© 2016 All rights reserved. Made By Mike Wilson

The County You Live, Work And Play

Show Notes Episode 12

Hi i'm Mike and we return with the XL podcast in association with acrosslanarkshire.co.uk. Thank you for downloading and listening.

The XL podcast the monthly podcast with everything you need to know about Lanarkshire. The county you live, work and play.

Coming up on this episode:

This months spotlight

Become a Lanarkshhire Champion

Local B&Q To Close

Council Collects Massive Amounts In Parking Fines

U Turn On Free School Busses

Our monthly interview is with the founder of Sticky Heelz

Wishaw Girl Wins Beauty Pageant

Swimming Pool Forced To Close

Cambuslang Teenager Selected For Glyndebourne Academy

Welcome along to the show, if your a first time listener I thank you for supporting a podcast that's all about the community and if your a regular subscriber thanks for returning.

Last month the spotlight shone on Cancer Research UK. This month the spotlight is passed onto St Andrews Hospice. Throughout the month of March they are raising money with the help of over 30 local legal firms you can get a will written in lieu of a donation to the hospice.

to get more information on this just click on the link on the AcrossLanarkshire  homepage.

Now you are possibly unaware of this or maybe you've followed us from the start but this podcast marks our first broadcast birthday.

the XL Podcast is 1 year old. A very quiet affair, but thank you to you and whoever and where ever you are listening from. Since our first podcast we have had constant downloads and at a steady pace. Only thing is i don't really know anything about you. I hope that what is produced here is what you are looking for in a podcast about Lanarkshire and hopefully you will be here with us this time next year.

So onto our first story:

See Me has joined with the Lanarkshire Recovery Network [LRN], to find and train people who can be leaders in changing attitudes around mental health.

The Community Champions programme will enable people from Lanarkshire to make positive changes in their own community.

Already towns across the region are some of the most active in Scotland in supporting those experiencing a period of poor mental health, while also striving to end stigma.

See Me and LRN are looking for Champions, who have personal experience of mental health conditions, who could challenge discrimination in workplaces, in health and social care, with children and young people or by bringing their own ideas to engage their local community.

Rebekah Moore from See Me, who runs the Community Champions programme, said: “Whatever you are passionate about, or whatever motivates you, we can help and support you to use that, to take action against mental health stigma, which can change lives.

“Whether you have an idea for a project, or you want to do something but you’re not sure what, through the training we can develop a plan which can help you to make a positive change in your community.

“LRN have been doing a lot of good work, they are really enthusiastic to take it to the next level and we are pleased to work with them.”

Kevin O’Neill, from the Lanarkshire Recovery Network, said: “Developing a supportive network of See Me Community Champions in Lanarkshire will enable people with a lived experience of mental health problems to be involved at every stage of our anti-stigma and discrimination programmes. 

“If you would like to join our movement for change please get in contact. Your experience will make a real difference.” 

B&Q Motherwell To Close

The B&Q store in Motherwell will close within the next year.

Last March the DIY giant’s owner Kingfisher announced it was planning to close a total of 60 B&Q stores over two years.

This is part of the group’s restructuring of its UK and Ireland business after it posted a 7.5 per cent fall in annual profits.

40 stores including branches in Dundee, Southampton, Belfast and Cardiff have already been earmarked for closure and now Motherwell has been confirmed for the axe.

The store in Braidhurst Industrial Estate has been open for more than 30 years and up to 100 full and part-time jobs will be affected.

A B&Q spokesperson commented: “We have let colleagues at our Motherwell store know that their store is one of those planned for closure next financial year. Our focus for the coming months is on redeploying as many colleagues as we can within B&Q and the Kingfisher Group.”

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows called the news ‘devastating’.

She said: “I am saddened to hear of this news, B&Q has been a fixture in the town for so many years and to lose so many jobs is just devastating.

“It is a really handy store, but unfortunately it seems a sign of the times that people either don’t have the money for DIY projects or they are increasingly buying online.

“My heart goes out to everyone affected and is another blow Motherwell didn’t need, especially following so soon on the heels of another major employer the Dalzell Works closing.”

SLC Collect Over £300,000 in Parking Fines

Parking charges in the Hamilton area were slammed after it emerged that motorists had paid more than £300,000 in fines last year.

Fines collected for parking offences in the Hamilton area (comprising Hamilton, Blantyre, Larkhall, Uddingston, Bothwell, Stonehouse, and Burnbank) contributed the largest amount of cash to South Lanarkshire Council.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the amount collected in Penalty Charge Notices in the Hamilton area in 2015 was £308,575.99.

Clydesdale drivers paid out a total of £43,952.45 in parking fines last year, East Kilbride £176,225.39, and Rutherglen and Cambuslang £106,469.19.

Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce described the amount collected in fines in the Hamilton area as “outrageous”.

Its chief executive Neil Kennedy said: “The comparison between North and South Lanarkshire is stark. North Lanarkshire do not charge for parking. You can park free in Motherwell but not in Hamilton.

“Paying for parking is a disincentive to business in Hamilton. If you work in Hamilton the only option is on-street parking or local authority car parks.

“The amount raised in penalty charges for Hamilton is excessive. I’d call on South Lanarkshire to follow North Lanarkshire’s example.”

Central Scotland Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell, a long-standing critic of South Lanarkshire’s parking regime, said, “South Lanarkshire Council are still pursuing a very aggressive cash-generating parking and penalty policy in Hamilton.

“They are making a lot of money from motorists but it does nothing to encourage people to come into the town and spend money.

“It’s not designed to help local businesses. The council should be trying to encourage people to come into the town centre, increasing footfall, and supporting local businesses. This would improve economic prosperity. The drop in figures over five years doesn’t mask the fact the council’s parking policy is a regressive one.”

South Lanarkshire’s head of roads and transportation services Gordon Mackay said: “The enforcement of the restrictions is required to persuade drivers to think twice about where they park. Without such a deterrent, the inconvenience caused by bad parking would be much greater. The income the council receives from parking fines pays for the service provided to law-abiding motorists.”

SLC Confirm Free School Bus Travel To Continue

South Lanarkshire Council’s Leader announced that free bus travel to schools would continue for thousands of pupils.

Eddie McAvoy revealed he had moved to reverse a savings plan that would have taken away free travel from children who live less than three miles from secondary school. While three miles is in line with national guidelines, South Lanarkshire currently operates a two mile limit. That limit will now continue.

Campaigners had convinced over 2000 people to sign a petition calling for changes to free school buses to be scrapped.

Mr McAvoy said that, despite a cut in funding from the Scottish Government, he had decided to scrap the change following a public consultation on the council’s budget.

The Council Leader is also recommending that other savings be scrapped from the budget plans, including social work closures, and cuts to funding for gala days and Christmas lighting. In total, the changes will remove £5.4m in savings and save 195 jobs.

He said: “We never wanted to change the school bus travel arrangements but the proposals were brought forward because we have already been forced to find £90m of savings in recent years, and we have £43m more to agree in 2016/17.

“It’s been well-documented that the Scottish Government has cut local authority funding at a time when, if anything, even more people need our services. So every cut we are forced to make is painful because there is a real risk it will hurt someone.

“However, we listen to what local people say, and it is clear that families were genuinely worried about the impact on kids of having to walk up to three miles to school and back every day. The recent storms have just reinforced my view that we had to change the plan.

Mr McAvoy has written to every parent or guardian who corresponded with him about the issue during the consultation. He explained that at next Wednesday’s meeting of the Executive Committee the majority Labour Group would move that the school bus changes should be dropped, leaving the current arrangements in place.

The secondary school transport changes were presented to councillors in 2015/16 but full implementation was delayed until April 2016. At next week’s Executive Committee the council administration will also move to remove a number of other savings proposals from the 2016/17 budget.

These include the proposed closure of The Coalyard tearoom, kitchen and laundry in Larkhall, which provides learning and employment opportunities for young people with additional support needs. It will now remain open, as will associated cafe facilities in other towns.

Other changes include scrapping plans to cut funding for psychological services, the Youth Learning Service and Integrated Children’s Service, plus gala day subsidies and festive lighting. They will also halt increases in sports charges for under-16s groups, and charges for cultural activities for under-5s and over-60s.

In all, the administration’s changes will result in £5,374,000 in savings being removed from current proposals.

Interview with Sticky Heelz

Wishaw Girl Wins Miss Galaxy Scotland

A Wishaw beauty queen will travel to America to compete in the prestigious Miss Galaxy Pageant after being crowned Miss Galaxy Scotland.

Emma Bain scooped the top prize at the final in Lancashire earlier this month.

The former Coltness High pupil was placed runner up in the competition last year and was over the moon to claim the title this time round.

Emma said: “When I was announced as the winner I was in shock. It was a very emotional moment. I couldn’t believe it and still can’t. Previous winners of Miss Galaxy Scotland have been my role models for a number of years now and I am so honoured to be a part of the Galaxy family.”

The competition consisted of four different rounds, an interview, a fashion wear round allowing contestants to choose an outfit that represents their personality, bikini and evening gown contests.

Emma scored the highest in each round, won best in interview and was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.

She added: “I have worked so hard and the personal journey I have been on has been incredible. I am much more confident now. The competition was really tough as the Scottish pageant girls are always amazing. The whole experience was so much fun and I have made friends for life."

Emma will be flown out to Orlando, Florida, in August, where she will compete with other beauties from around the world for the title of Miss Galaxy International.

The customer service worker at North Lanarkshire Council added: “I can’t wait.

“Until then I will be using my title at every opportunity and have already been asked to judge pageants and to give other pageant girls advice and training.

“I also hope to raise money for charity and have so many events in my diary already.”

Swimming pool forced to close
Shotts Leisure Centre's swimming pool was forced to close due to 'faecal contamination'.

The pool still remains closed after 24 hours as North Leisure officials continued their clean-up operation, whilst red-faced staff issued a statement.

The unsavoury incident came just days after Hamilton's Water Palace was forced to close for the same reason.

The swimming pool was shut off from the public as a clean-up started in the area.

Simon Lang , venue manager, Shotts Leisure Centre, said: "Maintaining excellent swimming pool water is a key element in the delivery of a healthy, safe and enjoyable customer experience at NL Leisure.

"Due to faecal contamination on 18 February 2016, the swimming pool within Shotts Leisure Centre was closed. To ensure any harmful bacteria is removed completely our protocol is to close the swimming pool straightaway, this allows us to implement rigorous sanitisation.

"The timescale for this can vary based on volume of pool water, turnover and chemical treatment which is carried out in line with Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group guidelines.

"Our goal is to maintain public health to the highest standards and we apologise for the inconvenience to our customers."

NL Leisure also advised instructions on how to ‘keep our pools safe’:

· Use the showers before you enter the pool

· Make sure children are wearing a well fitted swim nappy if they are not fully toilet trained

· If an accident does occur please alert lifeguards straight away

· Refrain from swimming if you feel unwell and particularly if you have had nausea or diarrhoea in the last 14 days

· Encourage young swimmers to use the toilets before entering the pool

· Wash your hands after using the toilet

· Ensure young children leave the pool to use the toilet before it is too late

· Don’t swallow the water you swim in

· If you start to feel unwell during your swim, stop and leave the water

Cambuslang Teenager Selected For Glyndebourne Academy

A talented Cambuslang teenager is hoping to hit all the right notes when she attends a prestigious Italian opera school this summer.

Anna Heywood is already making waves in the opera world after being the youngest person accepted to the Glyndebourne Academy last year.

And she’ll soon be showing off her incredible talent in Bari when she flies out to the Italian Opera Summer School in July after being spotted by Isabella Radcliffe, one of the UK’s best known opera coaches.

Eighteen-year-old Anna, whose trip is being funded by Cambuslang Rotary Club, admits the chance to study opera in Italy has surpassed her wildest dreams.

“It’s a really amazing opportunity. I’ve been to Italy with my family on holiday, but I’ve never done anything like this. I’m studying history and Italian at university so it will be a chance to work on my studies as well. I’m so excited, I can’t wait.

“The course is normally something that bridges the gap between a post graduate degree and becoming an opera singer, but because Isabella liked me she wanted me to come along. It’s such a tremendous honour.”

She added: “Most opera singers don’t develop until they are 21 so I am still extremely young. That’s why Glyndebourne was so important to me.

“You don’t reach your peak until you are about 40 because of the training required.”

Her trip to Bari will last from July 6 to 13 and will culminate in a performance for local residents. Having discovered her talent at a young age, the former Hutchison Grammar pupil was spotted by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, something that opened a number of doors for her. But Anna, who also plays violin, admits not everyone is impressed with her choice of musical path: “Sometimes when you tell people you sing opera, it’s almost like inverted snobbery, they feel it is just for a white collar crowd.

“You get people who have never explored that kind of music, maybe because it’s a different language.

“When you break it down, it’s an amazing art form. Once you understand it, it’s incredible.”

Taking a look ahead to what's happening later in the month with the Noticeboard.

The Heritage Centre in Motherwell currently have an exhibition running until 16th April titled "Everybody’s Darling - the First World War Nurse"

Millions of men saw action in the trenches, or behind the lines but what about the women of the First World War? Explore this touring exhibition of objects, postcards and illustrations to find out more about these brave and often forgotten women.
The exhibition will also play host to the Women in the War Open Day, celebrating the immense contribution of First World War nurses as part of International Women’s Day 2016, Saturday 5th March, 11.00am- 4.30pm.

Lulu comes to Motherwell Concert Hall on Monday April 4th.

Her tours stops off in Lanarkshire where the Scottish singer will entertain audiences with classic such as Boom Bang-a-Bang and Shout.

Tickets are priced from £35

St.Andrews Hospice care services are provided free to patients and their families and to maintain their vital care services, the Fundraising Team has to raise
£65,000 every week. £9,285 every day. £386 every hour. £6.44 every minute
Could you help?

For the month of March and a way of raising money they have teamed up with over 30 Lanarkshire legal firms who will write a basic will in lieu of a donation to the hospice.

Call 01236772087

Head along to East Kilbride on Friday 4th, Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th March to support your local Makers, entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, well-designed, useful products and improving local communities by changing the way we shop. 
Up to 30 of the Best in Craft & Design will be in East Kilbride, with free parking for up to 3 hours on the Saturday and all day Sunday.

9am - 4pm

Spiders on Mars, the UK's leading David Bowie tribute band, take to the stage at Cumbernauld Theatre on the 12th March

Simply guaranteed wall-to-wall Bowie played with musical precision from start to finish. A great night in a timeless tribute.



Sunday 13th March you can plan your perfect wedding day with the help of local and national suppliers at the Holiday Inn Wedding Fayre East Kilbride.

From cars to cakes and flowers to favours it has everything you need for 'Your Wedding Your Way'

The Spring Wedding Fayre is open from 1pm - 4pm with Free Entry. Champagne & Canapes and a fashion show at 2.30pm.
Weddings that book the Holiday Inn on the day will receive a complimentary annual Health Club membership for both the bride & groom ( worth over £800)*

Meet author Helen Fitzgerald at Motherwell Library on Tuesday March 15th at 7pm as she discusses her new book 'Viral'!

CultureNL is working in partnership with The Reading Agency and Faber & Faber to bring Helen to Motherwell Library.
This visit gives you the opportunity to meet the author behind the book and have those burning questions answers straight from the source.
Call 01698 332626 to book a place or email motherwelllibrary@culturenl.co.uk.
Free entry.

Don't forget with Easter coming up and the school break there is plenty to do around the county with the kids just check out the noticeboard on our webpage.

That will do for this month

Oh one final thing, if you could spend a few minutes to give us a review on iTunes i would really appreciate that. It won't take up much of your time and it will help us a huge amount. If not thanks for your ear and listening to the podcast. Until April...

mentioned in the podcast:

Sticky Heelz

St. Andrews Hospice


See Me

Lanarkshire Recovery Network

MP Marion Fellows  

MSP Margaret Mitchell

South Lanarkshire Council

Lanarkshire Chamber Of Commerce

Glyndebourne Academy         

Miss Galaxy Scotland           

NL Leisure

Motherwell Concert Hall       
Heritage Centre Motherwell