© 2016 All rights reserved. Made By Mike Wilson

The County You Live, Work And Play

Show Notes Episode 13

Hi i'm Mike and this is 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:

The SLC Disability Sports Awards

New Life for Refugees in Motherwell

Great Sporting debut for Lanark fighter

Steel Plants Saved

Primary School Slammed In HMI Report

Hamilton Water Palace Has Poor Record

Last month the spotlight shone on St. Andrews Hospice. This month the spotlight is passed onto Scottish Autism.

April is when Scottish Autism runs their yearly campaign 'A Is For Autism' and on Saturday the 2nd its World Autism Awareness Day.

You can take part and help by simply making a letter 'A' shape, take a photo and share it with them. Email them to fundraising@scottishautism.org or share them on their Facebook page. The one with the most ‘likes’ will win a prize at the end of the month.

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

South Lanarkshire Disability Sports Awards

The annual South Lanarkshire Disability Sports recognition awards lunch will be held on Thursday, May 26, in the Sports Pavilion at Hamilton Palace Sports Grounds.

In the meantime South Lanarkshire Disability Sport is looking for nominations for a variety of categories for persons who have excellent sporting achievements during 2015 at national and international level, the awards are:


Male Sports Performer of the Year Award


Female Sports Performer of the Year Award


Junior ( Under 18 years ) both Male and Female


Coach of the Year Award


Service to Disabled Sports


Nominees must be a resident of South Lanarkshire or actively involved representing a Club within the local Authority Area.

Contact details of the sports performer as well as details of the nominator should be given and the appropriate information should be sent to South Lanarkshire Disability Sport, c/o Mrs Marion Wotherspoon, South Lanarkshire and Culture, North Stand, Cadzow Avenue, Hamilton ML3 0LX and the closing date for receipt of nominations and relevant achievement details is FRIDAY 8TH APRIL 2016

Refugees New Life In Motherwell

North Lanarkshire Council have already welcomed 12 families, a total of 43 people, to Airdrie and Coatbridge since last November.

And now another group are set to arrive as part of the UK Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

In a report to the council’s policy and resources committee, North Lanarkshire Council’s Housing and Social Work Services Executive Director Duncan Mackay said: “Assessments have been made of housing availability, the capacity of local primary and secondary schools and the availability of local health services.

“As a result of this analysis it is proposed that the group should be resettled in the Motherwell/Bellshill area. All refugees are registered with local GP practices and have been attending appointments where needs have arisen.

“One of the emerging needs is mental health and all adults are being offered support through a number of pathways including through GPs, direct referral by health visitors and referral into more specialist support services for those suffering from past trauma.”

Those fleeing Syria are not the first refugees to settle in Motherwell.

In 2007, 80 people who fled war in the Democratic Republic of Congo were brought to Scotland to start a new life in the town.

At a full meeting of the council last October, councillors of all political parties agreed to urge the UK Government to do more to help refugees of the Syrian Civil War.

A motion which was put forward on that date stated: “The council note, with a significant degree of concern, the humanitarian crisis facing many countries within the European Union and calls upon the UK Government to become a more progressive partner in order to resolve the crisis.

“For their part, the council will respond in a pro-active manner and will play a full part in supporting refugees who are relocated to the North Lanarkshire area.”

Lanark Fighters Debut

Scotland's most experienced MMA fighter Graham Turner has joined Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion BAMMA.

The Lanark fighter, will make his debut at Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena on Saturday May 14 against England’s Ronnie Mann, with the winner likely to fight for the featherweight world title.

Turner, who is known as ‘Afterburner’, has put together an impressive record of 25 wins with 9 losses and now joins fellow Lanarkshire-based fighters Chris Bungard and current light heavyweight champ Paul Craig on BAMMA’s roster.

Turner said: “I chose to sign with BAMMA as I was looking for a new challenge and a new chapter in my career. BAMMA has a lot of great fighters on their roster and they are one of the top MMA promotions in Europe.

“I know Ronnie has competed at both bantamweight and featherweight and has a load of experience, with a similar record to mine. He is a strong wrestler but his striking has weaknesses.

“I can certainly stand with Ronnie and I think I can take him down whenever I want. He will want to take me to the ground but my wrestling defence is good enough for me to keep the fight on the feet.”

Turner is a former On Top and Vision FC featherweight champion. He fights out of the Higher Level MMA gym, based in Whitburn, West Lothian, under head coach James Doolan.

Doolan is confident that Turner will handle the step up to BAMMA but says he will have a tough fight against Mann, who is considered to be another of Europe’s top featherweights, boasting a record of 24-8.

Doolan said: “The featherweight division is one of the strongest divisions at BAMMA so we expected a tough match up but I feel we have been matched with the best guy in the division in Ronnie Mann.

“He is a Bellator and Cage Warriors veteran, a black belt in Jui Jitsu, has great striking and wrestling and just as much experience as Graham.

“They match up really well and this could easily have been a world title fight, not just a title eliminator.”

MMA has benefited from a huge rise in popularity in Scotland thanks to the UFC’s debut in Glasgow last summer.

Sources close to BAMMA have suggested that the promotion is hoping to make their own Scottish debut this autumn with the SSE Hydro being the preferred venue.

Steel Plants Saved

A rescue deal has been agreed by the Scottish Government and Liberty House. The Government will buy the Clydebridge and Dalzell plants from Tata Steel and immediately sell them on to Liberty.

The sale will be done under the same terms with no cost to the taxpayer.

Liberty will take responsibility for reopening, operating and investing in the two sites as part of its wider strategy to build an integrated and sustainable steel business across the UK.

Business minister Fergus Ewing said: "When Tata Steel mothballed the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants, I said we would leave no stone unturned in the quest to find an alternative buyer.

"That is why we established a Scottish steel taskforce and why I am delighted that our support for the steel industry has paid off."

The taskforce was established to secure jobs and the future of steel manufacturing in Scotland after Tata announced 1,200 UK job losses in October.

Its main focus was on finding a new buyer for the two plants.

The Government recently announced a cut in business rates at the plants from April for any new operator, provided they continue to use the sites for steel production.

Mr Ewing added: "Liberty has a proven track record in the UK steel industry and has ambitions to make these plants viable and successful.

"It's a huge tribute to the calibre of the highly-skilled workforce, and the efforts of everyone on the taskforce, that Liberty recognise the tremendous potential of Scottish steel."

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chair of Liberty House Group, said: "This agreement saves two great facilities in Scotland.

"Now we must turn our attention to restoring these businesses to their former glory, steadily rebuilding their skilled workforces and customer base.

"Clydebridge and Dalzell will fit well into our vision for an integrated, flexible and sustainable steel sector, from recycled local scrap using renewable energy-making green steel to value added downstream and engineered products.

"We're grateful for the support of the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise in enabling us to reach this very positive historic agreement."

Primary School Slammed In HMI Report

A damning report on the education standards in a Salsburgh school has been labelled “deeply disappointing and unacceptable” by North Lanarkshire’s head of education.

Inspectors recently visited Kirk O’Shotts Primary and found that in 10 of the 12 evaluated categories the school was deemed “unsatisfactory” – the lowest possible grade – meaning there are “major areas for further development”.

The remaining two categories were considered “weak”, with “some important areas for further development”.

Unsatisfactory evaluations were concluded in both the school and nursery’s curriculum, capacity to meet learning needs and improvement through evaluation.

The quality of staffing, management and leadership, and care and support in the nursery were all also deemed unsatisfactory.

An Inspector for HMI said: “In the nursery, progress in learning is unsatisfactory overall. Children’s skills in early literacy and numeracy are not well enough developed.

“Across the school, children’s progress in numeracy and mathematics is too variable with clear gaps in their knowledge, skills and understanding.

“The school does not yet have an accurate overview of primary-aged children’s progress over time.

“The school with the support from the local authority needs to address this as a matter of priority to improve children’s attainment.”

The report also noted the need to improve the curriculum across the entire school and stated that both the school’s head teacher, who only came to the school last August, and other members of staff could do more to raise standards.

“We have asked the school to improve the ways it supports children with additional needs to ensure they make appropriate progress.

“The head teacher and staff need to strengthen partnerships with parents and carers by involving them more in their children’s learning.

“There is an identified need to improve the quality of the curriculum at all stages across the school and nursery class.

“Staff are not making effective use of Curriculum for Excellence guidance to support children in their learning.

“As a priority they need to increase their knowledge and understanding of what is expected at national standards to ensure all children make appropriate progress in all areas of the curriculum.

“In addition, they do not have a consistent and shared understanding of what they are trying to achieve for children through the curriculum.”

Isabelle Boyd, head of education standards and inclusion with NLC, described the report as “deeply disappointing and unacceptable”.

She added: “Clearly no school should have reached this point. However, we are 100 per cent focused on improving educational standards and this process is already well underway.

“In recent months there have been several changes in personnel at the school and we have provided staff with extra support and additional resources.”

Following a meeting between Ms Boyd, councillors and the school’s parent council, all said they were “fully supportive of the school and the action plan which was now well underway”.

Hamilton Water Palace Has Poor Record

Pool closure figures for South Lanarkshire include contamination figures for Hamilton, Blantyre, Larkhall, Strathaven and Lanark.
Hamilton Water Palace has been closed more times than any other pool in South Lanarkshire in the past four years due to poo in the pool.

The pool has been closed 23 times in the past four years due to faecal contamination of the water.

The figures were revealed by South Lanarkshire Council.

Lanark Swimming Pool was second in the table and has been closed 10 times in the past four years due to poo in the pool.

The pool in Blantyre has been closed twice and the pool in Strathaven once.

Coalburn Swimming pool has been closed six times in four years for the same reason and the pool in Carluke has been closed twice.

Dollan Aqua Centre in East Kilbride and Eastfield pool in Rutherglen have both been closed twice.

Larkhall Swimming Pool has not been closed at all in the past four years as a result of the problem.

Gerry Campbell, general manager of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC), says the council always closes the pools promptly on discovering a problem to carry out a clean.

He said: “When this happens we close the pool immediately and carry out a strict cleaning regime to ensure any harmful bacteria is removed.

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

“For the 25-metre pool at Hamilton, this takes 36 hours. We apologise for the inconvenience to our customers but public health is our priority and we cannot take chances where health is concerned.

“Our staff are still paid when the pool is closed and we use this time to concentrate on other areas of cleaning in the centre.”

SLLC said the public can help “keep our pools safe” by:

Avoiding swimming if you feel unwell, especially if you have had vomiting or diarrhoea in the last 14 days.

If your children are not fully toilet-trained, make sure they are wearing a well-fitted swim nappy.

Encourage young swimmers to use the toilets before, and ensure they leave the pool to use the toilet before it is too late.

Use the showers before entering.

If you start to feel unwell, leave the water.

If you do have an accident please let the lifeguards know immediately

The What's On's

2nd April - 17th April

Explore New Lanark with one of their guides and discover some amazing insights into the history of the site.

Everyday at 2pm Costs £2 on top of your Visitor Centre ticket


From Monday 4 – Friday 8 April it’s Insectivore Week at Calderglen. From 11.30am-4.00pm each day there’s a chance to meet some of Calderglen Zoo’s friendliest animals and design food bags for the meerkats and their friends.

4 April 2016 to 17 April 2016

LET’S GO EASTER is a fun, Easter inspired selection of events and activities for children and families in North Lanarkshire.

From arts and crafts to reading, music and acting, there is something for everyone!

CultureNL Libraries are supporting Read Write Count, sharing new and fun ideas to help parents and families to include reading, writing and counting into their everyday activities. For more information go to:

to get the full details on the Easter Arts Boot Camp head along to our show notes or call Airdrie Town Hall on 01236 632828 booking is required.


The Cambuslang Family Fun Fair returns to Halfway Park, from the 6th to the 10th of April!

They have everything you need for a great day at the fair... 
Free Entry
Sweet Candy floss
Delicious Hot Dogs
Amazing Rides

from 1pm

The 54th Tom Scott Memorial Road Races will be held at Strathclyde Park on Sunday 10th April!

Hundreds from far and wide travel to Strathclyde Park to take part in one of two races, the 10 Mile Championship race and the Round the Loch 6k.

The 10 Mile race hosts the Scottish 10 Mile Championships, thus guaranteeing yet another tremendous field in a truly national race.

There's also a Round the Loch 6k event for runners of all abilities!
The race start is at 10am

Enjoy an introduction to Circle Dancing at a taster session being held at St Andrews Parish Church, Carluke!

Circle dancing is a collection of dances from around the world. The dances have a wide variety of mood & form from slow to energetic.

Circle dancing is inclusive and welcoming for people of all ages and ability.
Learning & dancing together in a circle involves mutual support and encourages social cohesion. No experience required as all dances are demonstrated throughout the session in a non threatening environment.

Men & women equally welcome. Partners not required. It all takes place on the 13 April from 12:30 - 2:30  and costs £4:00

You can still catch the exhibition 'Everybody's Darling - The First World War Nurse' at the Heritage Centre in Motherwell. The exhibition runs until the 16th April.

Hamilton District Youth Theatre presents Bugsy Malone at The Town House Hamilton.

HDYT present the stage adaptation of Alan Parker and Paul William’s movie masterpiece. A host of local talent stars in this hilarious, action packed, entertaining and charming adventure.

Set in 1929 New York City, Bugsy Malone captures a flashy world of would-be hoodlums, showgirls, and dreamers. As Tallulah, the sassy girlfriend of the owner of Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy, dances and sings her way into our hearts.

21 April 2016 to 23 April 2016

7.30pm & 2.30pm Saturday Matinee

£10.00 / £9.00 concession

Mentioned in the podcast

South Lanarkshire Council

Heritage Centre Motherwell

Hamilton District Youth Theatre


South Lanarkshire Leisure And Culture


Scottish Autism

Scottish Government

UK Government