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Glasgow council makes controversial appointment for LGBT centre

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  1. This appointment is a huge mistake. This woman has no concept of how to run a successful venture and I sadly expect her to run it into the ground in no time at all. Stupid council leaders.

  2. Anthony Bermon 30 Oct 2009, 4:11pm

    The fact that she’s a councillor with Glasgow City Council should have meant that she can’t be involved in this in the first place. Add to that the role she played in the LGBT Centre going bankrupt and you have to wonder what’s going on. Did the councillors who decided this bid just give her it to her organisation because she’s a lesbian and they thought that was good enough. Isn’t this the same woman who banned a magazine from the LGBT centre a few years ago because it was too sexually explicit?

  3. Ross Stevenson 30 Oct 2009, 4:30pm

    Totally agree with all this story except the first quote that is from myself it should of said i am against the Castro Bid as it is an uncostituted and yet to be formed organisation meaning the council has just agreed to gives fund to one of their own councilors really I am not personally against Ruth Black its the overall organisation i am against and the councils process in handling this matter.

  4. Anthony Bermon 30 Oct 2009, 4:33pm

    On her past record of banning a magazine she feels is inapproporiate, her organisation is hardly the best bid for social inclusion, as the council seems to be saying.

  5. Strange how Ross fails to mention that he was involved with the board of the LGBT Centre which included two Directors of Glasgay that ran the centre into bankruptcy.

  6. Ross Stevenson 30 Oct 2009, 10:38pm

    The centre board was made up of one glasgay director not two and yes i was involved with the centre this is public knowledge and public record however this article is not the place to discuss the old lgbt centre as i was asked to comment on today’s decision about the future of an LGBT Centre in Glasgow and i will not get into any discussion over the previous centre or its board on here except to say that it was no fault of the board of the LGBT Centre which resulted in the closure of the centre and all allegations made by a small group of people were proved false by the the charity regulator. – the old LGBT Centre website has a full statement relating to the closure for those who want to know more on that matter.

  7. Robert Allan 30 Oct 2009, 11:14pm

    After reading the comments posted on here by certain individuals, it just shows how petty some can be.
    As far as Ross Stevenson goes, he was the centre administrator for the Glasgow LGBT centre, which did go into bankrupcy once other ceratin individuals bacme involved in the running of the centre.
    He is also one of the directors for Pride Glasgow, another organisation that seen fit to take sides with Glasgay.
    Ruth Black had NOTHING to do with the demise of this centre, she had left over a year before that happened, and even previous board members whom i have spoken to today about this stated that they knew the centre would struggle once certain people got their foot in the door… right that was.
    Today, Glasgow City Council made the right choice by allowing the castro to uptake a new venture, behind Ruth Black ( who ISNT being paid for her services) is a very strong team of people who are totally committed to taking the LGBT centre forward to a newer level.
    Of course people like Ross Stevenson and Glasgay are upset at todays outcome, simple reason is they werent up to scratch and to think that the council would have allowed an organisation with people on its board who allowed the centre to fold in the first place is totally uncomprehensible.
    Glasgow LGBT centre got closed down because it was badly run and badly managed by ceratin individuals, evidence which has been seen proves just that.
    OSCR closed the investigation early on in its enquireis for the simple reason, the company went bankrupt, no need to investigate a company already closing its doors.
    In so far as Ruth Black is concerned, personally she ran that centre for nearly 10 years without any problems, but like her and other board members, they choose to leave…why?? because they knew the way the centre was going to go…and they proved their predictions correct….
    Sour Grapes by certain individuals…thats all i can say.

  8. Robert Allan 30 Oct 2009, 11:22pm

    In so far as the statement refers to on the Glasgow LGBT Website about the centres closure, this was done by the very same people who attributed to the centre being closed……what they also forgot to mention about “the loss of a young gay activist” who left because of uni etc etc, according to docuemented evidence, this person was forced to resign from the board “reluctantly”….oh and this same person was/is a fellow director of Pride Glasgow….that testement speaks volumes in my book, says a lot about the people who thought they had the best intrests of the Gay Community in Glasgow…how wrong were they proved.

  9. paisley buddies 31 Oct 2009, 2:46am

    If Ross’s comments on the centre being closed down as a result of false report and complaints, then WHY has the centre been closed from the time they were submitted?
    All information points to the facts, that it was the fault of the board of directors as they FAILED to properly collect rent money due from tenents and also FAILED to secure the cafebar towards the end of the year 08 when it was noticed that the cafebar was indeed closed.
    The board seem to put the blame on a small group of people for the closure of the centre, but myself and others have seen evidence to the contrary…..come on Ross…if your going to tell a fib….get your story straight.
    I support Ruth Black and the new challenges ahead for her and her team and wish them all the best in the future…..maybe organisations like Glasgay and Pride Glasgow can put their differences aside and work together.
    Glasgow gay scene has had its fair share of troubles over the years, lets not fall out over this little skirmish…
    Good luck to The Castro Team

    Anne & Karen paisleygirls

  10. I wish “sour grapes” was indeed all Robert Allan would say as his late-night ramble is bizarre. One claim he makes is that Black “jumped ship” when she saw the centre was going to crash – doesn’t exactly inspire one with confidence about her management skills now, does it? And if anyone doubts her committment they need only note that this is not the only time she has “jumped ship”. Glasgow has had three failed centres – now Glasgow councillors are doing as Glasgow councillors do and making sure there is a fourth fiasco – with, of course, the usual “professional gay” suspects being favoured. It will all end in tears but these people seem able to sail on regardless of the mayhem.

  11. I should just say that the “recaptcha” words I was required to type in for the last message were “shames” and “overpopulated” which is both wierd and somehow rather fitting.

  12. Robert Allan 31 Oct 2009, 4:23pm

    With regards Angelica (If that is the right name) comments are concerned, i did not make a comment that Ruth Black “jumped ship” as quite avertly put.
    I did state that Ruth left the centre in Dec 07, due to commitments with other work and personal reasons. PRIOR to that, more SENIOR board members whom had been running the centre for many years previously (without much fault), decided also to leave as it was felt by them, that with new members coming on board it was time to let them have a go, which they did, and sorry to say ran the centre into the ground.
    maybe if Angelica had the information at hand, that i do, then maybe, just maybe she would see what really went on.
    Ruth Blacks management skills have NOTHING to do with the demise of the LGBT Centre in Glasgow, in fact Ruths managment skills have taken her to a higher level in the council, where she is greatly admired by many councillors and officers who recognise the hard work she achieves to help the most disadvantaged people in our society.
    Yes i am a Ruth Black supporter and always will be. In dealing with Ruth, she has always been upfront from the start, open and frank, just as she has been with regards Tha Castro bid and her openess and frankness has cost her dearly the last few days in recent tabloid editorials…she will bounce back from it all and will get the LGBT centre back on track in no time, if given the right support by the LGBT community.

  13. The Castro Team 31 Oct 2009, 7:49pm

    Thank you all for your comments. The Castro will open its doors shortly and will offer: a holisitc health drop in service for all LGBT people; youth services, counselling, job surgeries, benefit surgeries, adult literacy and numeracy,aromatherapy sessions, dance classes, jewellery making and other hobby/craft classes amongst many other opportunities. We will also proudly host our own internet stream radio station, and in the future we anticipate installing a small recording studio. We hope to offer courses in DJ skills and other associated media.

    Of course, in addition, we also offer ‘NOISE@84’ cafe bar – and we would like to say that everyone who is genuine and honest is welcome to join us. Thanks to everyone who has shown support – and ‘UP THE CASTRO’.


  14. Glasgows' Finest 31 Oct 2009, 9:20pm

    After reading all the comments in most of the tabloids, today and yesterday, i thought i would just like to add my congratulations on Ruth Black’s return to the LGBT Community in Glasgow.
    I have worked with this woman on a few occasions through association with my work…(cant devulge) and always found her to be open and honest in her dealings with LGBT people.
    It is a shame that certain individuals have choose to use the media and other avenues to frustrat their anger at the decsion made by Glasgow City Council, but on speaking with fellow work colleagues today, it is felt the right choice had been made.
    Individual groups irrespective of who they are, should now put the differences behind them and come together and work positively together for the needs of the LGBT community here in Glasgow.
    My work involves dealing and working with many different peoples with different views cultures and problems and it dismays me that individauls are having a go at a person who throughout her years, both as a councillor and as a community activist decide to try and deviate from the problems the LGBT people in Glasgow face.
    This woman has achieved and helped many people in LGBT communities, not just here in Glasgow, but also in surrounding areas and her continued efforts are welcomed.
    To all those who slate Ruth….give it a break.

  15. Anyone else notice that “Glasgows’ (sic) finest (sic)” seems to have gone to the same “skool” as Robert “as quite avertly put” Allan – presumably a Glasgow skool where they get a right good edukashun, know what ah mean, big man? If you google Ms Black you discover that she was elected in May 2007 for one party (Solidarity) only to jump ship to Labour in December 2007 without, of course, giving the voters a chance to say what they thought of her integrity. It’s all just Glasgow Labour councillors behaving as they always have – and failed Glasgow Gay Centre number 4 coming up! Still, some people will get well paid out of it.

  16. Can I ask, does Ms Black get paid for being a Labour councillor how soon after Decemebr 2007 did the payments start?

  17. Robert Allan 1 Nov 2009, 2:03am

    Failed Glasgow Gay centre number 4 ???
    Glasgow only has had TWO centres, last one in Dixon Street, new one in Bell Street…dont think this wuman can count….
    The fact that she jumped ship from one party to another….can you blame her?? you must be a Solidarity sympathiser, or one of them….i wonder which one you are.

  18. Robert “quite avertly” Allan asserts that Castro are working on creating Glasgow Gay Centre fiasco #3 rather than #4 – clearly he has never heard of 534 Sauchiehall Street but typically for the uninformed male he attacks others for an inabiility to count rather than reflect on his own ignorance. Since he likes upper case I could shout baack “Glasgow has had THREE centres” but I doubt even that would penetrate.

    “Quite avertly” also asserts that Black was right to use the resources of one political party to get elected and then a few months later to jump ship to another party without letting the peopel who voted for her have a say. I couldn’t care less what party she’s in, the point is she has shown how trustworthy she is and how much she values the voters who gave her their support. Now she is being rewarded by her new pals in her new party.

    One could feel sorry for Allan if he was just ignorance but he is aggressive with it and so not worthy of our pity. Come on QA – how MANY centres has Glasgow had??

  19. Susan Stryker 1 Nov 2009, 5:05pm

    perhaps some people might ask how the GLBT centre got into so much debt in the first place. RB lied to people about funding never applied for and then leaned on the council to prop up the centre with a loan that she reneged on and jumped ship to become a councillor. the bar guy died and his partner held the centre to ransome over a lease he couldn’t operate. the the tenants all left after the bar closed. RB sat in her council office on the sidelines watching all of this. she banned Scotsgay and set her stall out from there. Her rule has been division and despair. She should resign from her seat and hang her head in shame. Glasgow City Council you should really question her motives and associates.

  20. theotherone 1 Nov 2009, 5:47pm

    I’ve seen people forced off the managing board of this centre, the development of an atmosphere that was far from welcoming for Trans People (I nearly got a kicking twice before I stopped going), the centre moved to a new premises ostensibly because the site was going to be redeveloped when it’s still lieing empty and derelict years later…

    I could go on perhaps about the friends banned from the place for complaining about the management, the banning of ‘sexually explicit’ magazines…

    I could go on but why bother?

    I moved out of Glasgow because the Queer scene was violent, Male Orientated and crap. The last time I visited the centre was with my partner and two Trans friends and we where laughed at. ruth Black is a career scumbag and she’ll feather her nest while fvck1ng over Queers in Glasgow.

    Just what the council ordered…

  21. Sorry to hear about the anti-trans hatred theotherone – there seems to be an unpleasant undertow to the Glasgow scene though I have no first hand experience having left more than 20 years ago.

  22. For all those who have asked about the running of the centre prior to its closure and the events leading up to the closure the old centre website at now has a summary of these events.

  23. theotherone 2 Nov 2009, 12:39am

    I too made my escape but it looks like the people responsible for fvck1ng up the LGBT Centre will have another go at fvck1ng it up.

    No one learn from their mistakes in Glasgow and no one even cares.

    BTW; if you’d like to know how bad it was in the LG B (t) Center then consider that there was a meeting held to see how to accommodate the complaint of one HETEROSEXUAL woman who complained about Trannies using the Women’s toilets and rumors abound about the dirty tricks played on various Board members to force them to quit running from ostrasisation to character assassination.

  24. Glasgay! Festival 2 Nov 2009, 8:48am

    Glasgay! recognises the success of the Castro Group in their proposal to re-establish the LGBT Centre for Glasgow.

    Whilst the process and outcome has been disappointing for the festival we remain committed to providing Scotland with a national focus for the positive celebration of our LGBT identity and a strong voice for the issues that face our community.

    We look foward to a new, vibrant and wholly inclusive centre for our entire community.

    We welcome Glasgow City Council’s recommendations to assist us in finding larger premises to more fully match our aspirations for an holistic centre for our arts, social and community enterprise plans.

  25. theotherone 2 Nov 2009, 12:33pm

    the document that was posted regarding the problems of the centre confuses me:

    1. this was a customized building and there where several floods?

    2. they claimed that none of the groups using the facilities paid their rents. I know several of the organisations that used the space (both charities and support groups) and find this rather hard to believe.

    3. They claimed that two groups wrecked the meeting rooms. As I know several of the groups I’d be interested to know which ones did this. Was it the charming but slightly middle aged arts group? The Lesbian Mother’s group? The Older Lesbians group – probably not this one as the Center tried to force them out? The Bisexual group? The Cross Dressers group?

    Amazingly the centre went down with hudge debts after moving to a new premises and paying architects to design the building (using a loan rather than grants – a decision that puzzles me) which happened when Ruth Black was in charge but still she had nothing to do with the collapse of the centre?

    Ruth Black wanted a ‘family-friendly’ centre and Glasgow City Council banned advertising for Agent Provocateur and requested a police raid on a Gallery exhibiting Life Studies. You can imagine what the brandnewlgbtcentre will be like. Indeed between Ruth Black and the Council it will become The (polite) LG Centre.

  26. Susan Stryker 4 Nov 2009, 10:26am


    Mr Robert Tamburrini the Director is a Controversial figure. He is one of the highest paid Director of a Housing Association in the United Kingdom. His 2008 emoluments (salary plus perks) was £93,218.00. This was an inflation busting increase of 14.3%..March 2008

    Throughout his tenure, he has shown a “relaxed” attitude towards Drug Dealing and abuse within his properties. This was summed up by witness who heard him express the view that “as long as a tenant pays his rent on time that’s a good tenant”.

    Director Tamburrini of NGHA, listening to law abiding tenants

    Furthermore, he has shown scant regard for hiring M & M Security a company run by the McGovern crime family. The North Glasgow Housing Association was one of the first companies to award a contract to this firm giving an undeserved legitimacy to this business. (Scotland on Sunday, October 24 th, 2004) According to former Chief Superintendent Tom Buchan, “These firms like … M&M have links with some of Scotland ’s big criminal families.”

    Although the Governing Body or Management Committee is supposedly in charge, the real authority on the committee is the Director. No policy or action can occur without his approval.

    It was widely reported in the media (Sunday Mail, 5th March 2006) that Mr Tamburrini used “Tax Payers cash” to try and close down a web site because he claimed a photograph of him made him look “Unprofessional and Lazy”.

    Tamburrini’s Housing Association’s business with the McGovern Crime Family
    ….Tax Payers Fund Drug Boss”

    Section 340(11) – Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Money laundering is an act which – c) constitutes aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence specified in paragraph (a), or (d) would constitute an offence specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) if done in the United Kingdom.

  27. Ruby 2 shoes 5 Nov 2009, 7:34pm

    Puhlease. Isn’t this boring now? There’s an extract of a minute in which Ms Black advises her board against borrowing such a large sum from the council. She advises them of the gravity of the situation and records her discomfort with the loan. She resigned soon after. I believe she probably does receive a councillor’s salary – the same as every other local authority councillor. Do you want her to work for nothing? With regard to her political affiliations, can you blame her for running away as fast as possible from Tango Tommy and his sordid carry on? Perhaps she wanted to concentrate on politics without the orange glare in the corner distracting her. Now give it up – bams!


  28. whattheydontknow 5 Nov 2009, 9:34pm

    After reading the comments about One Of The castro’s “allegedly” Board of Directors, Mr Robert Tamburinni, the commentor failed also to tell the readers, that this same man succeded and won a liable case against a national newspaper for writing a very SIMILAR article about both his proffesional and personal life, and it should be noted that this magazine may find itself in similar Hot water for the exact same rubbish that it has published.
    This man is a champion for fighting for people in one of the most deprived areas of this city (Glasgow) and attacks on him are totally unfounded.
    If this man was indeed guilty of the various accusations about him, then he would not be in the good job and position he is today.
    If this man is on The Casto board, then i am very sure he will have it run the right way and with his indepth knowledge of helping others, i am very sure he has a lot to offer the LGBT community. This man deserves support, not ridicule

    If we are to run down the “guilt by association” road, then many many people are guilty of this and on here…they know who they are….solidarity my backside, their in the dock soon and so is their leader tough luck tommy and co, just desserts coming up for Solidarity & Co

  29. I have only lived in Glasgow for 4 years but have been amazed at some of the actions taken by the Council to the benefit of members of the party in power and this seems to be a blatant example of this. I understand that this decision has been called in to another committee to be reviewed on Monday. Since I have been able to find NO information on “Castro” or their directors other than Ms Black, I sincerely hope that they will be providing for public a list of the directors and their CVs.

    Those opposing the party in power have suffered retribution in the past, let’s see if Glasgay will be awarded the same level of funding next year as they have this year, or will they be punished for having the effrontery to question the Council’s decision on this. I fear that they may find their funding slashed or eliminated in the name of “belt tightening” but we’ll know the REAL reason. We’ll have to see.

    Question: was Ms Black on the team responsible for removing Scotcgay and other Gay News outlets from the LGBT Centre because it was felt that they were inappropriate? If the LGBT Centre is not the appropriate outlet for Gay news, then what is??

  30. Dixon street Centre User 8 Nov 2009, 5:10pm

    As an ex member.and director (from long long time ago), i thought i would come on and share something with regards matters and issues surrounding Dixon Street and the constant digs at Ruth Black for banning a magazine.
    Ruth Black took the decision AFTER consultation with senior board members with regards to remove a magazine for “operational” reasons which did involve “Child Protection” Issues at that time.
    The reason to remove the said magazine was not take lightly and it was after complaints raised by some members, (4 which had came to myself) a discussion had to be taken with regards “articles” and advertisment which appeared in these magazines.
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing at times, but lessons have been learned about distribution of certin editorials and people have to remember that youngsters at the age of 11, 12, 13, 14 were having access to these type of magazines WITHOUT proper controls being in place for distribution.
    If my child had access to a magazine which glorifed escorts , rentboys and semi nude pics in them, i think I would have something to say about the venue issuing these mags.
    DONT FORGET, the LGBT centre was a community centre for ALL AGES and not just for the Over 18’s.
    What i will say In Ruth Blacks defence is….one of the directors who was just coming onto the board at Dixon Street and subsequently the board at Bell Street also decided it was appropriate to remove the magazine, for the reasons that had been discussed.
    Stop having a “witch hunt” at Ruth for banning a magazine, the decsion was taken by a GROUP of people and not just Ruth Black.

    NO-ONE other than the people involved (including myself) know the REAL reason why the magazine was banned at the time, but the decision taken at the time was the right one and for the right reasons.

  31. Outsiderlookingin 8 Nov 2009, 7:04pm

    I think everyone might be missing the real point in all of this fiasco, so as an outsider, i would like to put my thoughts into the arena.
    I think that Glasgay are utterly fuming that The Castro won the bid due to the simple reason….Glasgay is going the same way the LGBT centre went in the first place.
    Glasgay has done itself no favours by being involved in all the negative publicity in the last few month with all its Glasgay performances and the ones that have caused a lot of controversay.
    think about it folks….do you honestly think that Glasgow City Council are going to continue to fund an organisation that causes such a rumpus and Glasgow Cultural & Sports Dept will be thinking very heavily in the next few months whether to support such an organisation.
    Public re-act to these type of situations and i know of at least 17 folk who have written to the council expressing concern that public money (taxpayers) is being spent on such an organisation such as Glasgay that help produce such controversay
    I would be evry surprised if GCC were to fund Glasgay next year, and by Glasgay bidding for the Glasgow LGBT Centre, by achieving this, may have thrown them a life line
    I and many others know that Glasgay are not a community based facility, unless your community is upper class and snobberish which Glasgay seem to cater for these days
    The people who are behind The Castro from what i do know, have the lower end of the LGBT Community at theit foremost thoughts and so more socially inclusive.
    The fact that GCC, through their experienced officers, many who supported The Castro bid, did so as they accepted that the people behind the castro werent trying to save their own skin, unlike glasgay who have hidden agendas for obtaining the Glasgow LGBT centre.
    The fact that they have on their board a director who was also on the board of the LGBT centre at the time of closure seems to stink to say the least and by allowing the same director to take part in negotiations for the success of Glasgay is totally wrong.
    The fact that this person was involved in one centre closing by being on its board and on another board attempting to take over the place, the same organisation which must be asking itself “are we getting funding for next year”, clearly a strong smell of, (you know what) comes from that direction.

    On looking at some of the supporters of Glasgay, i see that Pride Glasgow and its directors supported this bid.
    The same directors were also connected with the Glasgow LGBT centre, one of whom was the admiistartor (moneyman)and the other from what i can gather was told to resign due to difficulties within the centre.
    The fact that Glasgay, Pride Glasgow and other parties are wanting to take over the LGBT centre, as an outsider i would be thinking…whats going on here?
    Certain people involved with both Glasgay & Pride Glasgow were involved with the closure of the old centre, do you really want to let the same people run a new centre, the same way, right into the ground…. i know where my support lies.
    The castro bid from what i know won fair and square. They had no hidden agenda and the fact that Ruth Black is running the shop, its understandable not many people like her but al least she gets the job done.
    senior SNP councillors are also involved in this fiasco, again because they have a part to paly in Glasgay..and we all know how the SNP have their fair share of drama queens.
    The fact that they are behind the publishing of articles in the media with regards The Castro, maybe Lord Dingwall of Maryhill/Unison should remember people in glass houses shouldnt throw stones.
    Good Luck to all those behind The Castro and hope you succeed in your efforts to better the LGBT community.

  32. Sussan Stryker 12 Nov 2009, 6:23pm

    oh well the drivel, miseplling, lies and total fantasy expressed in “outsiderlookingin” is quite amazing. no wonder the lgbt community gets such a bad name. kicking glasgay just because the were rejected is quite wrong. the festival was amazing this year, an yes i did attend, after all don’t comment if you havent seen it. it was relevant to mine and many others lives. they stood up for free speech, families and positive representation. I can’t say the same for Shout which the council failed to stand behind when the going got tough. don’t beleive the Daily mail or kick your community when its down. that’s too easy. good luck to Castro – they’ll need it. as for glasgay there strong enough to survive another 16 years.

  33. DrivingThruTheRushHour 15 Nov 2009, 6:18am

    It’s great how such scumbags can actually hide behind a Fxxxing Keyboard and run Mrs Black in to the gutter Mind you it would take a good long hard try as she is well far from the Gutter in fact it all boils down to People don’t like seeing someone making something of there life and that is exactly what Mrs Black is doing So MRS BLACK KEEP DOING WHAT YOUR GOOD AT & RISE ABOVE WHAT ALL THE LOW LIFES CAN NOT ACHIEVE Xx

  34. Susan Stryker 20 Nov 2009, 7:51am

    just heard today that the LGBT centre decision has been “called-in” by Glasgow City Council’s policy and scrutiny committee. bout time this was re-examined with some fairness and equity.

  35. Dixon Street User 20 Nov 2009, 3:34pm

    Likewise, heard that the decision has been “called in”, but what i also heard is that if the Glasgay bid is successful, which seems unlikely, then it will be see as a controversial decision as there are concerns now about Glasgay and its board of directors, one of whom was directly involved in the closedown of the centre in Bell Street, and the subsequent debts it left behind inculding a £290.000 debt that the council want back, as a tax payer i would be asking questions like
    “Why is a director who was involved with the previous place allowed to be involved in another org, that seemingly now want to take over the centre….without paying money back.Do you honestly think that Glasgow City Council will allow that to happen? I think not..

    If talking about fairness and equity is on the agenda, you just need to look at the track record of some people that were involved in both centres, and the position it is in now.

    No doubt this saga will tumble on and tumble on….its not then end.

  36. Susan Stryker 20 Nov 2009, 10:22pm

    i have it on good authority that the debt was discharged by GCC when the LGBT Centre folded. they allowed the centre to fold and glasgay had no part in the process. infact they worked with gcc for 3 months and consulted with community groups trying to save it from closure. only once the closure was inevitable and the centre folded did glasgay step in and offer a viable rescue plan. glasgay had at least 12 organisations supporting its bid which is more than can be said for the other. rumble on it may but certain past managers, not board members raked up the debts in the first place. trying to shift the blame to anyone else is just a smoke screen.

  37. Dixon Street User 21 Nov 2009, 4:06pm

    I also was told, that if the then centre board of directors had ran the place correctly and collected the rent due from its tenants, then possibly this fiasco would not have happened.
    The fact that they allowed the previous bar tenant to walk away without paying any rent does not seem right.
    At the time, and they, the board, were quite within their rights, was to revoke the lease that was in the name of the cafe proprietor, who had sadly passed away some months before, and not allowed the business partner, who did not have any formal documentation to allow him to take the cafe over, the board should have then took sole charge of the cafe, as stated in the lease, and it would not be in the mess it is today. I know and have seen pictures of the what is left of the cafebar and it aint a pretty sight. Other tenants, also annoyed that the way the centre was being managed, also decided to quit their residency which left a huge hole in financies, and led to closure, this was down to bad running of the company, and on speaking to two formal tenants they have agreed this was the reason they choose to left.
    GCC took the decision not to chase the centre for the money, cause they knew it would cost more to take then through the courts to recover the money, which really they aint got…or have they?….What happened to the insurance money to cover the cost of damage done to the centre/cafebar?…ah bet no-one has asked questions about that, and on looking through the cafebar window recently its now only a total complete shell, though from what i hear EVERYTHING from the cafebar that went missing, including kitchen equiptment, is now located in another Glasgow gay establishment
    I know from speaking to a few people that certain individuals from Glasgay were brought in (and paid a high sum of money) as “advisors” to the Glasgow LGBT Board, advisors that possibly thought to themselves…”hey we can have this place if we do it right”. I do not believe for a minute that 12 organisations backed the Glasgay bid….ah dont hear any of them shouting about it, do you? no, if your talking about organisations like Pride Glasgow, two ( and its their only two) directors were directly involved in the LGBT Centre, one of whom from what i was recently informed was “forced” to resign from the LGBT board,and the other who was the centre administrator, at the time of closure, to me questions need to be asked about that organisationa also, which in turn i believe is going to happen.
    i think the certain “pastmanager” that is referred to, may be Ruth Black, but as everyone now knows, she left in Dec 07, well before any of these problems started and since 07 a transition manager was brought in to run the place, and from evidence i have seen, this person went long term sick within 6 weeks of taking up his post, so what did he see/or know that made him do this?? was it because, he did not have full reign of running the centre without the interferance from board members.
    Talk about debts, blame and smoke screen all you like, the end of the day….Glasgow LGBT centres board of directors got the centre into the position it is today CLOSED, thats the bottom line and a lot of people know that, so if any blame about debt, closure etc lies squarely on its board of directors shoulders and not on past managers who were not even involved in the place….really it was the board trying to run the place…and run it they did…right oot the bloody door…

  38. Itmakesuwonder 6 Feb 2010, 12:24pm


    “Comment by Robert Allan — October 31, 2009 @ 16:23
    Thank you all for your comments. The Castro will open its doors shortly and will offer: a holisitc health drop in service for all LGBT people; youth services, counselling, job surgeries, benefit surgeries, adult literacy and numeracy,aromatherapy sessions, dance classes, jewellery making and other hobby/craft classes amongst many other opportunities. We will also proudly host our own internet stream radio station, and in the future we anticipate installing a small recording studio. We hope to offer courses in DJ skills and other associated media.

    Of course, in addition, we also offer ‘NOISE@84′ cafe bar – and we would like to say that everyone who is genuine and honest is welcome to join us. Thanks to everyone who has shown support – and ‘UP THE CASTRO’.


    As we are now in another year 2010 and no sign of the doors opening at the proposed new Castro Glagow Ltd!! Having passed the Old LGBT centre nearly every day, there is no sign of ANY progress at the address and having hear that at least one of the Directors of the new board of managment has resigned his post, I belive that it was one of the original group of ex LGBT Members? This makes you wonder what is going on within the new Castro Glasgow Ltd.

    Does Glasgow City Council think they have backed the right group???????

  39. Gary Maguire 15 Feb 2010, 6:30pm

    As no email has been left with your comment, I would ask that any enquiries regarding Castro and the services that will be provided are directed to the Board of Directors of Castro by mail at 84 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 2LQ.

    Thank you –

    Gary Maguire
    Interim Executive Member

  40. Like many Glaswegians, i see that the so-called new centre for the lgbt community is STILL not open.
    From what i understand, this venue was originaly to be opened Nov/Dec time, and as it is now March, still dont seeing it being open.

    I hear from a friend of a friend of a friend, that not all is weel with the place, as one of its directors has resigned as has a member of staff along with another member of staff.
    The place not even open yet and staff are leaving, questions have to be asked on WHO actually runs this centre, esp when it transpires that most of the people connected to it have connections to Glasgow City Council, Is this now a GCC community centre, or is it a centre for the Glasgow lgbt community

    Like many now believing that Glasgow City Council were wrong to award the centre to one of its senior councillors, i now see the reason why many were against it and rightly so from what i can gather.

    I think Freedom Of Information requests should be sent to Glasgow City Council from ALL members of the lgbt community asking questions about the leadrship and organisation aspect of this Castro as it seems fairly obvious that this community basede facility is now suffering difficulties.
    Funding for many community based facilites in Glasgow, including Glasgay i might add, is finding it more difficult to obtain, but no doubt Castro will survive this with one of its senior councillors got her hand in the pie for the money handouts and i can see her now scurring her away to the finance dept at the council for handouts.

    Wake up Glasgow City Council, you have backed an organisation that is the laughing stock of the Glasgow LGBT community as it stands but though time this wil be proved as i know of at least 4 organisations who will take nothing to do with the place once it is open.

    Oh and i like Gary Maguires role, Interim Executive Member, is this the new way of saying Director, just makes it sound posher….all hand picked Interim Executive Members i must add, By Councillor Black herself… cosy are they all in there tut tut

  41. maggiemay 3 Mar 2010, 2:46am

    Ohhh I see that Steven Purcell has now resigned from the council.
    I wonder why that could have been…, was it because he realised he made a huge huge mistake in backing the castro bid, cause one of his “cronies” was being put in charge, and so far hasnt developed.I bet people are asking themselves whats next, who’s next.
    Glasgow City Council did make a huge mistake in awarding this centre to the castro.
    Maybe other labour councillors will follow in Mr Purcells footsteps, after all from whats going about, its these same councillors that let him down over the months. dirty tricks corruption and resignations, they all tie in to one thing…the labour administartion in Glasgow is a joke, and now it is crumbling away….whats next on the agenda then?

  42. Gary Maguire 7 Mar 2010, 7:30pm

    For information the last two comments left on this page are from what we know to be the same sources as the majority of other messages –

    all these messages are made under aliases and all using the same gramatic errors ie same spelling errors as well as the use of UPPERCASE to over exagerate the text – see for yourself in comments from Angelica, Robert Allan, theotherone, whattheydontknow etc etc etc – all of these fictional characters are the same person!

    I will stress again, we are an open and transparent organisation so if you do have genuine concerns regarding the centre, its estimated opening, its directors etc etc please write to us at 84 Bell Street or call us on 0141 237 4401 and we will be happy to assist.

    On a personal note, I was not approached by Ruth Black to become a director. I was a former user of the previous centre through my involvement in Unison and have a keen interest in the centre. I asked to join the board and was interviewed by 2 other board members – none of them being Ruth Black. I am a youth services manager for a large charitable organisation in Glasgow and have extensive experience in the design, delivery and management of community based services. The post of Interim Executive Member related to my role on the Executive Group of the Board of Directors overseeing the management of the centre in its initial start up. Please note that this role is no longer Interim, following the election of our office bearers at previous board meeting. For information on current directors please visit our website.

  43. Check this out posted on

    Thursday, 4 March 2010

    “Chemically dependant” Purcell swaps top Glasgow job for rehab

    The rate payers of the Glasgow Corporation will be forgiven for wondering what on earth their elected, well furnished, local government members are up to behind the Council’s closed doors, doors of course which more often than not shut out us, their bosses.

    Steven Purcell, the camp-as-Christmas leader of Glasgow City Council, who ruled the city with a soft skin hand in a mauve glove, resigned over the weekend, citing “stress and exhaustion.” What could have been the cause? He dumped his wife and came out as gay back in 2006, so it couldn’t have been that. Although 50% of gay men in Glasgow experience mental health problems at some point, caused by the total lack of services for gay people in Scotland’s largest city. Bear in mind that Purcell was one of those Councillors who happily let the so called Castro, an unincorporated, unsubstantiated front for scary Socialist turned Solidarity turned Labour Councillor Ruth Black, take over the running of the still closed Glasgow LGBT Centre. Never mind of course that the Centre was plagued by allegations of mismanagement and corruption, not that the esteemed Councillors minded that many of those implicated in that scandal were behind this “Castro” bid.

    There was the scandal over the otherwise incredibly efficient transport body, known the world over for it’s helpful staff and friendly customers, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT). Ron Culley (pictured), who resigned as the big wig at SPT in February over a £100,000 expenses scandal, has been described as the gay, now ex Glasgow leaders’ “mentor”.

    British politics is knee-deep in euphamisms. Charles Kennedy, the former Lib Dem leader was described as being “tired and emotional,” which we now know was shorthand for the fact that he was a raging alcoholic. Purcell resigned citing “stress and exhaustion.” And what brought that on? The resignation of one’s closest “mentor”?

    But to add another twist in the sordid tale, Purcell was admitted to a drug rehab centre, far away from the prying media in the Scottish Borders. The Scotsman reports that the phrase “chemical dependency” was proposed to explain his condition. And what might explain why he allegedly escaped from the rehab clinic? Celebrities and politicians checking into rehab is as regular as them having extra-marital affairs, (see Woods, Tiger and Oaten, Mark), but to then escape and have the police searching for you? The police said:

    “A 37-year-old man was reported missing in the Borders area on Sunday, February 28, 2010. While a search was being organised, the man returned.”

    So what was he doing, popping back into the office to make sure “all his papers were in order” and that “all personal files and effects were stored or removed?” We can only imagine.

    In fact we may all have to use our imaginations over this one. Steven Purcell, despite suffering from “stress and exhaustion,” he was well enough to hire a crack PR team, who threatened to go to the Press Complaints Commission over the level of media interest. The media interest is hardly on the scale of the Prince Charles Gay Sex Scandal, but all this talk of chemical dependency fuelled relations with a close mentor who was swindling a hundred grand from SPT has got us turned on, turned on to finding out the circumstances of just what it was that brought the grand old Steven Purcell to his knees.

  44. suzieontheboozie 25 Apr 2010, 6:34pm

    Find it very strange that Pink News has opted not to open the comments page on the new article surrounding Steven Purcell and the fiasco with The Castro Glasgow Ltd.
    No doubt they have their own hidden agenda for not opening the comments page or pressure has been applied by others….oh well.

    Good to see that the cafe bar is now up and running and not before time, only thing is from what i hear this is only a temporary measure as they have only applied for an “occasional licence” insted of a full premises licence. Occasional licenses are only in operation for a very short period, usually no more the 14-21 days, so can the centre explain what they are going to do after this license expires? surely they are not going to keep the centre open and play dumb when it comes to a visit by the licensing inspector.

  45. suzieontheboozie 10 May 2010, 2:16pm

    Again this centre is lying about the way it is operating
    On its face book profile it states that the cafebar cannot sell alcohol due to a problem with the Boiler and Gas, this may be true, but it is not the full facts.

    The true facts are as follows

    On the 19th April 2010, the licensing board gave them a “Occasional License”. This license was intended to cover them for a 14day period for some form of “event” that was supposedly to take place at that time.
    The license expired at midnight on Monday 3rd May 2010.
    Should The Castro continued to serve alcohol after that date they would have been breaking the law.
    Thei website states that their license is in place. This is a lie, they have no such license so therefore thay are agin misleading the public and their customers as to the true extent of their problems.
    It is a bit convenient that they state on their facebook profile thet they cant sell alchol due to problems with Gas & Boilers. If this was true then the whole place should be closed until the problem is fixed or indeed the FULL kitchen & Bar area should be closed until fixed.
    This again is The Castro’s way of saying they have messed up and try to put the blame on other matter.
    When is that place going to get a grip, their a disgrace.

  46. bellsareringing 11 May 2010, 12:54pm

    We’re sorry!
    The boiler and Gas sytems are in need of urgent essential repairs.
    This means that from Tuesday 4th May, we will need to close at 6pm to allow works to be done.
    We will be unable to use bar pumps at all during the works, so we will not be selling ANY alcohol for the duration of the works, even during the day.
    We WILL still be open for food and other beverages though and hope you will bear with us at this time.
    We hope these essential works will be completed in the next few days and we will be able to return to normal.
    For groups meeting in the evenings, these will remain unaffected as power sources on the lower floors will be in working order.
    We thank you for your patience and apologies for any inconvenience caused.
    The Castro Crew.

    What a load of lies.
    If you read between the lines, this is their way of saying they dont have a license, how stupid do these people think we are.
    Is it any wonder that a lot of people DONT TRUST those who purport to run this centre on our behalf

  47. What do you expect when the bar manager is also the partner of Councillor Ruth Black. What experience does jean mcdougal have in running a bar – running it into the ground more like. The place is a joke and for her being the bar manager there is more chiefs than indians in there but the jean one is never around. i wish i had that kind of flexible working!! Well i suppose if your gaffer is your girlfriend theres nout much to worry about. Now this isnt their private business so why is the black getting to appoint her partner and pals into key positions – this is not allowed and when did they advertise the jobs and more importantly why is the bar manager not the license holder? any experienced bar manager knows this is as important as the booze. even her bored is full of her pals. thats what it is.

  48. disappointedcustomer 10 Jul 2010, 12:11pm

    I have tried this venue a few times since it re opened. It has never been properly stocked, is invariably empty apart from staff and has NO sense of community.

    Sadly, it had been a really good venue prior to the internecine battle that erupted and closed the place down last year. It was used by a wide range of groups and ages, and offered trans people one of the few safe spaces in the city.

    I can’t believe that the community that fought for years to fundraise and build an LGBT centre has been so badly served by individual political ambitions and lack of professionalism.

  49. Cathy Miller 10 Jul 2010, 12:22pm

    Ding dong the witch is dead…… congratulation to the good old authorities of Glasgow who have finally seen sense and closed this gang hut down. Hello… Drugs, Theft, Ferris…. hardly a recipe for success…though probably good cocktail names….

    If she thinks she can keep the place running in a council premise with occassional licenses she’s in for a shock!!! she’ll need a full license to trade if she is going to make it a commercial enterprise and the license board won’t touch her… wonder if it will be fronted by Ferris Enterprises

  50. Commentary on the situation from Scottish Socialist Youth – we actually somehow managed to scoop the Herald on their own exclusive about Ruth Black being effectively expelled from the Labour Party.

  51. Nottherightone 11 Jul 2010, 6:37pm

    Just for the record, the above comment by Cathy Miller (50), is not the cathy Miller who was one of the board of directors.
    Any comments posted by Cathy Miller are NOT representive of the Cathy Miller, who until recently, was a member of The castro Board

  52. whoarethey 12 Jul 2010, 2:12am

    What kind of groups has this woman been allowed to be running in a LGBT centre, this group, Glasgow Anorchists dont seem to be LGBT community…….whats been going on in that place??

    .Anarchist Federation new meeting time and venue: Sundays at 4pm in meeting room of new LGBT centre ‘The Castro’, 84 Bell St. See you there!

  53. ALEX (PREVIOUS BAR OWNER) 21 Jul 2010, 7:48am



  54. glasgowbebrave 25 Aug 2010, 5:06pm

    Well Councillor (suspended) Ruth Black and partner, i hope that BOTH of you are real proud that you have sucessfully managed to get closed, yet another, LGBT Community Centre for the people of Glasgow
    As a direct result of your greed, corruption, croynism and direct links with real shady people you have managed to deprive the LGBT Community a centre which was much needed for the majority of LGBT people here in Glasgow.

    You (Black) are a disgrace to this city and the people of Craigton should ensure that you (Black) do not get represented by any party to represent the people of Craigton.
    You were an unelected labour councillor brought on by your pal Purcell, for whatever reason, and as a result you have totally and utterly disgusted many within the party and the people of Glasgow and in particular the lGBT community.
    The fact you (Black) got involved with a person of such bad character, (your partner), your credability and integrity is damaged beyond repair and you have your parther to thank for that. Her recent ranting in one of the tabloids about her being a self confessed enforcer for her brother speaks volumes about the kind of person you took up with. You knew about this and yet you still allowed yourself to get involved and get involved you did.

    Glasgow has yet again lost another LGBT venue again with Councillor Ruth Black (suspended) being at the helm and the people of Glasgow should now contact their local councillor and vent their anger and frustration that allowed this woman to be allowed to run this centre into the ground.
    Glasgow deserves better than this and it is hoped that in the coming months someone, somewhere might have the ability to run and keep open a centre of the LGBT community a centre which is really needed.
    Ruth Black, you are an utter disgrace to the people of Glasgow and in particular the LGBT people you claimed to represent, when indeed all your intentions were to help destroy yet another place for them to go.
    It is now hoped that after all the evidence has been weighed up against you Glasgow City Council will indeed sack you as you deserve nothing better for this mess you have caused.

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