Thank you for being a friend

Check your 'Purcell & Black' for irregularities and residue every month when you're in the shower.

Ah, Steven Purcell. Him leaving Glasgow City Council has been like one of those horribly awkward and protracted breakups that ends up sucking in a whole social circle, and you know the basic story of what happened but you get the feeling there’s more to it. Gradually, ever more horrible, cringeworthy and sometimes fucking funny details just keep leaking out. Of course, situations like that are gifts for gossipy petty folk who can’t get enough of delighting in the right people’s misery, and us folk at Leftfield are no exception. So it was with no small amount of schadenfreude that we learned that the Castro Centre, the new incarnation of the Glasgow LGBT centre which was forced to close down with debts of £300,000 looks like it’s about to close as well, because of *drumroll* big debts and possible massive corruption.

Please understand, it’s not the fact that Glasgow is possibly about to lose its only dedicated LGBT community centre for the second time that’s causing this glee. The fact that it may close again is a frankly ridiculous and outrageous situation. However, a large amount of disturbing evidence has emerged from various sources that suggests that not only has Solidarity Labour councillor Ruth Black (who ran the last LGBT centre and left her post just months before the centre was forced to close with crippling debts) only managed to find herself back in charge due to good old Purcell brand ‘irregularities’, but also that the centre is being run poorly and downright dishonestly.

When the LGBT centre first closed, people were understandably angry and upset. Groups lost a meeting place they’d had for years, and this was of particular concern to support organisations like Crosslynx Glasgow (a trans support group) who had very real concerns about finding a venue where they’d feel (and be) safe. As well as this, groups received virtually no notice that the centre was about to go under, and faced a frantic scrabble to find a new venue in order to stop a loss of momentum and members. As if that all wasn’t frustrating enough, what actually happened to the LGBT centre is still shrouded in mystery; all we really know for sure is that when it closed it was £300,000 in debt and that there were angry refutations of any suggestion of irregularity or incompetence in management posted to the GLGBT website before it was taken down for good. Also, there were whisperings in the papers that Ruth Black had essentially run it into the ground, but the stock response was she had left her job months before the closure and so had nothing to do with it. Which is a pretty pish counterargument, but oh well! Maybe, we hoped, Glasgow would have an LGBT centre again soon, and it would be better run and hopefully be a fun, useful and supportive place for LGBT folk to hang about. However, what actually happened was that Glasgow Labour cronyism did what it does best; ignored what was best for the people a service is meant to, you know, serve, and instead just did what was best for their councillors.

As The Herald reported, many LGBT people and organisations in Glasgow were unhappy to say the least when, after competing with Glasgay!,  a group that runs an annual LGBT arts festival in the city, Ruth Black and her still not really existent backing organisation were awarded the right to run the new centre by Ruth’s colleagues at the council. That alone was an example of rank cronyism and quite bad judgement given the major role Black had in running a centre that collapsed amid piles of debt, but it gets worse when you consider that the money the centre owed was owed to Glasgow City Council. According to the publicly available documents on the bidding process, the council considered Glasgay!’s declaration that they would not repay the debt owed by the previous centre to be detrimental to their bid, but what kind of nonsense and pish is that?! Glasgay! had nothing to do with the running of the previous LGBT centre, and the thinking about the debt essentially seems to have been that whoever started to provide LGBT one stop shop services in Glasgow, they would have to pay off the big old collective queer debt. Despite Glasgay!’s track record of organising successful arts events and a promise that if awarded the centre deal they would branch out to provide meeting spaces as well as health and social services, still Ruth Black got the contract with a projection of bar takings that was significantly larger than Glasgay!’s figures and a promise to eventually pay back the money the council lost. It’s worth remembering as well that during her tender as centre manager Ruth Black managed to alienate a significant amount of people in the community by banning the popular magazine ScotsGay because of what she considered inappropriate ‘adult’ content. ScotsGay contains a wide variety of material, and apparently the option of keeping it away from children or putting an “available on request” sign up (apparently the magazine was inappropriate for a centre that wanted to welcome families) didn’t even occur to the centre managers, even after ScotsGay approached them about the issue.

Given how close Purcell and Black were while he was still in charge of the council, people were suspicious. When Purcell’s corruption and “chemical dependency” emerged, people got more suspicious. Lo and behold, the herald got hold of the minutes of a meeting that have Ruth Black telling other LGBT organisations that Purcell and other ‘senior Labour figures’ would be backing her bid, a full five months before the end of the tendering process. As well as this, according to the Herald’s report, the meeting was originally set up by Black in her capacity as Glasgow City Council Equalities Spokesperson (Oh, did we not mention that?) and then she sprang her own bid on the other organisations who were meeting with her to discuss the Glasgay!  bid and the future of the centre in general. If these allegations are true then this will just be another scandalous addition to Purcell’s already corrupt leadership of the council, and will also show a wholesale selling out of the Glasgow LGBT community just so Steven’s pals could be happy.

It’s not just the award of the contract that’s the problem though. Before we even touch on what the media’s reporting, I’ll deal with my own personal observations about the Castro. The centre’s website is poor to say the least; SSY doesn’t have two pennies to rub together, never mind a fat contract from the council, but it’s safe to say our website is a lot better than this. The only blog articles on the site are to do with the rumours flying around about the centre (we’ll get to them in a minute) and a karaoke night, and there’s the distraction of the “GET A FREE WEBSITE’ bar at the bottom. A good website is important for such a vital public service, and there’s just no excuse for this kind of sloppiness when you’ve been funded to the degree the Castro has. Apart from the website, there’s a couple of other glaring problems. A quick glance at the About page shows that of the five board members, there are no young people and they’re all white too. But hey, give them credit, they do have a page asking if you’re interested in joining their youth steering committee. Unfortunately, it seems that committee’s pretty much going to be picked by the aforementioned board, and also has a very arbitrary cut off age of twenty-one. Please understand, this isn’t just a bitter twenty-four year old talking (WHY?!) but it’s genuinely the case that your special youth related LGBT needs don’t just stop when you turn twenty-one. Aside from the LGBT angle, SSY would direct the Castro board’s attention to the fact that anyone under twenty-five is still subject to state sanctioned wage and benefits discrimination, and if they’re single will only ever get fifty quid a week in order to keep up with their rent. Aye, all of this criticism is based on their website and what other people I know have reported. I’ve never been to the Castro. Know why? Because I didn’t even know it was open until I saw the articles saying it might be closing! I never saw one bit of publicity about the new centre, and that’s yet another failing.

Folk giving it yaldi at Stonewall

As I see it, the biggest issue is that a Labour council that has long since betrayed its original socialist politics and which actively works against the interests of Glaswegians has no business in deciding who gets to provide the Glasgow LGBT community’s only one stop shop that isn’t part of the commercial and often alienating scene. Like most of the scene world over, Glasgow’s is by and large targeted at young gay men, with very little provision for lesbians and trans folk (out on the Glasgow scene you’ll often be spoiled for choice if what you’re looking for is poisonous sexist and transphobic commentary on other customers), never mind the of course mythical, wily and elusive bisexuals or pansexuals. Sometimes people need an alternative to that, but a council that has shut schools, wants to sell off our parks and has already sold off our arts and heritage ‘assets’ to one of the many arms length ALEOs that they love so much (which has rebranded our museums as Glasgow Life) is not equipped to decide who’s best to provide essential services to marginalised communities. All they care about is profit and pals, and the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement couldn’t have been further from that agenda. At Stonewall, trans, lesbian, bi and gay people, many of them homeless, many of them sex workers and most of them poor who’d had enough of police raids and of the pro-assimilation and anti-violence rhetoric promoted by the mainstream LGBT rights proponents of the day rebelled. They drove the polis off in an emphatic declaration of their right to exist, their right to be free of state oppression, the right to organisation and what’s more their right to be different. This kind of collective action and emphatic rejection of assimilation into the mainstream is truly dangerous not only to heterosexist society but to governments and capitalists too. We must never fool ourselves into thinking that just because of the deeply embedded homophobia of society that capitalism has no interest in sidelining this dissent and using the LGBT community to make money. For example, most of the scene in Glasgow (and much of Edinburgh’s scene too) is owned and operated by one man, Stefan King of the G1 group. The venues peddle the same product, often leaving LGBT people who are marginalised within what’s supposed to be their own community with nowhere to go. Even on Pride day, which started as a political event celebrating the Stonewall uprising and demanding rights, advertisers now crowd the route of the march, hoping to cash in on the so called ‘pink pound’. Sometimes this adds up to people not knowing their own history and you get articles like this frankly embarrassing example from Gawker where the author declares that Stonewall was a load of gay men who fought back against the police. The rest of the community are erased, and a sexist, racist, transphobic, biphobic and affluent version of queer is sold back to us. With the poor running of the Castro Centre in Glasgow, there’s nowhere to escape that.

Of course, Ruth Black’s got a lot more on her plate than what I think. So, here’s a roundup of what other people (it wisnae us) are reporting. Not us, you understand. SSY has no interest in making allegations that we can’t prove.

The Herald has reported that the Castro “is on the brink of closure after an internal probe uncovered a range of financial irregularities”. They also report that a whistleblower has alleged that while tax and national insurance have been taken from staff pay, they have not been passed on to HMRC, which is an extremely serious offense in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the SSY Don’t be a Shitty Bastard Employer Squad. This kind of activity endangers the benefit and pension entitlements of employees and is blatant theft. The same whistleblower also alleges that while “excessive bills” are being paid to a Perth based gaming machine company, no profits are being declared from the machines, and that the council’s money is being used to run up huge mobile phone bills and lease private cars. There are also claims that the centre is sitting on tens of thousands of pounds worth of unpaid invoices and may be trading insolvently. Black’s response to the Herald was short and simple: “There are no irregularities.”

And then we get to the Record; we like to keep the really sensational stuff for last. They have reported that well known legitimate Glasgow businessman Paul Ferris has visited the Castro twice in recent weeks and has met with Ruth Black and her partner. This allegation seems likely to have come from the same whistleblower who has went to the Herald and the council. Black has responded that Ferris’ visits were connected with Unlock, an anti-reoffending and prisoners’ rights organisation that operates in England. A quick bit of googling shows that yesterday, five days after the original Record story was published, Ferris has chatted directly to The Sun about wanting to take who the police deem “their worst re-offenders” and to somehow teach them to go ‘straight’ but the idea is apparently still in its early stages. The article makes prominent mention of Ruth Black’s partner Jeannie McDougal, and Ferris says he is considering her as a tutor for his proposed program. He also says that he wants to meet with the head of Unlock towards the end of the month, but he doesn’t seem to have done it yet. So there seems to be some confusion about whether he’s chatting about Unlock or his own project. The Record also reports that the polis are investigating Ruth Black as they suspect her of selling speed at the City Chambers.

OICEBERG, ROIGHT AHEAD!

So, with all of this flying about in the press, and with the first google result for Castro Centre Glasgow being the Herald story about the possible closure (the actual centre being relegated to second place) the nervous and twitchy messages that adorn the Castro website are understandable. Call us cynical, but when us lot in SSY see the words “Please pay no attention to media stories which have no foundation and are based on rumour and speculation.” fall from the lips or fingertips of a politician who’s being investigated by the police and getting a lot of media attention we can’t help but suspect that some titanic calamity is about to befall them, and that maybe they’re wondering if that double hull of friends they’ve built up is quite watertight enough. Whatever happens to Ruth Black, whether corruption is uncovered or not, let’s hope that eventually the biggest city in Scotland finally gets the LGBT centre it deserves.

31 Comments

  1. Liam T says:

    just got round to reading the whole thing there, really really good!

  2. Here here!!!! for a long time i was fighting this single handed and no one would listen to me. I am so relieved that the good people of Glasgow and our authorities have finally seen through Black and her partner. I was a board member and was removed for challenging her. The other board members are good people but tokens – they have no say at all in that place and were handpicked for the board. Although i’m happy this corruption has finally been given the press coverage and importance it required, its the to the detriment of the lgbt people of glasgow who have LOST another service.

  3. Sarah says:

    Totally brilliant article

  4. Getbacktogether says:

    Well done to Glasgow City Council for finally taking a stance against this woman and her corrupt ways.
    This has been a long time coming and it just proves that all the allegations and even more are now coming to fruition and that what people have been saying has been true and not malicious.
    The fact that she intends to keep the centre open is total disregard for the public’s safety as no insurance is in place, even for employees, so basicaly this woman is again breaking the law and should be held accountable. Anyone that entres these premises now and in the future do so at their own risk as the premises does not hold a valid insurance certificate….( Yes i have done a course on HSE ) so i do know what im talking about here.
    To The Whistle Blower (above comment), i know of the persons who brought all this fiasco into the open and it is hats off to these people for bringing this to the attention of the proper authorities. These people done this as a result they were unhappy at the thought of the LGBT community again getting ripped of, esp by a councillor who purported to represent the Glasgow LGBT community. It is unfortunate that again we see another LGBT venue close its doors due to bad running, bad management, corruption, drugs and cronyism and above all, links with some very undesirable people.

    The closure of the centre previously as stated above (Still shrouded in secrecy) was also a mess and if things had been correctlty then, then that place would not have closed and we would not find oursdelves in the position we find ourselves in today.
    The previous centre Glasgow LGBT centre were in a lot more trouble than was first though in 2008/2009 and documentation seen at that point by the council suggested that irregularities had came to light at that point.
    If the centre knew at that time it did not have any irregularities or problems, the the board of directors, members etc could have stood their ground and rode the storm that was about to befall on them, if they had nothing to hide, then they had nothing to fear even if an audit had taken place. The previous centre stated thay had to close because the funding had been withdrawn by the council. This is true to an extent, insofar that the council stopped funding solely on the purpose that they did indeed find irregularities which could have been sorted out and funding restored. Again the closure was put down to bad management and bad timing, though the £300.000 debt which had to be paid did not help matters at all, the place was struggling to repay this debt and others and what better way to get rid of this debt was to close the centre down, the debt supposedly went down with it or so we thought….

    The Castro Centre and the people whom purported to run this centre on our behalf done so out of greed, power and damn right ignorance. These people, some of them anyway, did not have regard for the majority of LGBT people, young and old, who neede a centre such like this, and only now they are paying the price for their greed corruption and cronyism.
    Pride is on next weekend, i would suggest that at Pride people from all sides of the LGBT community get together and form a group who WANT to have another LGBT Centre in Glasgow, only this time, properly run. Let Glasgow City Council know that our community need a centre like this for the needs of the lGBT wider communtiy, because if you dont let the council know, they wont give a damn about another centre for the LGBT Community.

    Fight For Your Centre, thats if you really want one.

  5. Squeak says:

    Whistleblower and Getbacktogether; thanks very much for your comments. I totally agree that we need a new centre and Ruth Black and her cronies should never be allowed near the running of it. SSY will be at Pride next weekend and if anybody fancies chatting to us about what we’ve said here or a new centre then please come up ad give us a chat!

  6. Mhairi McAlpine says:

    Excellent article.

  7. weneedacentre says:

    After speaking with a “person in the know” today, it has been stated that Glasgow City Council would possibly be unwilling to support yet another LGBT Community Centre. Reasons for this were primarily that given the recent events with both Glasgow LGBT centre and also The Castro Glasgow Ltd, council officials would be very sceptical of granting funding to another LGBT venue, given the state of our economy at present, this does not surprise most.
    It has also been suggested that another organisation (who cannot be named), could apply to take over the running of the centre but this would be very unlikely given that the council has already got cutbacks in focus and the LGBT community is no different from the rest…..or is it!

    ANY organisation that would want to take over such a venture would need to be very financialy stable and viable and would need to operate in an environment where it socially inclusive for EVERY member of the LGBT Community, not just for those in certain aspects of the community, ie arts/dram/theatre etc etc, any new centre would need to cater for all and not just the minority of LGBT people.

    Unfortunetly we now find ourselves in a position where we aks is a new centre really that needed….The answer to that is a big YES.
    Any member of the LGBT Community who reads these forums or articles should first get in touch with their local councillor, (with the exception of councillor Black, Craigton Ward) and make representations to them for the council to allow another venue to operate for the LGBT Community.
    Given the premises at 84 Bell Street, it is believed that with recent history of that address, possibly new premises should be found.
    The premises at 84 Bell are plagued with problems and this is due to the structure of the building within and outwith the building and surroundings and if any new centre was to open there, more work would be needed to ensure that the building is totally free from its problems.
    Having been in that centre on many occasion i have seen first hand the problems this building has esp in bad weather so to me and others this building is a complete waste of time

    Glasgow definetely does need a LGBT Community Centre and only LGBT people can fight for this, so again i would emphasis, if you need;/want a community based venue, your first place of contact is your local councillor.
    They can be found at http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillors

    Help Glasgow get back on the MAP with a centre for ALL the LGBT Community

  8. Squeak says:

    I think Pride’s a good opportunity just for people to get chatting to each other about a new centre. I do have to say just lol to the council not wanting to fund another one since it’s their bloody fault this has happened.

    I’m not too up on the problems with the building but I’ve heard about leaks and folk complaining that there were CCTV cameras everywhere they looked and that it just felt like they were constantly being watched. I know as well that at the old centre there were many people who felt excluded, particularly trans and bi folk.

  9. Glasgow says:

    Well a lot of Questions were raised at the time of the council’s decision to give Castro the centre seeing as the reason teh old centre closed down was due to “allies” of RB causing the board of the centre and the centre a lot of hassle including making complaints to OSCR and Glasgow City Council all of which where proved to be false and at the time that centre was awarded to castro a lot of people came out about it and these people I hope now will be saying I told you So!

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/glasgow_lgbt_centre_sc023892#outgoing-35395
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/10/30/glasgow-council-makes-controversial-appointment-for-lgbt-centre/ (and the comments)

    and the real reason the centre closed http://stashbox.org/951403/Public%20Summary%20LGBT%2007-09%20Board%282%29.doc

  10. Squeak says:

    I’ve seen the first two links Glasgow but I’ve never seen that summary document; it certainly does make for enlightening reading. May I ask where you got it? If you don’t want to say it publicly you can e-mail the SSY address and I can get a look at it through there.

  11. Squeak says:

    Aye I just wanted to make clear as well that I’ve no problem at all with the many people who I know fine well worked their arses off to try and keep the LGBT centre going, and if anyone can sympathise with youse on lurching from one financial disaster to another then god knows it’ll be a member of a left wing party; I just got the feeling that Ruth had a lot more to do with what happened to the LGBT centre than people were letting on. And from the looks of that document, I was right, but not in the way that I thought.

  12. Squeak says:

    Jeezo, my article is now out of date as when you click on the Castro website, all you’re gonnae find it a renewal demand. Oh dear.

  13. rise above it says:

    In Regards Glasgows message (above) with RB’s “allies” causing the centre problems and this was the reason it closed, it is quite clear from the link attached that this was not the real reason for the centre to close, so for Glasgow to say it was down to RB’s allies is not right so please get your facts right on this issue as most people are now aware of the REAL problems the centre faced prior to its closure.
    Lets not forget Glasgow LGBT centre was in difficulties, according to the link, sometime before the complaints were raised. If this is true then it is down to the people who ran the centre then and the complaints that had been raised were done as a result that the complainers were getting no where when they attempted to raise their concerns at a meeting. I take it the commenator Glasgow is a previous director of that centre so should know exactly what went on and who was really to blame, because from the information that is about it was not all down to the person who raised the complaints with Glasgow City Council and OSCR. Maybe if the then board of directors had got their fingers out and got their headlease and other difficulites sorted out and money became available, that centre would not have closed. It was funny however that when certain directors came onto the board the place went to pot….is it a wonder that no-one came to the aid of the board then is as suggested in the linked document from 2 directors connected to the centre.

    Ironically it is some of the same people who have again raised serious questions and complaints with regards Ruth Black and her running of The Castro Glasgow, only this time the concerns have been investigated properly and the appropriate action taken.
    These are not/were not allies of RB’s as has been suggested, these were just genuine people who wanted to see a LGBT centre back up and running as quickly as possible, unfortunetly these people did not anticipate the problems that were about to befall them and only when it was realised that there were indeed problems arising did these people take the action that they took, and again their actions have helped anothet centre to close and this time also for the right reasons.
    It is a shame that Glasgow has lost another LGBT centre, but people connected to the old one, Glasgow LGBT centre, should take a long good hard look at themselves and give themselves a pat on the back for the mess that they created in the first place. If it wasnt for the problems the Glasgow LGBT centre were having, none of this would be happening today

    No one wanted to see another LGBT centre fail but unfortunetly when people get a sniff of something not right, action has to be taken to sort it out and the decsions taken to do this were done correctly and as a result this centre is again closed and funding withdrawn

  14. Glasgow says:

    Squeak the document was released on the old centre website during the closure and that’s how I got it and rise above it I was not a director of the centre nor involved with the closure just someone who regularly used the centre and seen what had happened.

  15. TheWorstWitch says:

    I propose that we book the function room in the Piper Bar on Saturday (seeing as it’s right next to Pride!) and have a meeting about what we want from a REAL community LGBT centre in Glasgow, and what we can do to make it happen!

  16. Squeak says:

    I do want to book a room for a meeting but I don’t think Pride day is a good idea, because people will want to be at the party and then go to the various Pride parties on the Scene. Including me! It’s also a bit short notice for folk and for a leaflet to tell people where to go.

  17. rise above it says:

    Glasgow, my apologies for thinking you were a director of the previous centre, but your comments “the old centre closed down was due to “allies” of RB causing the board of the centre and the centre a lot of hassle including making complaints to OSCR and Glasgow City Council all of which were proved to be false” it wouldnt take much to think that the person was connected to the board without knowning the full facts of the complaints outlined, as i say aplogies for that. After reading the full extent of that document you will clearly see that the reasons for the closure of Glasgow LGBT centre was not directly related to these persons, it was a result of these problems and others that these persons sought advice from elsewhere

    In response to you comment, the “allies” of RB actually had went to RB for advice on matters long before the decision to close the place came into play.
    The reason for this was simple, RB was the previous manager of the centre in Dixon St and one of the complainers simply went to RB for advice about concerns. It was explained to RB that all the complainers, 4 in total, had no confidence in (3) of the centres board of directors at that time and it was of concern to these people and due to her knowledge of these type of issues only advice was required.
    Due to the fact that RB had gave advice of best practise to deal with this matter it was advised at the time that due to Glasgow City Council being the major funder of this organisation, it would be courteous to advise them of the issues of concern as well as notifying OSCR, this the complainers done as routine. As a Glasgow City Council tax payer i would have been disturbed to think that my money was being used negatively in an organisation which was supposed to be helping LGBT people in the city and beyond.

    As stated previously these so called “allies” of RB have again brought out problems facing another LGBT centre and their motives for doing this are pure and simple, they dont like the fact that anothet LGBT Venue is misleading its community and ripping its people of, given all the recent media attention with regards these matter i think the problem has a long way to go before its is fully resolved and the full extent is known of ALL the problems both centres had. Unfortunetly we will never find out what Glasgow City Council and OSCR would have found if they had properly investigated the Glasgow LGBT centre to its full extent, remember the investigations were halted due to the fact that the company had already informed the council it was going insolvent and the council therefore found no need to progress the investigation further.

  18. Squeak says:

    There’s a lot we don’t know and a lot we’ll probably never know. It does seem the old LGBT centre did have some problems with poor running but also a few calamities that nobody could predict. I suppose the difference is that with the old centre there doesn’t seem to have been (from what I have available to me) to have been corruption or deliberate mismanagement of funds, which is clearly not the case with the Castro.

    I think a meeting would be a good opportunity for people to air their concerns, but more importantly to discuss what they’d like to see in a new centre, and I hope other people agree. Most of the arguments over the centre seem to be done anonymously over the internet, and maybe it’ll make everyone feel a bit better if we’re face to face and talking about the future. I do think people need an opportunity to air their anger over what’s happened with the Castro, and tbh if I’m pulling it together I’ll probably make a formal invitation to any of the Castro board who are willing to come and give them five minutes or so to give their version of events. I think that kind of accountability is important.

    Once a venue and date is sorted I’ll make sure as many people know about it as possible and would hope to have it sorted by Pride on Saturday. I’d hope to attract a wide range of people from the community, and at least a few people who know about securing grants and the like as there are rumours flying, as we’ve seen, that the council wont fund another centre.

    I hope that sounds good to everyone who’s commented here, and people who may be reading without commenting. :)

  19. Jack says:

    If people want there to be a leaflet for Saturday we need to get the text written and laid out today really. Plus if we want to leaflet for a meeting then the meeting room will need to get booked.

  20. A.S says:

    ahhh we see they have their ewebsite up and running again, only this time it is NOISE cafebar they have been advertising….if you have a look at the pics that are on the site, you will see how dreary the place looks and how empty….i wonder why that is ?? all suggestions welcome lol

  21. A.S says:

    ohhhh and also, take no notice of the board of directors on their ABOUT page, most of them have now left the organisation, and Robert Tamburrini was quoted in the herald as leaving due to the real problems the centre was having. Maybe someone should ask questions just who is on their board of directors, according to companies house check there are only TWO regsistered and one of them has left, so that leaves only one….can you guess who that is then ?? answers on a postcard please.

  22. The Whistle Blower says:

    Hi all – sorry been in hospital so haven’t been online. the last comment about the board is all correct. to my knowledge Ann Martin the company administrator was sacked and the following week Gary mcGuire quit – not sure if it was related. Robert was on the board till it all came out, but seriously the board were told everything was rosie the whole time. they had no idea what was going on. they asked questions but were always told lies. rb also tried to get the board to take on a castle!!! seriously, some big house out in ayrshire which was used as a home or something and rb was supposedly approached and asked if she wanted to run it but the board knocked it back as they felt that they needed to concentrate on getting castro up and running. the talk was that rb was gonna take it on privately and run it as a retreat for homeless lgbt people – when i heard that i knew i’d heard it all.

    Please please please go and fight for a centre. the point that it needs to be ran by an organisation which is solid is very important – even if it was directly ran by the Community Health and Care Partnerships or dare i say it culture and sport glasgow / glasgow life to get it started and give it some structure. Something needs to be done.

    I love the fact that rb is adamant they will keep it going and even run it as a social enterprise or business. is this women really that thick?

    1 – they are not a charity or soon won’t be cos they don’t have any charitable aims as a bar therefore will need to pay full rates for the venue
    2 – they will have to pay full rent as a licensed premises
    3 – they won’t get a full license – they are still running with occassional licenses with the license fronted by one of the board members who probably has quit
    4 – does she think the council will give her a license
    5 – without insurance she won’t get a premise license….

    God the list could go on and on and on…….

  23. Squeak says:

    Hey again, hope you’re well – I did have a meeting booking lined up but I’ve not been well myself the past couple of weeks and the confirmation didn’t happen, but I want to set up a meeting for all LGBT folk and allies in Glasgow to chat and atlk about what we want. If we set that up, would you be interested in coming along? I appreciate you might not want to be dead open about who you are, but fwiw we’ll never use your name or ‘out’ (lol) you in any way. You don’t have to even identify who you are or your role in the revealing of what she was doing at any meeting, but it’d definitely be great if you could come. If you’d like to chat further you can get a hold of my personal e-mail by e-mailing the SSY address.

  24. ALEX (PREVIOUS BAR OWNER) says:

    Hey, Alex here, (previously owned bar in bell st/dixon st with Gordon) can i just say the first time i read about bell st also the pink paper comments was just the other day. The stories /gossip about the bar are untrue i am happy to tell you what happened and the reason the bar was closed i have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide or lose!! (certain ppl made sure of that) however i will not make any further comments until i have received some advice because you who know me know i am not one for holding back!! that’s why Gordon done all the talking GOD BLESS.

  25. i can't believe its not utter....pish says:

    there is talk that certain members of the board have been recieving threats and gifts through the post. Think jeanie and ruth and their crew have been watching too much of the soprano’s! heard the police are involved AGAIN so maybe this time they’ll be charged.

  26. Squeak says:

    I have to say I’m totally amazed at the amount of comments I’ve got here from relevant people. Seriously, if any of you want to talk to me, just e–mail the SSY address and ask for my personal e-mail. You’ll get it.

  27. A.S says:

    What really surprises me is that thie venue is still being allowed to operate even with the council having all the knowledge about the place.
    The fact that they even have the ordasity to be open, even without proper licences or insurance means that they are trading insolvently.
    Alec, (previous bar owner), we all know that you were not responsible for the closure of the LGBT centre as this was a result of the way the place was being run and by the people who ran it on our behalf…or so we thought…we know the debts etc etc the place had accumulated over the period of time and it was with real sad regret that you lost your business partner and co-owner of the cafe, Gordon, who to this day is still sadly missed. The events that followed that sad time, unfortunetely took over very fast and indeed the centre found its way into the insolvency process from which it could not escape
    Unfortunetely Alec, this is history repeating itself in the way the centre has been run and again, sadly we see the place about to close, this we do know is not down to you.
    If you can manage to open the commenst and link made in comment number 10 by Glasgow, you will see the detailed response that the then board of directors gave out. Like most of us we know a large part of that is lies and the real truth of the closure of the Glasgow LGBT centre, lies with the directors who knew exactly what was happening with the centre and knew why it was getting into the debt that it did.

    If you have a look at the castro’s website, you will see hwo abismal the place looks, even on Pride weekend the place was dire and NOT the way a LGBT centre should be on a day when many many other LGBT venues put a bit of work into pride….then again, most state pride wasant much either this year.

  28. ALEX (PREVIOUS BAR OWNER) says:

    REPLY TO A.S……. thanks for your comment i will put few things st8 but thanks for comment not to say to much at the moment but i was kinda forced out but by certain directors who am happy to name but not at this moment, and yes gordon is so sadly missed in my life he was also my x partner and my very best friend who was a very big part of my life in which i am still trying to deal with…… x

  29. Whistle Blower says:

    just heard castro is finally closed…. anyone know for sure

  30. euphoric student says:

    I would hope that The castro is closed after the revelations in this weeks sun newspaper about Ruth Black association with a self confessed “crime enforcer”.
    For a councillor to take up with a woman of such a dubious past beggers belief and it is no surprise the labour party have suspended her and withdrawn her funding for her centre.
    This woman, Ruth Black, has left herself wide open to all sorts now and in a lot of people’s eyes is no longer fit to be a councillor to represent people of this city.
    The fact that her partner has openly claimed to be involved in all sorts of dodgy doings and associating with even more dodgier people is beyond belief and no doubt she has been well paid for those stories.
    LGBT People would feel intimiated going into a place like the castro centre knowing who is behind it.
    Glasgow City Council should now make sure that Ruth Black and her “associates” do not get a chance to operate a LGBT venue, even for homeless people as has been suggetsed in other posts, as these people would not feel safe in their beds knowing who is supposedly looking after their well being.
    Ruth Blacks downfall, demise, what ever you want to call it has been of her own making and can blame no-one apart from herself for the position she now finds herself in. To take up with a person with whom she has is a receipty for disaster and i bet now she feels like a total fool for letting herslf get into this mess she is in.
    Questions now need to be seriously asked about her involvemnt with drugs and other matters that are still being investigated, because after these recent revelations that have came to light, ANYTHING is now possible with this woman.

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