Sunday, 31 July 2011

The beauty of the wildflower meadow

Last Sunday, I took a cycle trip to the new Riverside Museum and found the way, following the directions of new signs and murals between Kelvingrove and Partick.

On my return, I was really struck by the wonderful meadow outside the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.

View of wildflowers in the sunshine.

It is really good for the insects, birds and wildlife in general to have wildflower meadows in the city.

I am very impressed by the work of the Council's Biodiversity Team and all the people who supported the creation of this colourful wildlife haven.

Useful links:-

Air quality concerns

Updates on air quality for Glasgow have been produced and circulated to local residents and community groups in the last week. I received information provided as part of the Council's monitoring arrangements for air quality which are reported to the Scottish Government, on an annual basis.

Byres Road is part of an Air Quality Management Area and regular concerns about air pollution are raised by residents who live close by or make visits for shopping, socialising and work.

Site of the air quality monitoring unit at junction of Byres Road/Highburgh Road.

In terms of the national air quality objective level for NO2 concentrations, the results for 2010 show that this objective is consistently being exceeded at the monitoring unit, and at the diffusion tube in Queen Margaret Drive.

It has been identified by the Council that the Byres Road//Dumbarton Road's Air Quality Management Area should be extended further north into Queen Margaret Drive.

Taxi queue up along Byres Road from Iceland to Hillhead Library.

During discussions with council officials about how NO2 concentrations can be reduced, the issue of the need to stop cars idling in Byres Road, particularly taxis, has been flagged up. It is expected that council officials will visit to check for idling vehicles as part of their work in the next few months.

Due to the air pollution issues that persist, a further investigation by the council into a pedestrianised area within Byres Road is being suggested.

The Council is proposing to declare an Air Quality Management Area covering the entire city in terms of the 2010 PM10 annual mean objective.

Useful links:-

Council's Air Quality Action Plan -

Grasping the nettles

Yesterday, I helped with a clean up of the backcourt areas on Kersland Lane. A group of willing helpers got to work on removing any dumped items including cardboard boxes, broken furniture and bedding.

Bulk items lined up on the lane for collection.

The bulk uplift service provided by the Council ensured that all the items were removed in the afternoon.

A pair of shoes found during the clean up.

It became clear that there was enthusiasm to start preparing one of the derelict areas for transformation into a shared growing space. This involved removing nettles for use as compost. I got involved and helped get rid of most of the nettles.

Recycled wood used for temporary fencing, with compost heap of nettles.

It is all worthwhile as it is really great to be part of this process of creating a community garden.

Useful links:

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Kelvinbridge artworks

I have noticed changes to artworks in Kelvinbridge over the last month or so. Firstly, there is a new artwork next to the Big Blue.

Two cats artwork at the archway.

The longstanding art project under the stairway from Great Western Road and South Woodside Road has been redesigned.

New artwork under the stairway.

There are talented artists developing artworks to brighten up our daily lives. It would be really good to hear about any proposals to enhance our public spaces or improve arts activities in the West End. 

Views on the graffiti issues that are causing concern are also welcomed. 

Pink Pedlars celebrate

Pink Pedlars arriving in Old Station Park, Hyndland.

The four cyclists and their supporters arrived in Hyndland on 16th July. They arrived at the end of a cycle ride from London to Glasgow which has raised over £11,000 for disabled children and veterans.

Donations can be made through the justgiving webpage for another 3 months.

Thunder, lighting and downpours

Last Sunday, there was another momentous downpour of rain with flashes of lighting. I went for a walk afterwards and found a section of Kelvingrove Park turned in to swamp.

Flooding in Kelvingrove Park, 23rd July 2011.

The water level of the River Kelvin had risen and is a dramatic sight. However, there is a need to plan for the future to prevent flooding. 

View of riverbank at the Unite Building, Gibson Street.

Planning guidance has to ensure the existing riverbank which is not developed is protected as essential for flood prevention. Riverbank zoned as greenspace should not be available for any development. 

The open spaces and greenspace along the River Kelvin should be safeguarded as such for future generations.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Acting on Murdoch's media takeover

Since Mr Rupert Murdoch filed to take over 100% of the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster last year, I've signed petitions to prevent it going ahead. It is not in the public interest or in the interests of preserving our democratic process to hand over BSkyB to add to Mr Murdoch's media empire that includes close to 40% of our UK newspapers.

In recent days, additional evidence of phone hacking has emerged and News Corp’s reputation is reaching low depths amongst politicians and the public.

We await the outcome of the high court's review of why the police failed to follow up all the clear leads they were given and recommendations from the inquiry by the Competition Commission.

Update on 17th July 2011: Murdoch has withdrawn the bid for BSkyB thankfully. Another eventful week for the Murdoch Empire lies ahead.

Upgrade of Hillhead Subway Station begins

SPT advise that the upgrade works by the contractor will remove the existing celiling at platform level section over a series of weekends. The internal features of Hillhead subway will be refurbished over the next year.

View of current signage for the subway.

The key improvements provided are the installation of two new escalators; the relocation of the ticket office and the creation of retail space; and replacement of all materials on floors, walls and ceilings. There will be new wayfinding, information and signage for passengers.

For anyone concerned about accessibility issues, DDA enhancements will include hearing loops, tactile maps, tactile paving and colour contrast flooring.

There will be energy efficient lighting installed along with a major public artwork by Glasgow's artist Alasdair Gray.

Useful Link:

Updates on the work progresses can find out more at:

Opposition to plans for Pewter Pot Site.

The closing date for a planning application for a 7-storey building to replace the Pewter Pot on North Woodside Road is 13th July 2011.

View from South Woodside Road of the Pewter Pot and Lansdowne Crescent

I believe that the proposal is not appropriate as it is an overdevelopment of the site. The architecture and design are not in keeping with the 2 or 3 storey neighbouring homes along North Woodside Road.

Two storey properties in the Lansdowne Court Estate, neighbouring the Pewter Pot.

The proposed building would be a major visual intrusion in to the local community, damaging the views along the River Kelvin and the outlook from the West End's conservation area.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Invitation to help improve open space at Kersland Lane

In the last month, plans have developed to enable the local community to get involved in making enhancements to the vacant ground off Kersland Lane, in Hillhead.

A meeting for any interested residents or local businesses takes place on Thursday 21st July 2011, from 6 - 7pm, in Life Craft, 691 Great Western Road. We hope to hear views from local residents, discuss ideas and organise a clean up.

View of vacant ground at Kersland Lane.

 It is hoped that residents who overlook the area will take an interest. The area's environment  would receive a boost if a programme was taken forward for improving this greenspace to create a more welcoming place to live.

View of neighbouring Sardinia Lane.

For many years, these vacant sites have been full of rubbish and bulk items thrown out from neighbouring flats.

By everyone concerned working together to help keep this ground tidy and make it less of an eyesore, we should be able to see long-term improvements.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Gulls spreading litter in the city

I have received complaints about black bags left on the street causing a nuisance. This is not just in terms of being an eyesore, but also because the gulls burst them open and this leads to rubbish lying all over the pavement or street nearby.

Burst bag with litter spread all of the pavement.

To try to prevent this problem, wheelie bins are often required by households to store the black bags more securely.

If there are problems with the refuse collection arrangements or bin provision, I would like to hear about what any issues and try to help resolve them.

Useful links:

Sunshine at the Peace Camp

Faslane Peace Camp had its 29th birthday recently. Supporters celebrated the campaign and vigil against the stationing of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear powered submarines in Scotland.

Today, I visited to catch up with the people staying there and hear about activity at the Peace Camp.

Entrance to the peace camp.

This year, there has been big effort made to refurbish and rejuvenate the camp. There are improved meeting facilities available including a tearoom and toilet. A library and workshop space has been created in one of the large buses. This provides space for the camp to host workshops in partnership with groups or individuals who have similar aims or interests.

Memorial tree for Hiroshima.

Over the Summer, visitors are encouraged to come and stay. Any help would be welcomed with mural painting, building work, and t-shirt printing.

The camp provides a family friendly environment and has a safer spaces policy in place. People live predominantly in caravans, heated by wood burning stoves. There is access to hot and cold running water. Also, people gather for communal meals every evening in exchange for donations.

A large bus provides library and workshop space.

It was lovely day to travel to/from the Peace Camp. It is relatively easy to get there using public transport and/or bike. There are half hourly trains to Helensburgh from Glasgow and then, you can cycle or catch a local bus, number 316, to a bus stop nearby.

Useful links:-

For more information about Faslane Peace Camp, telephone 07511 793 227