Saturday, 19 December 2015

Plans for improved pitch at Braid Square

Further to discussions with local schools and Education Services, plans are being developed to raise funds to improve one of the red blaes pitch next to Oakgrove Primary.

View of red blaes pitch

The plan involves a new fence, enhancement of the red blaes and creation of an access route via Oakgrove Primary. Over the next 6 months, it is hoped that the pitch can be brought back in to use for local schools and the wider community.

Tree planting celebrations

This month, about 100 new trees have been planted within the Woodside area. This is possible due to the efforts of Woodside Community Council, with donations from the Woodland Trust and funding from Hillhead Area Partnership.

View of trees next to M8 motorway.

There are more trees available for community groups from the Woodland Trust at:

Taking steps to cut our waste

On 10th December, I put forward a motion on cutting waste at a meeting of Glasgow City Council. This motion was agreed and gives further support to the Council to segregate food waste for separate collection within council buildings and enable all users of the Council and its Arms Length Companies premises to have access to on-site recycling facilities. Use of these facilities will be supported by a local awareness campaign to encourage participation in waste prevention, reuse and recycling.

Through my work as Chair of the Council's Energy and Carbon Working Group, I have been concerned about how the Council is taking steps to cut waste and therefore, cut our carbon emissions.

I am aware that Glasgow Life has been supporting employees to ensure that waste is separated and placed in recycling facilities across their premises. Also, Cordia has assisted with recycling projects including a catering service by Encore within Caledonian University which has been highlighted as best practice. I have been impressed by efforts of staff to develop recycling across the City Centre Council Buildings in the last year.

Following on from this work, there is a need to ensure that recycling facilities are available to all staff and users of council services. With the support of Social Work, a pilot project has been developed and it is providing recycling facilities across three sites - a residential care home, a children's home and supported accommodation for homeless people - and information gathered at these locations will inform the business case for the roll out of recycling facilities across other premises.

There is also a proposal to develop a food waste pilot project within Education Services as part of the work with Co-operative Education Trust Scotland. Food waste within schools was highlighted in the report to the Children and Families Policy Development Committee on 26th November 2015. At section 4 on Enterprise and Citizenship, it states;

"The recent 2015 Milan Food Expo included the development of a European Union Charter for reducing food waste; DON'T WASTE OUR FUTURE. Young people from Shawlands Academy, Knightswood Secondary, St. Paul's High School and Hyndland Secondary School attended as representatives of the UK. A future paper will be presented to committee in relation to this."

I am keen to ensure that a future committee report can highlight that all schools recycle food waste.  

From referring to the Food Policy for Schools, I understand that all primary and secondary schools have a School Nutrition and Action Group consisting of parents, students, staff, Cordia and community/business representatives. It can be anticipated that this group can work within each school community to help deliver the food waste initiatives that are required.

The Council announced on 30th November 2015 that food waste collections for households will be rolled out to all households in Glasgow from January 2016, while further investment in the existing blue bin services for tenements and other flatted properties is carried out.

Residents will receive information and advice to encourage them to use both their existing and new recycling services as much as possible. The investment in new services will make it easier for households to recycle more of their waste.  At the same time as supporting households to recycle more, it makes sense to ensure that our Council and Arms Length Companies establish food waste collections and extend provision of recycling facilities.This sends a clear message to staff and the wider public that Glasgow is committed to taking action to reduce our waste and make it easier for everyone to recycle more.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Storm Desmond and River Kelvin

Storm Desmond brought severe gales across the UK from 5th to 6th December 2015. Today, I went for a walk along the Kelvin Walkway to monitor the water levels and check for any flooding along the River Kelvin.

View of the greenspace and riverbank next to Otago Lane

High water flooding of pathway at site near the Old Mill.

Ongoing work to protect the riverbank from further development and to maintain the bridges to prepare for heavy rainfall is needed. I will work closely with the Friends of the River Kelvin and council officials to address any concerns about flooding and damage to the riverbank, pathways and bridges along the Kelvin Walkway.  

Useful link: 

MET Office at:

Support for Small Business Saturday

On Saturday 5th December, Small Business Saturday was celebrated on Byres Road and its Lanes with the offer of special discounts from local businesses. 

A book of discounts was promoted which included 36 businesses selling clothing, home furnishings, professional services, and artworks. Various cafes and restaurants provided special offers on meals. This was developed by the Byres Road Business Improvement District. 
Visit West End - The Little Book of Big Discounts

As you may be aware, I have been involved in supporting the development of a trader association and business improvement district for Byres Road and its Lanes for several years. In 2015, further investment to support Byres Road and its Lanes has been provided including marketing activities and additional tree lights within Ashton Road car park to encourage more visitors.

LED tree lights funded by the Byres Road Business Improvement District. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Reflections on World Aids Day 2015

This evening, I attended the community gathering in the City Chambers to mark World Aids Day. This was organised by the Terence Higgins Trust and received the support of a civic reception from Glasgow City Council.

Music provided time for reflection

Terence Higgins Trust offers a free confidential HIV test.

There were a number of speakers who highlighted that HIV affects anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, faith, or sexual identity. 

Useful link:

Celebrate Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens

Yesterday, I attended the launch of an artist book by Blair Cunningham representing Glasgow's spaces linking food and community. This event took place at the CCA as part of The Only Way is Ethics Festival. This book is developed from research into community gardens by the University of Glasgow.

Artist book, Urban Agriculture Growing Care, by Blair Cunningham

The number of community gardens has increased over the last 10 years in Glasgow. There are approximately 60 sites identified in this artist book. Key aspects about these spaces are that they are not for profit, promote general health and wellbeing, support collective activity, are diverse and celebrate solidarity. Copies of the artist book are available from Aye Aye Books.

Useful link:

Glasgow’s Community Gardens: Sustainable Communities of Care -