Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Up to 3 million workers in the public sector out on strike

There is an historic day of strike action on 30th November 2011. I will be joining students and workers in the rallies and marches taking place in Glasgow to support efforts to stop the attack on pensions.

 Demonstrators at Glasgow Cross.

Useful link:-

There is a better way - http://www.thereisabetterway.org/

Concerns about flood risk along the River Kelvin

Today, I became aware of the paths along the Kelvin Walkway and within Kelvingrove Park next to the river, being affected by rising water levels. 

 View of River Kelvin on 27th November 2011

I have asked for surveys to be carried out by council staff to check it is safe to use the paths. Any flooded areas will be closed to the public.

Useful links:

Floodline Warning Line - http://www.sepa.org.uk/flooding.aspx

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Reclaim The Night 2011

There is a march to Reclaim the Night on Monday 28th November 2011, meeting at 6pm at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens, at the corner of Great Western Road and Queen Margaret Drive.

The route of the march will take in Byres Road and University Avenue arriving at the STUC in Woodlands Road for a rally. 

This is organised by Rape Crisis and it is part of the 16 Days to Elimination Violence Against Women.

I will be joining the march and giving my support to the programme of events for 16 Days which is themed as "'From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World".

Useful Link

16 Days - http://www.16days.org/about-us.aspx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Support for Organ Donation

The Evening Times Campaign aims to persuade the Scottish Government to change the current system of organ donation to an opt out system.
This would result in  everyone being a donor but it would still be possible to opt out of the register.
Evidence suggests that about 90% of people are likely to support organ donation. However, there are only 30% on the register.
Momentum is gathering in support of change in the law. Opt out is backed by the British Medical Association, British Heart Foundation and Kidney Research UK.

I have signed up to their e-petition at:

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Call for a sweat free Olympics

There is a focus on protecting worker rights in the supply chain for sportswear firms taking part in the 2012 Olympic Games. The Playfair 2012 Campaign has been established by a coalition of trade unions and labour rights organisations which are taking the lead on this issue.  They found evidence of workers being employed by Adidas suppliers working for 80-hour weeks stitching footballs. The main sponsor of the Olympic Games 2012 is Adidas.

Companies are being pressurised to ensure they fulfil the principles of Decent Work across the Olympic supply chains, in countries such as China, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The principles of Decent Work are "freedom, equality, security, and dignity". It is expected that workers are in receipt of a living wage, paid sick leave, maternity pay and are able to join a trade union.

Useful link:-

Stitched Up report available at: www.waronwant.org/stitchedup

Holding corporations to account

The autumn edition of the Citizen magazine published by Unlock Democracy features an article by Anthony Barnet who co-founded Charter 88 and founded Open Democracy. He refers to the underlying crisis of democracy and the need to challenge economic privilege.

There is recognition of the requirement for a new movement to create inspiration to develop the public's interest in democractic renewal and to set out the reforms needed to challenge the executive and corporate power in Westminster, Whitehall and the City of London.

There is a campaign to introduce transparency in the dealings of corporations with politicians and officials. The aim is to establish a statutory register of lobbyists. This is led by an Alliance of Lobbying Transparency which involves Unlock Democracy. It is worth finding out more about this work to curtail the power of corporations.

Useful links:-

Information available at: http://www.lobbyingtransparency.org/

Democratic Audit at: http://www.democraticaudit.com/corporate-and-financial-dominance-in-britains-democracy

Graffiti reporting

During my walkabouts of the west end, I take my digital camera and record any graffiti. My photos are sent on to Glasgow Community Safety Services who arrange for graffiti removal.

Graffiti in Ashton Lane, on 9th November 2011

There is a team of people who remove graffiti across the city and they provide a very responsive service. The majority of streets in the west end are located within a conservation area and graffiti has to be cleared up to ensure that the area's heritage is preserved.

Useful link:-

Glasgow Community Safety Services - http://www.saferglasgow.com/

Overflowing waste continues to spoil our lane.

In the past week, I have heard from residents of their upset at seeing the rubbish dumped in the Burgh Lane, which is located at the rear of Hillhead Library. It is a beautiful cobbled lane and the location of bins for various commercial premises.

Overflowing commercial bins on 5th November 2011.

I have been following up complaints received about the mess in the lane and have asked for council staff to speak to businesses involved to seek improvement.

Fly tipped rubbish at rear entrance to Hillhead Library.

It is hoped that everyone who has access to the lane for their bin storage will take extra care to keep it tidy. Ideally, businesses would be able to organise bin storage in a secure area away from the lane.  Flytipping problems are being cleared up by the council staff.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Support to retain Bellahouston Park's Plant Nursery

This week, I visited the council's plant nursery within Bellahouston Park.This provided an opportunity to view the site and receive further information on the impact a proposed hospice would have.
Polytunnels which would have to make way for the new hospice.

The current proposal for the hospice would build on the nursery site which is designated greenspace and therefore, in principle, I have been unable to support this new build project.

I think the plant nursery requires to be preserved and additional growing spaces for the wider community to meet demand from residents should be the priority for the site.

I believe there are brownfield locations on the southside which could be regenerated as part of the hospice development.

Protesters move to Kelvin Way

There are continuing efforts to challenge the banking systems and create a fairer financial system through protest across the world. Glasgow's protest camp moved from George Square to Kelvin Way in the last two days. 

Tents set up at new site on Kelvin Way.

In the last three weeks, I have supported negotiations between protesters and council officials to ensure that an amicable agreement could be reached. Protesters can seek to campaign for change from the secure base in Kelvin Way and the various activities can go ahead as planned in George Square. 

The charm of Cresswell Lane

Yesterday, I enjoyed a walkabout in the sunshine amongst the gift shops of the Byres Road area. A destination for many people is De Courcy's Arcade, on Cresswell Lane.

Cobbled lane with a variety of shops to choose from.

I had a look around the many speciality shops seeking crafts and jewellery in this lane. It is a thriving space from which artists and designers can sell their products.

Iron railings and grills for the windows on the lane

There are tenements with a backcourt featuring iron railings and hanging baskets which adds to the charm of the area. This is a unique place which is well worth a visit.

Hillhead By-election on 17th November 2011

Due to the death of George Roberts, a councillor for the Hillhead Ward since May 2007, a by-election has been called on 17th November 2011.

Stuart Leckie and myself at the air quality monitoring station on Byres Road, on 5th November.

Stuart Leckie is the Scottish Green Party's candidate. He lives in Kelvinbridge and has a strong commitment to addressing housing concerns, particularly the management of houses of multiple occupancy, in the ward.