Friday, 28 November 2014

A Walk through Old Station Park.

After attending a Carers Event at the Pond Hotel, I took a walk through Old Station Park, in Hyndland today. It was really enjoyable to spend time in the park.

The garden area is full of plants established by a group of volunteers from Friends of Old Station Park. Their dedication and creativity have provided a lovely place to visit.

Women’s safety on Campus

Yesterday, I joined the Glasgow's Reclaim The Night March and Rally hosted by the Rape Crisis Centre.  This is one of many events happening across the city as part of the 16 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The route of the march went from Botanic Gardens corner of Great Western Road and Queen Margaret Drive down Byres Road, University Avenue, Gibson Street, Eldon Street and ended with a rally in the STUC.

Taking part in the Reclaim the Night March.

The theme for this year's event was Women’s safety on Campus. This was identified as a priority as in the last five years, the Rape Crisis Centre has seen a year on year increase in the number of young women who are sexual violence survivors accessing support at the centre. 

The majority of these young women are students and their attempts to cope with the sexual violence, and their experience impacts on their studies. Evidence suggests that young women are having to take time out, have difficulty completing their assignments on time or need extensions for projects, and it may be that women leave their studies early. 

Women's lives are dramatically affected with consequences for career plans and future work opportunities. It is recognised that women need support to achieve their potential and realise their ambitions.   Women should not have to restrict their movements or behaviour whilst studying within Glasgow. Clearly, violence against women has to stop.

This is only possible if men stop committing crimes of sexual violence and abuse, as well as them contributing to a society that condones and colludes with violence against women and girls and speaks out against and challenges other men who do behave in this way.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

No corporate power grab. No to TTIP.

There is a trade deal - the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - being negotiated between Europe and the USA.  It is known as TTIP. Private corporations have been shaping this deal in discussions with unelected European officials behind closed doors.
The #noTTIP Times published by World Development Movement

This trade deal would result in big business gaining new powers over our society and wider democracy. It threatens our public services, workers rights, food safety and our environment. It would "lock-in" privatisation of public services, encourage fracking, and promote fossil fuel production. 

Opposition to TTIP is growing across Europe. The Green Party in Europe is the only party to oppose TTIP. Scottish Greens have launched a campaign to protect our public sector, food standards and workers rights from corporate attack.

Useful link:

Scottish Greens say no to TTIP -

European Citizens Initiative Petition Against TTIP -

Sunday, 16 November 2014

We didn't vote to die at work

In the last week, I had the privilege of meeting people involved in the Scottish Hazards campaign. This brings together local groups and trade unions campaigning for better health and safety with workers' health at the centre.

The UK Government has conducted "red tape" reviews which have undermined our limited protections. Campaigners have pushed the fact that good regulation, strictly enforced, saves money for business and the overall economy, as well as protects wellbeing of workers.

There is now more occupational ill-health than ever before, with much stress, but also musclo-skeletal disorders, and exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. The new workplace culture with targets, is supporting "lean management", and "doing more with less".

An entirely ideological plan to privatise the Health and Safety Executive has been pursued by UK Government Ministers. Attempts were made to abolish it altogether, but was prevented by European law. Instead, the budget was cut by 35% and a ban was placed on proactive inspections in "low risk" workplaces, including such areas as quarries, manufacturing, air and road transport, hospitals and school. However, 53% of health and safety deaths occur in "low risk" workplaces. The cost of bad health and safety practices is estimated at between £30 - £60bn a year. In addition, workers/families of more than 90% of workers injured or killed at work get no compensation at all.

The Scottish Hazards Campaign is vital to ensure that people are fully protected against work related injury and ill health.

Useful link:

Scottish Hazards Campaign -

Bhopal - Still No Justice

On Thursday, I heard about the plans for a commemoration of the Bhopal Disaster, 30 years on. The World's Worst Industrial Disaster took place on the early morning of 3rd December 1984. There was gas leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. The gas had a catastrophic impact, with many dying in their beds. There is an estimated of between 8,000 - 10,000 deathes within 72 hours. Another 15,000 have died since the disaster and 120,000 have chronic medical conditions as a result.

The site of the pesticide plant has never been cleared of the toxic waste from the gas leak The toxins are in the soil, plants, animals and drinking water. This devastating tragedy could have been averted. The Bhopal gas disaster was preventable. Trade unions had raised health and safety concerns about the plant. However, these were not acted upon. The management and company have obstructed any rehabilitation and prevented any liability.

For the 30th anniversary of the disaster, memorial gatherings in solidarity with the victims of Bhopal are planned on 3rd December.

Useful link:

Scottish Friends of Bhopal -

Saturday, 8 November 2014

New pedestrian crossing supported at Maryhill Road

During the last year, I have supported the development of plans to improve road safety at the junction of Napiershall Street and Maryhill Road. Ways to address safety concerns were discussed at meetings involving Woodside Community Council, council officers from Land and Environmental Services and police officers. Fears were raised by residents about pedestrians facing an increased risk of injury or accidents when crossing at this busy junction.

View of the junction from Napiershall Street Park.

In September, funds were approved by Land and Environmental Services for an road safety improvement scheme on Maryhill Road and the Napiershall Street junction. 

The programme of works includes a new traffic signal controlled junction with a full pedestrian green man facility.There are minor alternations to the existing waiting and loading restrictions that will be required to complement the scheme.

The works will take place from 1st November 2014, with anticipated completion by 31st January 2015.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Future option for Kelvin Park Early Years Centre

Today, I visited Anderston Primary School, 3 Port Street, G3 8HY and saw the space currently occupied by the Psychological Services Unit. 

The site has classrooms and an outdoor area that could accommodate the Kelvin Park Early Years Centre. There is an existing entrance for the Psychological Services Unit which is separate from the primary school and could be adapted to suit the needs of Early Years provision.

View of classrooms occupied by the Psychological Services Unit

Newly resurfaced playground
Greenspace with trees surround the primary school

Existing play area nearby to the primary school

The primary school is surrounded by trees and greenspace. In addition, there is well maintained fencing around the school site. A play area is available for use within the curtilage of the site. It does appear to be possible for all the services provided at the Early Years Centre at Hillhead Primary to be relocated to this site. In my consultation response about the future option for Kelvin Park Early Years Centre from August 2015, I will be supporting its relocation to the Anderston Primary School's Psychological Services Unit.