Saturday, 16 September 2017

Protect Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

On Thursday 14th September, I spoke at a Council meeting in the City Chambers as a seconder for an Emergency motion in support of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Rohingya are facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation, according to the UN secretary general. Antonio Guterres has spoken out about the alleged attacks by security forces on Rohingya villagers stating that they were completely unacceptable. The Burmese army is says it is fighting with militants and denies targeting civilians. However, the UN Security Council is called for urgent steps to end this violence.

Aung San Suu Kyi is known as pro-democracy campaigner, who under house arrest in Burma, was given the Freedom of Glasgow in her absence, in 2009. Councillors shared their concern that she presses the military to end its brutal crackdown. 


Some 379,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since violence began last month. Whole villages have burned down. The number of Rohingya arriving in Bangladesh has tripled since a week ago.


Dr Suu Kyi has a long-declared commitment to universal human rights. However, there is concern that she does not and never will embrace the beleaguered Rohingya Muslims in this Buddhist majority country.  Dr Suu Kyi, has spent many years in some form of detention imposed by the country's military regime. As the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.


On 13 November 2015, the NLD secured the required two-thirds of the contested seats in parliament to win a majority in what was widely regarded as a mainly fair vote - although there were reports of some irregularities. The Muslim Rohingya minority, who are not recognised as citizens were denied voting rights. Since taking power, the NLD, and Dr Suu Kyi in particular, have been facing growing international pressure for ignoring abuses against the Rohingya in western Rakhine state. 


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Support needed for Moira Fund

Today, I supported the Ladies Lunch in aid of the Moira Fund. This is a charity established in memory of Moira Jones who was murdered at Queen's Park, in 2008. This Fund provides practical support for families affected by the violent death of a loved one.

View of dessert at the Moira Fund's Ladies Lunch. 

Further information about how to get involved in fundraising, please go to the webpage at: http://www.themoirafund.org.uk/

Learning about impact of nukes

On Friday, I attended a talk about the global ban on nuclear weapons and impact of nuclear weapons by Tilman Ruff, an Australian public health and infectious diseases physician and a leading advocate of the global health imperative to eradicate nuclear weapons. He has written an article for reference at:
http://www.powertopersuade.org.au/blog/why-the-new-un-nuclear-weapons-ban-is-important-including-for-social-health-environmental-policy/28/7/2017


As part of the discussion, I received information about a report produced by Nukewatch on the transportation of nuclear weapons within the UK. Further details are available at: http://www.nukewatch.org.uk/?p=683



In New York on 7th July, the representatives of 122 governments voted to adopt the text of a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.The treaty will open for signature on 20 September 2017, during the opening week of this year’s UN General Assembly session. It will enter into force 90 days after 50 governments have ratified it. Further information available at: http://www.nuclearban.scot/

Protecting wildlife within Glasgow University campus

Across the Hillhead ward, there are greenspaces and wildlife havens within residential streets. These are vital habitats for wildlife and part of a green network supporting biodiversity within the city. The ongoing de-littering and promotion of community safety at these sites are essential.


View of wildlife garden next to Glasgow University.


There are students involved in practical work to protect and promote wildlife in the local community. I support their efforts to organise clean ups and environmental education at the wildlife garden area.

Support for steeple of Webster's Theatre, Kelvinbridge.

There has been concerns raised by residents about the road safety at the junction of Park Road and Great Western Road as a result stone falling from the steeple of Webster's Theatre, formerly Lansdowne Church. This is busy area for school children and students at peak times. A request has been made for repair works to ensure that steeple is made safe. 

View of the steeple at Webster's Theatre.

I have been advised by council officials that the steeple is the responsibility of the Church of Scotland. The steeple has been examined and repair works have been agreed involving scaffolding with a crash deck to be erected. These works will require listed building consent.

Whilst the works are progressed, the reopening of Webster's Theatre using the North Woodside Road door is expected at the end of September.  The bar and restaurant will only open when access issues at the entrance on Great Western Road are resolved.

Further information available at: http://www.webstersglasgow.com/whats-on/

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Mary Barbour Award 2017

There was a special awards ceremony on Friday 25th August in celebration of the life of Mary Barbour. This year, the winner was Sadie Gordon, who has been an activist campaigning on housing and community issues in the North Glasgow area for many years. 

I attended with FASS and a group of Kinship Carers in support of the award nominee, Sadie Prior. I feel it is vital that the contribution of Kinship Carers is recognised.

Front cover of the booklet for the Mary Barbour Awards 2017 

Further information about the awards and the plans for the Mary Barbour Statue can be found at: https://remembermarybarbour.wordpress.com/

For details about F.A.S.S. which supports parents and adult family members affected by or concerned about a loved one's drug or alcohol use, please go to: http://www.fassglasgow.org/

Repairs to the wall for Sixty Steps

The repair of the wall at the Sixty Steps at Queen Margaret Road, funded by Glasgow City Council, has been underway since April of this year. 

The works have been completed in time for Doors Open Day Festival 2017, with information available at http://glasgowdoorsopendaysfestival.co.uk/

View of the repaired wall.

View of the repaired wall.

View of the Sixty Steps.

A community clean up of the Sixty Steps is planned on Saturday 2nd September at 10.30am. Further details at: http://www.sixtysteps.org.uk/