Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Visit to Gartnavel Growing Spaces

Today, I visited the growing spaces created in the grounds of Gartnavel Hospital. There are a variety of outdoor areas with raised beds for growing vegetables and flowers which have been created to support the health and well-being of patients and staffThere is a walled garden and summerhouse for performances and arts activities. 

It is the first phase of an inspiring project which has been funded by the Green Exercise Partnership. Patients and staff are being consulted about the plans for the growing spaces and they are encouraged to get involved in volunteering at the weekly gardening sessions.

There is a paths network between the growing spaces which ensures they are fully accessible. Signage gives directions from Hyndland Railway Station or the main entrance at Great Western Road. 

Useful link:

Major Landscaping Project Announced for Gartnavel Site 

Opening of Pinkston Watersports

On Monday, 19th May 2014, I attended the formal opening of the Pinkston Watersports Centre which is located at North Canalbank Street, G4 9XL. This was a memorable event bringing together a range of supporters and funders.

This project is operated by Glasgow Watersport Ltd, a charity run by volunteer watersports enthusiasts for the benefit of the wider community. 

The facilities include a clean water basin of 140m x 28m suitable for a variety of watersports, with affordable access and storage for clubs and organisations with changing rooms and parking. There is a small Artificial White Water Course (AWWC) which is the first in Scotland. 

There is an action packed day to experience Scotland’s first artificial whitewater centre on Saturday 31st May,  10am - 4pm, at the Pinkston Watersports. This has free entry. 

The water activities on the day include Canoeing taster sessions for Children and Adults, with no equipment necessary. If you have your own kayak or canoe, there is a ‘Park & Play’ in the sheltered flat water basin.  

Throughout the day, there are professional displays of Canoe slalom, Canoe polo, Freestyle kayaking and Whitewater rescue training.

For more information, email info@pinkston.co.uk or log on to the weblink at: http://www.pinkston.co.uk/

Thursday, 15 May 2014

10th Anniversary of Stockline Plastics Factory Explosion

We remember those killed in a gas explosion at the factory 10 years ago and also, acknowledge the pain and grief suffered by the families and the wider community.
People have come together and supported each other in coping with this tragedy over the last 10 years. We can be inspired by the local community of Woodside rallying round, and providing support to the bereaved families and those who worked on the site of the explosion.
A special recognition is provided for the work of the emergency services, include the fire and rescue services who worked constantly over four days in difficult conditions to rescue the injured and recover the dead. 
Maryhill Community Central Halls has made a significant contribution to promoting community spirit in the aftermath. It was just round the corner from the factory, became a hub for traumatised families and emergency services in the hours and days after the tragedy. 

View of the memorial garden on Hopehill Road.

Special thanks goes to everyone involved in both, the memorial service which has been established and the provision of memorial garden in memory of the people affected.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Help to improve the Hillhead area

In recent weeks, I have been contacted by residents who are seeking help to make a positive improvement to the Hillhead area. There is a Spring Clean taking place across Hillhead from 19th to 26th May 2014. 

Could you go along and get involved for an hour at any of the following Clean Ups?
  • Lilybank Gardens - Tuesday 20th at 6.00pm. Meet opposite Cranworth Street
  • Gibson Street - Wednesday 21st at 6.30pm. Meet at St Silas Church
  • Queen Margaret Drive -Thursday 22nd 1.00pm. Meet by McDonald Pets, 124 Queen Margaret Drive
  • Kelvingrove Park - Friday 23rd at 4.00pm. Meet at the fountain.
  •  Bank St - Saturday 24th at 10.30am. Meet at Scherazade, Bank Street
  •  GOW Community - Sunday 25th at 2.00pm. Meet in garden behind Offshore Cafe
  •  Glasgow Uni students Disco Clean Up on Monday 26th at 3.00pm. Meet at GU Union
There are litter pickers, gloves, black bags, and high-viz vests provided for anyone who helps at the clean ups.

You can get involved individually, with friends, family or on behalf of your organisation. 

Useful link:
Action Hillhead on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/actionhillhead

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Taking part in the women's 10K

The Women's 10K in Glasgow is becoming an annual event in my calendar. Today, I ran in sunny conditions and it was really fantastic. I think this is the 11th year that I have taken part. 

There is always an amazing atmosphere and people are really supportive along the route. The music, sports coaches and cheers from the crowds are really appreciated.

Useful link:

Women's 10K - www.greatrun.org/

Monday, 5 May 2014

Report on "Why Children Die" highlighted

This weekend, I read various articles referring to the report by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and National Children’s Bureau
There are specific recommendations on some of the most preventable causes of death highlighted in this report, "Why Children Die". These include deaths from injuries, poisoning, road traffic accidents, poor mental health and neonatal deaths caused by risky behaviours during pregnancy.
I will be putting forward the report findings and the list of recommendations for consideration by council officials. The report detailed as follows:-
Taking action to reduce poverty and inequality
  • Withdrawing the new cap on welfare spending and implementing a safety net so that the risks of rising living costs do not hit families with the lowest incomes
Implementing measures to promote healthy pregnancy including
  • High quality Personal, Social, Health & Education and Sex & Relationships Education lessons in schools
  • Action across the health system to promote smoking cessation in pregnancy.
Creating healthy, safe communities and environments
  • Introducing minimum unit pricing for alcohol
  • Reducing the national speed limit in built up areas to 20mph
  • Introducing Graduated Licensing Schemes for novice drivers of all ages
Creating an action plan for improving child and adolescent mental health services
  • Department of Health should commission a regular survey to identify the prevalence of mental health problems among children and young people
  • Ofsted’s inspection framework for early years settings, schools and colleges should include consideration of the extent to which these settings provide an environment that promotes children and young people’s social and emotional wellbeing.
Better training for healthcare staff
  • All frontline health professionals involved in the acute assessment of children and young people should utilise resources such as the https://spottingthesickchild.com/ web resource and complete relevant professional development so they are confident and competent to recognise a sick child
  • Clinical teams looking after children and young people with known medical conditions make maximum use of tools to support improved communication and clarity around ongoing management, for example: introduction of epilepsy passports or asthma management plans where appropriate; cooperating with schools to meet their duty to support pupils with medical conditions.
The report also calls for a national child mortality database to ensure data can be compared and analysed across the UK.

Useful links:

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Refurbishment of Kelvingrove Bandstand

This week, I walked through the Kelvin Way and looked on to the bandstand and amphitheatre. The refurbishment work seems to be nearing completion.

 Sunshine at the bandstand and amphitheatre

The good news is that I understand the first public event at the bandstand will be the Mela on the 6th and 7th June 2014.  

There will be a fun packed summer programme coming up and details will be available on the facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelvingrove-Bandstand-and-Amphitheatre/226160304214185

Useful link:

GBPT - http://gbpt.org/events/kelvingrove-bandstand-and-amphitheatre/

Use of 351-355 Byres Road

There is a proposal for the empty units on Byres Road, a shop and an office, between 351-355 Byres Road to become a coffee shop. 

A planning application reference number 14/00553/DC is seeking a change of use of the shop units from Class 1 (retail) and Class 2 (office) to coffee shop and ancillary retail (Sui Generis mixed use Class 1 and Class 3). It is seeking to provide premises for Caffe Nero with “tables and chairs providing seating for approximately 42 customers”. In addition, the proposed operation states that “around 30% of the trade of a Caffè Nero unit is Class 1 (i.e. the sale
of drinks and sandwiches for consumption off the premises) and 70% Class 3 (i.e. consumption on the premises).

351-355 Byres Road

I have submitted an objection as a recent survey identified the shortfall in both Class 1 retail and in Class 1 shops selling things other than prepared food and drink. In addition, there is clearly no qualitative or quantitative shortfall in coffee shops in Byres Road and it is not appropriate for these premises to be converted in to class 3 or sui generis premises in this prime retail area.

The applicant's lack of awareness of the importance of promoting the heritage of the area is a concern. The application has not taken in to consideration the specific policy of DES 3 - Protecting and Enhancing the City’s Historic Environment. The planning statement indicates that “Proposals relating to external alterations such as the shop front and the display of advertisements and signage do not form part of the current proposals, and will be the subject of future applications.” 

This proposal will not safeguard the polished black stone shop fronts at 351 — 355 Byres Road which are of historic significance. The two units have shop fronts which are examples of a few remaining coherent and original sections of shop fronts in Byres Road, dating from the original design of the 1930s. It should be noted that these shop fronts are intrinsic to the design of the tenement building that they form part of.

As a prominent part of the important fabric of Byres Road’s retail history, it is essential that any future use for the shop units at 351 - 355 Byres Road, preserves or enhances their unique character, and the design features of this part of the Glasgow West Conservation Area.