Thursday, 31 May 2012

Pigeon problems

There is a general problem with pigeons creating unsightly streets and a terrible stench from their droppings. I am well aware of pigeons spoiling walking routes within the St. Georges Cross area.

View of M8 underpass at St. Georges Cross.

On a regular basis, I ask council staff to ensure the underpass route on St George's Road is jet washed and cleared of pigeon droppings. 

Priorities to promote safer streets

In Tuesday 29th May, in views of concerns that I had received regarding inadequate street lighting and general safety on the streets of Hillhead, a walkabout took place involving students, community councillors, University of Glasgow representatives, Community Police officers and myself to identify specific locations to be prioritised for safety measures.

Within University Avenue, speeding vehicles and risk of accidents was mentioned. I have asked for a traffic survey and the introduction of speed monitoring signs.

 Walkabout took in Lilybank Gardens.

Inadequate street lighting in some side streets and Kelvin Way has been highlighted. In response, I have asked for investment in additional street lighting columns, replacement of faulty lights, or installation of a specific help point.

Update: 21st June 2012

Further to my enquiries, I have received information about four existing Help Points in Kelvin Way and Kelvingrove Park which are to be promoted more widely.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Chilling out in Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park is one of my favourite places. On sunny days this week, I have made my way there to see what is going on and sit for a while, enjoying the heat, hanging out with the crowds and taking in views of the University from the grassy slopes.

 Vital Spark by George Wylie

This evening, I took a walk near the Art Gallery and Museum, and found my way to "Vital Spark" by George Wylie. I was saddened by his recent death during this, his 90th anniversary year. However, it is really good to be able to go to this sculpture and remember him, and his amazing talent.

Hogweed on the riverbank

In the last two weeks, the prevalence of Hogweed has been highlighted in several conversations. It is a specific concern along the riverbank of the River Kelvin. As a health hazard, residents are hoping it will be cut back and removed by the Council before coming in to flower.

Hogweed growing through the fence at a footpath in Kelvingrove Park

Certainly, I will ask for the Council to provide resources to cut back and remove the Hogweed. It has to be tackled along the length of the River Kelvin within the grounds of Kelvingrove Park and along the Kelvin Walkway. If this treatment is not carried out, it could prevent some footpaths being usable and reduce plantlife along the riverbank in the long-term.

Useful links:-

Hogweed: An Invasive Species -

BBC Scotland Hogweed Article -

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Improving safety at night

Over the last month, I heard about safety concerns from women ranging from speeding cars, inadequate street lighting and house break-ins. 

After attending a talk at Glasgow University, yesterday evening, I completed a walkabout in several streets in Hillhead. I checked for street lighting defects and found 10 lights out in Bank Street, Otago Street, Gibson Street, and Great George Street. These will be reported and fixed in a few days. 

 Street light out in Bank Street.

I will have further discussions with council officials, Hillhead Community Police and people who have highlighted safety issues to ensure that any problems are addressed.

Any street lighting defects can be reported to the lighting faults department at Glasgow City Council.

Useful link:-


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Getting to the finishing line

This year's Women's 10k was a bit more demanding than I had expected. The damp rainy conditions were a hinderance and I was a bit concerned about slipping on the wet tarmac on a few occasions. 

 My number and medal for completing the Women's 10K

Amazing musicians and crowds of cheering onlookers made it all worthwhile. I managed to heat up and really appreciated the friendly support from other women taking part. There is a fabulous spectacle  generated by thousands of women running through the streets. It's great to be part of it.  I ran to raise funds for Glasgow Women's Aid.

Useful links:

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Clean ups supported by tenants

Yesterday, I took part in a clean up organised by Queen's Cross Housing Association. A crowd of volunteers helped clear up bushes, road verges and an area next to the Forth and Clyde Canal. Everyone was very sociable and I heard about the latest concerns of residents.

 Bags of rubbish gathered at the clean up.

There are ongoing problems with graffiti, dog fouling and littering of streets across the South Maryhill area. Regular clean ups are helping to bring residents and their families together to try to improve their local environment. I will continue to give support to clean up activities and ensure that resources are also made available from Glasgow Community Safety Services.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Art beyond the Frame

There is an exhibition of contemporary Cuban Art at The Lighthouse in Mitchell Lane, in Glasgow's city centre from 7th - 13th May 2012.

Today, I dropped in to look round the artworks and was very impressed with the collection on display. The paintings are on sale and proceeds go to support the human rights campaign of the Miami Five.

Two of the Miami Five are exhibiting works created while in prison. One of the Five says, "I would like to thank all our friends at the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and particulary those involved in the Beyond the Frame exhibition. Your support continues to be an important source of encouragement to continue our struggle for justice". 

I bought a catalogue of 46 artworks and offered my support for partnership working between artists in Scotland and Cuba. Glasgow and Havana have a twinning agreement and this provides  opportunities to generate further interest in the arts within both cities. 

Useful links:

Beyond the Frame information -

Sunday, 6 May 2012

May Day - Celebrate and Fight Back

Today, I joined in the march and rally to celebrate May Day in the city-centre of Glasgow. The speakers included Agnes Tolmie, President of the STUC who spoke of the income inequalities evident in UK, referring to the earnings of the chief executives of the top 100 firms receiving a substantial rise whilst wages of ordinary workers have actually declined. Frustration was expressed about the tax avoidance industry which supports the rich getting richer. The austerity budget implemented by the UK Coalition Government was described as spreading fear everywhere and delivering "misery measures" across our communities.

Anti-cuts activist at the May Day Rally

The STUC is promoting women's contribution to the trade union movement and in her speech, Jane Mackay focused on the efforts of Agnes Mclean to fight for Equal Pay.

The EIS General Secretary, Larry Flanagan spoke about the "Why should children pay?" campaign, and highlighted the need for political will to tax the rich and direct money to jobs investment. He referred to the shameful fact that 1 in 10 children are living in poverty. The low voter turnout of 1 in 3 at the Local Government Elections on Thursday was mentioned. However, a message coming through from the voters is that they reject austerity and support politicians who fight back against the cuts.

The campaign to free the Miami Five and the call on Obama to release these innocent men was supported. Also, efforts to stop destitution of asylum seekers in Glasgow and build for a national demo on 9th June was highlighted.

The closing speech from Owen Jones, author of "Chavs - Demonisation of the Working Class", called on alternatives to the UK government attack on the welfare state. The key priorities highlighted to get out of a double dip recession were social house building programmes, guaranted living wage, industrial strategy focused on green jobs and increased taxes for the rich. Evidence of the next generation facing the prospect of being worse off than their parents and the general dispair of young people on the dole was described. 

The message from the rally was that the trade union movement and its supporters stand together and refuse to accept the austerity measures. The fight back against the UK Coalition Government attacks on the state will require everyone working to bring about a better way of dealing with the debt crisis. 

Useful links:

Sunday Times Richlist -

New Economics Foundation -

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Re-elected on 4th May

It's fantastic to be re-elected a Green Councillor for the Hillhead Ward. I really appreciate all the support I have received to make this happen. 

I will ensure that I serve the whole ward and take up any concerns that are raised. Please let me know if you need my help.

Useful Link:

Hillhead Election Result -

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Council Committee on Allotments

During discussions with Glasgow Allotments Association, I have become aware of the need to establish a Council committee with responsibility for the developing policy on all matters relating to allotments in the city. 

This committee can be established in keeping with the rules and regulations approved by Glasgow City Council on 21st September 1922 which are still operating today. 

The committee on allotments would have membership from councillors and six representatives from Glasgow Allotments Forum. Its priorities would be producing consultation documents on:-

1. management of sites including possibility of re-introducing area committees
2. new rules and a modern lease
3. strategy for implementation of new sites

It is hoped that the committee would receive the support of all political parties and ensure that the actions set out in the allotment strategy are fulfilled.

Making dementia a priority in my community

I have received a letter from Alzheimer Scotland seeking support for their manifesto. On average there are 238 people living in each council ward plus family, carers, and friends of each person living with the illness. 

I have signed the pledge to make dementia a priority in my work as a councillor. My family is affected by dementia and I appreciate the need to listen to people living with dementia and consult with their supporters. 

People with dementia, their carers and families are entitled to: be treated with dignity and respect, be supported by skilled staff who understand the illness, and be included in their local communities.

Useful Link:

Alzheimer Scotland -

Kinship Care: It could happen to you

During the election campaign, I met up with Kinship Carers holding a demonstration at Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday 26th April. I signed up to their manifesto and I pledge to help and work with kinship carers so that Glasgow City Council:

- Creates a one stop shop approach to make life simpler for kinship families

- Treats children inkinship care equally and fairly to give them a better start in life

- Provides consistent support for kinship care families

- Works with kinship carers, local groups and other organisations to make change happen

Useful Link:
Poverty Truth Commission -