Thursday, 26 April 2012

Community Cleanup Crew Threatened by Glasgow Life Official

25th April, Maryhill, Glasgow
Glasgow Life official Lynne Colvin has sent a letter to a community cleanup crew in Maryhill threatening that any “unauthorised access or subsequent ‘work’ to either the running track or tennis courts will be reported to Strathclyde Police immediately.”

Local resident and community organiser Nick Durie said: “I was shocked when I saw this threatening letter. The idea that the police will be called in against parents and teachers for tidying up our local area beggars belief.”

 Teacher Stephen Koepplinger, who received the letter, has repeatedly met with Glasgow Life and council officials to have the facilities opened for after-school activities, but they have refused to take action. The track and courts have sat unused ever since Glasgow Life erected a fence to keep out locals in the wake of a community cleanup effort last year.

 Stephen founded and runs the After School Activities Programme Scotland, a registered charity. He said: “Our teens need more to do. People say that our kids are engaging in anti-social behaviour, well, if we don’t give them things to do they’ll find things to do.”

Organisers say they intend to go ahead with their planned cleanup at 3pm on Sunday.

* At present one teenage girl in ten fails to take part in any physical activity at all, even during peak months for sporting or other physical activity. Data shows that this inactivity in children and teenagers is a growing problem. (page 29 onwards).

 * Where Stephen is from, in Aurora Ohio, they have the Ohio model for sports participation after school. At present Glasgow take up of after school sports activities is around 2% of all available participation sessions. In Aurora Ohio takeup of available sports participation sessions is at 41%. Sport Scotland's Active Schools programme urges greater take up of after school sports participation sessions as a means of tackling Scotland's culture of low levels of physical activity. Attached is a photo of the running track in its current dilapidated state.

Stephen Koepplinger, teacher After School Activity Programme
07766 708 363

Nick Durie, community organiser Power in Community
07798 903 944

ASAP (After Schools Activities Programme) was founded by Stephen Koepplinger. He started the charity because from his perspective as a classroom teacher Scottish Teenagers need more to do after school. 

 Power in Community is an NGO dedicated to empowering Scotland’s disadvantaged communities to create change on their own terms.


  1. Does banning the community cleanup to get kids active not go against Power in Community's objectives and goals??

  2. It does indeed Manny,

    That's why Power In Community thinks it is wrong, and why we are against the high handed way that Glasgow Life is acting. More power to Maryhill kids and community leaders. We need sports facilities to be maintained and supported by the community. That is why we are supporting the Maryhill Locked Out public action by local community leaders.

  3. So are only community clean ups by Glasgow community & safety services the only folk who can organise clean ups without being taken to task? I've participated in many clean up in local area but not had the Cooncil chastising us!! Absolutely madness, they think they would be biting your hand off?


  4. They put money into putting up a fence last year after it got cleaned up before, and haven't been returning calls when asked by teachers if they can use it for after school sports!

  5. Its part of the neoliberal process the council are fond of. Yes you can have things, but we will do them for you. (When we get round to it) We will find the private partners, control the operation, in case there is any funny business that we may find difficult to deal with in the future. Like independent thinking community spirited people. Always trouble when your main aim is to hive-off community assets to business.

  6. Do they want the land f4 houseing here! if so keep the profitters out ur communits!