jobs each year.
• As of the end of June 2014, Scottish companies had been awarded 484 Games-related contracts, worth £290 million.
• To date, 37 national and international events have been secured using the Games venues, with an estimated economic impact of over £14 million.

By the time of the Opening Ceremony, over 50 national Legacy 2014 programmes and over 80 Supporting Legacy 2014 Projects were already in place, benefitting people, communities and organisations across Scotland, including the West of Scotland. For example, in the West of Scotland, over 100 trainees have taken up employment through the Legacy 2014 Employer Recruitment Incentive programme, and more than 150 young people have received training and volunteering opportunities through the Legacy 2014 Scotland’s Best programme. Additionally, businesses in the West of Scotland were awarded 66 of the contracts associated with the Games.

An XX Commonwealth Games Highlight Report was published on 14 August 2014. We also expect to produce a post-Games report in 2015, an interim legacy report in 2017 and a final legacy report in 2019, detailing the benefit of these Games to Glasgow and the whole of Scotland.

John Raises Dalmarnock Disruption In Parliament

26 Jun 2014

John Mason MSP recently asked Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison MSP, a question on the subject of Commonwealth Games related disruption in Dalmarnock. Here is an official transcript of both the question and answer:

  • John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the recent reports of significant levels of disruption to residents in Dalmarnock because of the Commonwealth games. (S4O-03392)
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners’ Rights (Shona Robison): I am grateful for the patience that has been shown by local residents and, in particular, by the Dalmarnock community. Preparation for the games has led to some unavoidable disruption. Planning has taken place among a wide range of bodies, including Glasgow City Council, the organising committee and the emergency services, to ensure that the effects on the community are minimised as we come ever closer to what will be a hugely successful games for Glasgow that will bring long-term benefits to the city, particularly the communities in the east end.
  • John Mason: When a resident in Springfield Road leaves their house, they pass through a small garden and on to the pavement, and there is then an 8-foot fence immediately in front of them, which is not particularly attractive and will sit there for three months. The residents accept that there will be long-term benefits, but will the minister encourage some recompense or at least an acknowledgement of the fact that the local residents have been put out somewhat?
  • Shona Robison: I am aware that the security fencing, in particular, has caused concern among local residents. That is inevitable, given the close proximity of the venues to the local community. Security is of paramount concern, and the security planning has ensured the best overlay of security to ensure that we deliver a secure games. However, that has meant placing security fencing in close proximity to some residents’ houses.I acknowledged the disruption that has been caused in my previous answer. John Mason will be aware that discussions are going on between Glasgow City Council, the organising committee and local residents about how recompense might be provided. He has been active on the issue and has made a number of suggestions, including the issuing of free tickets. Those discussions are on-going, and the Scottish Government would certainly support the organising committee recognising the disruption through, perhaps, the granting of free tickets and support for community events among other measures. Those discussions will continue, I hope, to a successful resolution

Extended Opening Times For GP Surgeries

30 May 2013

John Mason MSP (Glasgow Shettleston) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government what action is being taken to encourage GPs to open surgeries for longer hours.


Mr Alex Neil MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing)The Scottish Government is investing approximately £12 million annually in an enhanced service arrangement to extend GP surgery opening hours beyond core hours. Participation in enhanced services are optional for GP practices and in 2012 we introduced more flexible scheme arrangements to encourage even more GP practices to offer extended hours.

Practice participation in the revised scheme averaged 80.5% across the country in 2012 increasing from 73.5% in 2011. The 2012 participation figure for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s GP practices was 83.5% compared to 76.3% in the previous year. 

As part of the successfully negotiated General Medical Services contract settlement for 2013-14 we have an agreed commitment from the Scottish General Practitioners’ Committee to review GP access and we will be exploring ways to improve these arrangements in the year ahead.