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(Scotland) Joy Over City Backing For Grandparents

The Glasgow Evening Times
22 February 2010

Joy Over City Backing For Grandparents
By Jasper Hamill

Brian McNair, Jim Black, Ian Sloan and Eamonn Kelly are delighted.
Picture: Mark Gibson

Glasgow, Scotland - Campaigning grandparents are celebrating after Glasgow City Council took a step towards giving them a greater role in their grandchildren's lives. Councillors unanimously backed a motion to consider adopting some of the recommendations of the Charter For Grandchildren, a document drawn up by elderly activists who said grandparents had too few rights.

Grandparents Apart, the organisation that drew up the charter, claimed social services "ignore" the benefits of placing children with grandparents in custody or welfare cases, preferring to send them into care. They are also angered that grandparents too often lose contact with children after the parents break up and have no legal right to demand access.

Jimmy Deuchars, of Mosspark, formed the group after his daughter died and he was unable to see his two grandchildren. He is determined that this should never happen to anyone again. Mr Deuchars said: "We are delighted. This is the largest council in the country and it has taken a vital step towards allowing grandparents to be more closely involved in their life.

"This decision is proof that people are beginning to recognise how important grandparents can be. This will be a big boost to our campaign."

Mr Deuchars and his wife are among a million UK grandparents that cannot see their youngest relatives, mostly because of family break-up.

Councillor Ruth Black and three other councillors submitted a motion that was heard at Glasgow City Chambers suggesting the council implement part or all of the Charter For Grandchildren.

Ms Black said: "If there are ways in which Glasgow City Council can encourage or facilitate the continued presence of grandparents in a child's life then we should examine them."

Jim Black, 68, from Clydebank, lost contact with his granddaughter 13 years ago. He has been supported by the Deuchars' group.

He said: "We are not saying grandparents should have the same rights as parents, we would just like to be given greater rights by councils and social services. It's in the interests of children to know their grandparents."

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  M K Gandhi
Perhaps DOC's in NSW might be reading this and even more importantly the despicable DCD in WA who's antics when it came to the Russell Wood case will go down in Australian history as the most cruel and heartless agency there could possibly be. Calls for resignations and prosecutions against some of the DCD workers fell on deaf ears and banished two children, fatherless, to the back blogs in Switzerland. Perhaps I am becoming to cynical over the years. The last line of defence against these people is here on this site.

Perhaps Calista can advise if any of the major councils in Australia can or will take any steps to emulate any of the key findings?

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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