GLAS­GOW CEN­TRAL

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY CATHER­INE HUNTER

POLITI­CIANS in the Glas­gow Cen­tral Con­stituency should be “open and hon­est” ac­cord­ing to vot­ers who feel their next MP should be “ap­proach­able and sup­port­ive”.

The area, which in­cludes the north of Glas­gow City Cen­tre, with Kelv­in­grove Art Gallery, Glas­gow Cathe­dral and the SEC, is home to Strath­clyde and Caledonian Uni­ver­si­ties, as well as the Royal Con­ser­va­toire of Scot­land.

The con­stituency sits across the River Clyde, and in­cor­po­rates the ar­eas of Kelv­in­grove, An­der­ston, Mer­chant City, Cal­ton, Pol­lok­shields, Gor­bals and Go­van­hill.

In 2015 Labour lost its seat, which it had held since 1950, to SNP Ali­son Thewliss, who was re-elected in 2017.

Raza Sadiq, who founded the Ac­tive Life Club in Go­van­hill in 1999, be­lieves that politi­cians need to stop blam­ing one another for the home­less­ness and the food bank cri­sis.

He said: “There are too many peo­ple liv­ing on the street. A lot of peo­ple are sur­viv­ing on food banks.

“The politi­cians blame each other for this but this has been go­ing on for years. They are re­spon­si­ble for im­ple­ment­ing change. We need to be able to ques­tion politi­cians and hold them to ac­count.”

While peo­ple in the com­mu­nity en­counter daily strug­gles, the Cit­i­zen’s Ad­vice Bureau has con­tin­ued to pro­vide free, con­fi­den­tial and im­par­tial ad­vice to those who need it.

From 2018-2019, Glas­gow Cen­tral’s CAB gave ad­vice 17,276 times to 5712 clients. They pro­vided as­sis­tance to those hav­ing prob­lem with ben­e­fits and debt 7933 and 3642 times re­spec­tively.

Vin­cent Chudy, Glas­gow Cen­tral

CAB man­ager, said: “The most preva­lent is­sues we deal with in­clude help­ing peo­ple on ben­e­fits, as­sist­ing those who have mul­ti­ple debt, and pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion on gen­eral le­gal mat­ters.

“Re­cently we have been deal­ing with more im­mi­grant in­quiries. This is a specialist sub­ject. We have been help­ing asy­lum seek­ers and those ap­ply­ing for the right to work.”

In the Glas­gow Cen­tral Con­stituency, CAB work­ers deal with more in­quiries from peo­ple liv­ing in Go­van­hill and the sur­round­ing ar­eas.

They also help a range of age groups from 18-years-old to 65 plus. Peo­ple who turn to CAB for as­sis­tance tend to be in the 45-59 age group with 28 per cent at­tend­ing their lo­cal bureau com­pared to seven per cent of those aged 65+.

Mr Chudy went on: “We tend to of­fer more ad­vice to those in the 45-59 age range cat­e­gory as they have a high level of credit.

“They have de­vel­oped re­la­tion­ships and young fam­i­lies. They may have em­ploy­ment is­sues or be un­em­ployed.

“Help­ing peo­ple in the 18-24 age range is very low. Be­cause most of them are liv­ing with their par­ents they aren’t as likely to have em­ploy­ment or re­la­tion­ship is­sues.

“By the time peo­ple be­come 60-64-years-old they have re­tired and don’t tend to ex­pe­ri­ence the same prob­lems.

“The change in the ben­e­fit sys­tem has also caused a prob­lem for many peo­ple who don’t un­der­stand how Uni­ver­sal Credit works. We have staff ded­i­cated to help­ing

Credit.”

SNP can­di­date Ali­son Thewliss, who is hop­ing to re-claim her seat, says that she will con­tinue to stand up for the peo­ple of Glas­gow Cen­tral.

Ms Thewliss be­came the MP for the area in 2015 and was re-elected in 2017. She wants to put her peo­ple first.

She said: “A vote for me in this election is a vote to es­cape Brexit, es­cape the Tories, and put Scot­land’s fu­ture in Scot­land’s hands.

“If re-elected, I will con­tinue to stand up for the peo­ple of Glas­gow Cen­tral.

“I will con­tinue to fight against Scot­land be­ing dragged out of the EU against its will, along­side my SNP MP col­leagues. those on

Uni­ver­sal

“I will con­tinue to work hard to put an end to cal­lous Tory wel­fare cuts, in­clud­ing the two-child cap and rape clause. No woman should have to prove they were raped to re­ceive tax cred­its.

“And I will con­tinue to call for tighter re­stric­tions on the sales of fire­works so that the peo­ple of Glas­gow Cen­tral can feel safer.”

Ms Thewliss took over from Labour’s Anas Sawar, who served the con­stituency from 2010-2015 after suc­ceed­ing his fa­ther Mo­ham­mad Sar­war who rep­re­sented the area from 1997.

In 2017, Labour tried to win their seat back but can­di­date Faten Hameed only se­cured 13,829, com­pared to Ali­son Thewliss with 16,096.

Ms Hameed is stand­ing for election again as a “proud Labour woman, a proud Scot and a proud so­cial­ist”.

She said: “Glas­gow gave me a safe home for me and my chil­dren and it would be a priv­i­lege to serve the city that I love.

“Around 48 per cent of the chil­dren in this con­stituency live in poverty. This breaks my heart and should shame the SNP First Min­ster and the Tory Prime Min­is­ter.

“As a widow with three chil­dren I know how hard it is to get by in aus­ter­ity-hit Bri­tain and Scot­land.

“This is why I am so ded­i­cated to end­ing the cuts and bring­ing about real change for Glas­gow Cen­tral.

“The peo­ple of Scot­land and the peo­ple of Glas­gow Cen­tral have a clear choice on De­cem­ber 12.

“Do we con­tinue with the Tory-SNP fo­cus on the con­sti­tu­tion and cuts, or do we act to res­cue our pub­lic ser­vices, re­bal­ance our econ­omy and trans­form the lives of work­ing peo­ple?

“I call on the peo­ple of Glas­gow Cen­tral to place their faith in me and al­low us to bring about the real and last­ing change this con­stituency and this na­tion needs.”

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