Health's on the right road but pay's a Towering injustice

PICTURE of the week from Glasgow 2014, was in my opinion, not the spectacle of the opening ceremony, but the photographs of the Sri Lankan cycling team, who were stopped while somewhat naively practising on the M74 motorway, at Hamilton.

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The triathlon event will be held nearby at Strathclyde Park, so I assume the Sri Lankans were getting in a little early practice.

Having been pulled over by the police, I am pretty sure they would have had some stern words for them, pointing out that cycling on a motorway, is against the law.

In this case, I am sure everyone saw the funny side and I trust that our police officers may equally have done so, admonishing the Sri Lankan's with a warning to get, "on their bikes," or just that they had been, "saddled," with a warning. It just shows you though, all of us, even the athletes at Glasgow 2014, are subject to travel restrictions, so no more jokes on that subject for me.

Oops! May have "spoke", too soon.

OVER the last month, my youngest son has been undertaking some athletics training through at Grangemouth Stadium.

The stadium has some great outdoor and indoor facilities and in the warmth of the last few weeks of sunshine, he has really enjoyed it.

During our last five or six visits, I have noticed that very few people are using the extensive facilities. There have been some athletes there, preparing for the Commonwealth Games, but very few.

Athletics, remains a very minority sport in Scotland. One of the most important legacies of Glasgow 2014, must be to encourage more young people to take up athletics and all of the disciplines it contains.

That encouragement must come from parents and from schools, who, hopefully viewing the success of our athletes at Glasgow 2014, will be encouraged to make best use of the excellent facilities we have across the country. It's time we rid ourselves of our legacy of poor health, poor diet and obesity.

Let's replace it with a legacy of sport and activity which keeps the next generation of young Scots, healthy and strong.

SOME rather disturbing revelations have emerged from Citizens Advice Scotland. The revelations involve the issue of zero hours contracts (ZHC) of employment.

The original thinking behind such contracts was that it would introduce a significant element of flexibility, on behalf of both the employer and the employee, particularly in the areas of casual and seasonal work.

It would also appear that while such contracts, over the last few years, would be used by an organisation as an exception, they are now becoming used as the norm.

It is claimed that the use of such contracts has seen those employed upon this basis, being referred to food banks or using the services of payday lenders.

Common complaints of those employed on zero hours contracts are that they are given a time frame within which to await telephone calls which would summon them to work, telephone calls that often, never come.

In other cases, employees are asked to report to work at 8am, only to find that having waited for around an hour to find out if there is any work for them that day, they are often sent home and usually without any pay.

Our unemployment figures may make it look as though there is more work, but is there? Or is it just the same amount of work, being divided up and calculated in a completely different way?

A way that breeds unfairness and inequality.

I believe there is a case, in some forms of employment, for the use of zero hours contracts.

But 1.4 million of them?

If the recovery in our economy is to be equal and balanced, then it must ensure that the distribution of wealth is even, and it must focus on closing the inequality gap.

Squeezing more out of those paid least in our society, will prove counter-productive.

A fair day's pay, for a fair day's work. Surely not too much to ask, from a recovering economy.

I SEE that the Glasgow Science Centre Tower, this week made the news again, for the wrong reasons. On Tuesday, the tower experienced an incident involving the overheating or short-circuiting of cables in the elevator room, which caused a small fire.

Thankfully, the tower was not occupied at the time and no lives were placed directly at risk.

The fire occurred only four days after the tower had been re-opened to the public, having been closed for almost four years, following a string of problems.

I have said before in this column, that in my opinion, the tower may represent a poorly engineered white elephant, which will never fully function as intended.

The tower, is the tallest, fully rotating tower in the world.

Let's hope that its problems and its closures, don't keep going round and round.

Sport

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