A “Taste Of The Tattoo”

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It was a lovely sunny day yesterday and I was going for a walk at lunchtime with one of my colleagues. Our office is on the corner of George Square and North Hanover Street so on stepping out we noticed that there was a crowd in the Square. We had no idea what was going on so went to see. It was a mini version of the Edinburgh Tattoo right here in Glasgow. I was brought up in Edinburgh and in the 27 years I lived there I never once went to the Tattoo so this was my first experience of the spectacle and it was great. We were treated to performances by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Band, Highland dancers from down under, Maori warriors, Zulu dancers, an Indian cultural troupe and massed military pipe bands and drums.  The atmosphere was festive and I took some great photos. Our office certainly does have a prime location.

Make Money from The Commonwealth Games

Many Glaswegians may have been disappointed that they did not receive any tickets for the Commonwealth Games at the first allocation but be heartened to note that with the influx of visitors to Glasgow for the Games there may be an opportunity to make some money by renting out their properties as a holiday let.

Between the 23rd July and the 3rd August 2014, at the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games, it is expected that 6,500 athletes from 71 nations will be converging on our “Dear Green Place” to compete in 17 different sports. Add general spectators, relatives of competitors and staffing members and you will get an idea of the numbers of people who will be seeking accommodation.

Hotels in the city are already nearly full to capacity and letting agents are beginning to sign up private properties to be rented out during the Games. Agency Commonwealth Letting as of now have properties listed, including a two- bedroomed flat in the City’s West End for £1750 per week.

So whilst now may be the perfect time to consider a holiday let , we would advise you not to just jump in there blindly. Although a lot of rental legislation isn’t designed to apply to holiday lets this does not mean that it is just a case of having extra sets of keys cut and opening the door.

Certainly you do not need to register with the local authority as a landlord but you do still need to consider certain points:

  • Your home must reach the tolerable standard and repairing standard
  • You will need to advise your mortgage lender and insurance providers as they may need to amend the terms of your policies
  • You should ensure all smoke detectors work
  • You will need Gas and Electricity Safety Certificates.
  • You should be aware that rent is considered  income by HMRC and tax will require to be paid.
  • In assessing the amount of rental being asked you should build into that utility bill usage.
  • Preparing an Inventory of what is in the property and its state of repair is helpful to avoid issues at a later date.

We are property experts and are here to help. For advice please contact Alison Gourley ajg@mitchells-roberton.co.uk

George Square reopened with a facelift

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George Square has reopened  after the first phase of its face lift was completed at the cost of £500,000. The early autumn sun shone down on the restored city square after the perimeter barriers were removed. The controversial red tarmac has been lifted and a temporary surface has been laid using epoxy resin giving a grey hard wearing coating suitable for icy weather. Two new large grassy areas have been installed with more plants and different lighting. The grassy areas have been created so that they can be covered up to allow large scale events to be held in the square like Remembrance Day and Christmas festivities.

Although the revamp seems to have been warmly accepted I have to say I was somewhat underwhelmed. The square may look a bit more spacious but as I work in an office overlooking it and see it all the time I don’t see much changed. The statutes have been cleaned, there are more benches and the trees have been removed from around the Cenotaph so that the City Chambers is in full view. It is tidier but not much different.

Last year Glasgow City Council announced it would spend £15 million redesigning the historic square and six designs were put before the public to look at. At the end of the day the council did a complete U turn and decided to go ahead with a much more modest project. This was generally accepted by the public in the interest of purse strings but I would definitely have expected something a little more dramatic. There is absolutely no wow factor to the square. For me it is disappointing and looks like a make do and mend job.

Tickets Galore

Not long to go now to register your interest for tickets to next year’s Commonwealth Games as the ticket ballot closes on Monday, 16th September 2013. The people of Glasgow are starting to really buy into the idea of world class sporting action taking place on their doorstep with last year’s Olympics undoubtedly boosting the mindshare ahead of the action getting underway in 313 days time at Celtic Park.

Organisers are said to be ‘delighted by the enthusiastic response’ amid rumours of public interest being far stronger than expected. While I am thrilled that ticket sales are going strong, it also fills me with trepidation that we could see a repeat of the ticketing fiasco that marred last year’s London Olympics. I hope that lessons have been learned and we can avoid ruining Glaswegians’ growing goodwill towards the competition by implementing a fair ticket selection process.

The prestige event is of course the 100m at Hampden Park on 28 July 2014. If as rumoured Usain Bolt does compete then it could be one of the last times to see the legendary Jamaican sprinter run the 100m at a major event. Ticket prices range from £15 to £90 and must be the golden ticket of the competition, even if you probably have no chance of getting one! I however am more realistic and my current ticket applications are for the ‘less fashionable’ sports – Boxing at the SECC, Table Tennis at Scotstoun and Gymnastics at the Hydro. There will be no athletics or cycling for me.

I, for one, am very excited for the games to get underway and expect Glasgow to show itself to the world as a city we can all be proud of. Don’t miss your chance to be part of history. Remember “People make Glasgow.”

Commonwealth Games Trading Regulations

Unauthorised street trading, advertising, ambush marketing and busking at 17 Commonwealth Games venues will be banned under regulations published by  the Scottish Government on the 16/5/2013 for consultation.

The rules will apply before and during sporting events at next year’s Commonwealth Games . Anyone involved in unauthorised trading or advertising will be liable to have merchandise seized or be fined up to £20,000 if convicted. The Consultation sets out a plan of action for the controls, detailed plans of the areas affected and the length of time that the restrictions will last. Enforcement will be by designated and experienced officers drawn from local authorities and appointed by Glasgow 2014.

Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison said :

“ Regulating trading and advertising in the vicinity of the sports arenas ensures that we can protect the character and integrity of the Commonwealth Games and minimise disruption to local people or businesses. These regulations will allow Glasgow 2014 to control activity at an appropriate scale that allows the free flow of spectators and traffic to and from the Games venues.”