Sunday, 26 July 2015

Improvements at Burnbank Gardens

In the last two months, I have been supporting efforts to ensure that repairs and maintenance work are carried out at the communal garden within Burnbank Gardens. 

This garden is owned by Glasgow City Council and located within Glasgow West Conservation Area. One of the gates has been repaired by the Council's Blacksmiths and various lighting issues have been address by staff from Land and Environmental Services.

              View of the railings being painted.

In recent weeks, maintenance work has been carried on the railings. This is possible thanks to the support of Community Safety Glasgow and the ongoing work of Woodside Community Council.

Local Campaigns for a TTIP Free Zone

TTIP Pencil at Buchanan Street Steps, Glasgow on 18th July 2015

There is a campaign supported by Global Justice Now which is seeking to unite councils across the country who are concerned with the impact of TTIP (Transatlantic Trade Deal) on local democracy.  Across the UK, local councillors are being encouraged to adopt motions raising concerns about the impact of TTIP.  

TTIP motion have been supported by 19 Local Authorities; Bradford (14 July '15), Brighton & Hove (17 Jul '14), Bury (10 Dec '14), Cambridge (23 Jul '15), Edinburgh (25 Jun '15), Exeter (16 Dec '14), Glasgow (11 Dec '14), Hastings (15 Apr '15), Lancashire (17 Jul '14), Lewisham (24 Jun '15),  Newcastle (3 Sep '14), Northumberland (25 Feb '15), North Somerset (14 Jul '15), Norwich (22 Apr '15), Oldham (10 Sep '14), Oxford (29 Sep '14), Reading (24 Mar '15), Sheffield (3 Sep '14), Southampton (23 Dec '14), Warwickshire (19 May '15).

In Glasgow, since the passing of the motion on TTIP, a policy briefing has been developed to inform strategic planning documents of Glasgow City Council. TTIP has been highlighted as a significant issue to consider in the development of the revised International and European Strategy. I have submitted feedback on TTIP to the internal consultation on International and European Strategy in the last week.

Useful link at:

Make the UK a TTIP Free Zone -

Friday, 17 July 2015

Impact of the UK Government's Budget

On 8th July, I joined a protest at the Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne's budget announcement in George Square. The reductions in tax credits and other benefit cuts including the denial of housing benefits for 18-21 year olds were highlighted as going to leave many struggling families close to or over the edge of financial disaster.  Communities across Glasgow are facing increased levels of financial hardship as a result of the Budget plans.

Social security benefits are not likely to meet basic living needs. The fall in the level of Employment Support Allowance is seen as a direct attack on the people who are ill and disabled.  There is a drop in the benefits cap which comes at the same time as a legal ruling that the existing inadequate level puts Britain in breach of its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Greens join protest in George Square.

There have been widespread calls for low carbon investment and transition to tackle dangerous climate change. However, the budget's removal of the climate change levy exemption on renewable energy will result in the taxing of clean power as if it were a fossil fuel. The consequences are increased costs for businesses to buy electricity from renewable power. This raises concerns about investor confidence as it changes the stable market conditions needed for financing and business planning of the renewables sector.

Useful link:

Reactions to Budget 2015 -

Getting to and from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Questions have been asked about the public transport links to and from Glasgow's west end to the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. There are general concerns about the cost, length of time for the journey and access to information about the bus routes.

In June, I visited a patient at the new hospital and went via the subway to Govan and a bus to the main entrance at the Arrival Square. It took about 30 minutes each way. 

Now, there is a new direct bus service, Service 15 available from Byres Road, up to every 30 minutes, daily via Maryhill and Partick and this will replace service 19 between Summerston and Byres Road. Service 15 will use stance 4 at both Partick bus station and Arrival Square at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Bus station at the entrance to the new hospital.

I am interested in hearing from residents who have any issues or concerns about access to the new hospital.

Useful links:


First Bus -

McGills -

Visit to Old Station Park

On 10th July, I spent the afternoon at Old Station Park in Hyndland. It was a chance to admire the hard work of volunteers who have created beautiful flower beds and to check on any maintenance concerns.

There has been investment in the park's facilities including new wooden benches and well designed bins. It is a popular place where neighbours can meet up and enjoy play, keeping fit, or walking their dog.

Additional investment is being considered including a community noticeboard, heritage project, additional plants and wildflowers within the grassed areas. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Glasgow stands with Greece to oppose Austerity

On Thursday 2nd July, I joined a rally on Buchanan Street Steps at 6pm as part of a series of Europe wide solidarity actions in support of Greece. It called on people who oppose austerity to support the Greek people in reaching a fair new deal within the Eurozone. 

Crowd gathers to show support for a No vote 
at the Greek Referendum on Sunday 5th July.

The result of the Referendum has shown that austerity is a failed approach. Across Europe, governments must acknowledge the will of the Greek people and assist in their democratic effort to end unfair and unnecessary cuts.  The negotiations to resolve the debt crisis have to seek a compromise and to put a new debt relief plan on the table. 

Useful link;

European Greens -

Wildlife Blossoms at Kersland Lane

In the last week or so, I met up with people involved in the Friends of Kersland Lane to hear about their activities to improve the environment within Hillhead. Various plants and shrubs are blooming within the gap site.Volunteers have been involved in supporting a wildlife habitat in this area.

Views of plants and shrubs at Kersland Lane.

This is a place for relaxation and enjoyment of the wildlife haven that has encouraged bees, butterflies and birds. There are still regular clean ups of the litter and rubbish dumped within Kersland Lane. However, the outlook of resident from surrounding tenements has been much enhanced by the many flowering plants.

Concerns raised about maintenance of Karol Path

Between St.Georges Road and St. Peter's Street in Woodside, there is a footpath with an avenue of trees known as Karol Path. In recent weeks, I have received concerns about defects on the footpath. I have heard that several residents have tripped and fallen within the pathway due to the poor level of repairs.

Views of Karol Path

I am seeking assistance from staff at Land and Environmental Services to ensure the footpath is well maintained.