Thursday, 23 January 2014

Investment to benefit pedestrians

Investment to benefit pedestrians, businesses and the local economy

You are invited to a public meeting on Tuesday 4th February from 6-8pm

in the Church Hall, St. Silas Church, 69 Park Road, Glasgow, G4 9JE

A public meeting has been arranged to discuss solutions to the ongoing issues raised by residents, parents and businesses in terms of traffic management, parking, and road safety in Gibson Street and the surrounding area of Glasgow's West End.

     View from Kelvinbridge to Gibson Street

There will be a presentation from the Communities Coordinator for Living Streets Scotland.

All welcome.

Useful link:

Living Streets Scotland -

Friday, 17 January 2014

Clearing of gulleys is a high priority

Over the last month, the volume of complaints about leaves blocking gulleys and concerns about flooding on local streets suggests that this is a serious concern for residents. In several streets, there has been flooding of roadways, pavements and tenement closes causing enormous distress. 

Airlie Street in Hyndland was affected by flooding in December.

There is a need for a quick and efficient response from council services to clear gulleys, take away decaying leaves and help prevent flooding. If this does not happen, residents can find themselves dealing with flooding of their parked cars as well as close entrances and basements to their properties. 

It makes sense for the areas of the city where the risk of flooding, as shown in the flood maps published this week, to receive targeted support from an annual gulley maintenance programme. This has been suggested to minimise problems arising from heavy rainfall for the most vulnerable residents.

Useful link:

Get Ready for Winter -

Xmas trees lined up for recycling

What happens to our Xmas trees now the festivities are passed? Glasgow City Council has asked that real trees are cut into manageable pieces and put in brown bins for recycling. These trees are accepted at the civic amenity sites at Queenslie, Polmadie, Shieldhall and Dawsholm or from other locations from 3 January until 19 January: 

  • Pollok Park, Burrell Car Park
  • Alexandra Park, off Alexandra Parade, car park next to the golf course
  • Kelvingrove Park, Kelvin Way, grass area opposite adjacent to bandstand (as per signage)

Real trees left in a back lane for uplift.

A large number of real trees are not taken to recycling points or put in brown bins. They are dumped in back lanes or on pavements by residents. There is a demand and expectation for the trees to be removed by the bulk uplift service. Due to the volume of real trees in the West End, I have suggested that additional locations are designated and advertised for uplift of real trees ie at all public parks.

Useful link:

Glasgow City Council Recycling Services for Christmas Tree and Cards -

Better play areas in Woodlands

In the last two years, I have supported surveys to find out from residents if they have any views or suggestions to help improve the Woodlands area. Ideas were gathered, designs developed involving community representatives and investment agreed by Glasgow City Council.

Pathway with new fencing for the football pitch 

An outcome of this work has been the enhancement of play facilities within the Millennium Park at Ashley Street. By the end of December, there were two swings, a climbing frame, new fencing and cycle racks installed at the park.

New swings and climbing frame.

Thanks to everyone who put forward their suggestions and supported the improvements. The contributions from the Landscape Design Team of Glasgow City Council and members of Glasgow Community Planning Partnership are much appreciated.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Stormy start to a momentous year

In November 2013, I attended the Base Glasgow Conference promoting low carbon built environment and infrastructure. This was the platform for the launch of the Climate Ready Clyde Strategy by Glasgow City Council. It is a significant strategy which brings together key players from the public, private and community sectors to work effectively in adapting to Climate Change. 

As we get caught up in stormy weather conditions and there are increased demands made on our public services to respond to the threats from severe weather events including flooding, we need to have confidence in efforts to respond to changing weather patterns across Glasgow and the Clyde Estuary. 

We can look forward to an update from the Project Manager, seconded from Sniffer, on the outcome of work with key stakeholders to agree the preferred approach to developing the regional adaptation strategy and action plan.

The risks associated with rising water levels along the River Kelvin should also be included in strategic plans. There should an opportunity to input to policies associated with river management as part of the next City Plan, due for consultation in early 2014.  

Useful link:

Climate Ready Clyde publications -

"Start the Conversation"

On 11th December 2013, I received a briefing about the Power of Attorney TV Advertising Campaign at a meeting of the Dementia Working Group established by Glasgow City Council.

The need for this campaign arose from the delayed discharges from hospital when a person is lacking the capacity to make the decision to return home, be taken in to care or seeking an alternative option. This can result in the person being forced to remain in hospital leading to an increased risk of infection or complications. If the power of attorney is held by a third party or relative, this decision can be made promptly and the person returned to safe and comfortable surroundings within the community in line with their wishes.

Without the power of attorney, the State has to apply for guardianship and this is a time consuming and costly process, of on average 256 days.

There is a need to encourage discussion on the process to apply for a Power of Attorney and the option to apply prior to the loss of capacity.

Useful link:

Power of Attorney Campaign -

Facing the big challenges to reduce reoffending

Currently, there are eight Community Justice Authorities across Scotland bringing together agencies from the public and voluntary sectors to tackle re-offending. As a member of the Glasgow Community Justice Authority, I give support to and monitor various initiatives funded to make communities safer.

In the annual report for 2012-13, there is evidence provided of the big challenges in community justice across Glasgow. What is emerging as critical is the response provided to meeting the needs of people returning to the city after a prison sentence. There is an immediate need for support with housing, access to benefits and help with health problems.

Through delivery of an area plan and eight agreed actions, there are targets in place for the Glasgow Community Justice Authority which link to:
- short term prisoner release
- building effective relationships between partners
- families of offenders
- links between prison and the community
- evidence framework
- court resources and processes
- awareness and understanding.

In the past year, the role of Community Payback Orders have been highlighted with input from service users and examples of unpaid work carried out to benefit communities. Community Payback schemes have been established as a means to punish offenders for their crimes against community without serving a prison term. Local projects can be put forward by local residents to ensure that a supervised, unpaid labour force maximise their impact to enhance the quality of life within a community. The projects are wide ranging including litter picking, decorating, grounds maintenance and landscaping works.

In December 2013, I was made aware of an initiative promoting service user voices and this involves the development of a film-making programme known as "Shared Sentences" run by a charity, Media Education. In the first phase, Media Education worked with 10 men from Glasgow and this produced seven films. The next phase during 2014 will involve film-making projects with 10 women. These films can make a significant contribute to a greater understanding of community sentences amongst agencies and the wider public.

In 2014, there is a continuing need to ensure that the various initiatives seeking to reduce reoffending are effective, and the public are better informed about how these resources contribute in making Glasgow a safer place.

Budget pressures and evolving community justice structures will be significant issues to be addressed through partnership working. Before the end of 2013, the Scottish Government published its response to the consultation on the redesign of community justice. From 2016, planning and delivery of community justice will transfer from the eight Community Justice Authorities to Scotland's thirty two Community Planning Partnerships. There will be a national body created, to provide leadership and accountability for the new structure.

Useful link:

Shared Sentences by Media Education -

Glasgow Community Justice Authority -