Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Blue bin recycling in Woodlands

In recent weeks, I have met with staff at Land and Environmental Services to hear about the roll out of blue bin recycling across all backcourts in Woodlands. It is my understanding that blue bins will be provided to all households over the Summer.

Blue bins in a backcourt at Barrington Drive

There have been gaps in the provision of blue bins within Woodlands for many years. It has been a priority to ensure that the cobbled lanes were cleaned up and as a consequence, recycling facilities could be introduced in all backcourts. Feedback on the blue bin recycling service will continue to be welcomed.

Useful link:

Blue bin recycling -

Alexander "Greek" Thomson Repairs

This month, I visited Great Western Terrace which is designed by Alexander "Greek" Thomson to find out about the repair and maintenance of the railings. There is a public footway along the terrace and some of the railings are owned by Glasgow City Council.

View of the railings to be repaired and painted.

There has been significant improvement in the maintenance of Great Western Terrace in the last year. The residents have been active in arranging maintenance of private properties on the terrace. Council officials and staff from Community Safety Glasgow have been following up requests for works to council-owned areas.

I welcome the opportunity to work with residents to take forward plans to take care of a significant A-listed terrace and important part of the city's heritage. 

Useful link:

Alexander "Greek" Thomson -

Monday, 27 June 2016

Proposals for St. Georges Cross

There are plans by Glasgow City Council to enhance the environment of St. Georges Cross for people who are walking and cycling in the area. 

The public are encouraged to comment on the proposals, known as "Woodlands Mini-Holland", to improve pedestrian and cycle crossings next to the St. Georges Cross subway station and surrounding streets. 

There is an online survey which is expected to take 5 minutes to complete.

Comments can be submitted until 4th of July.

Please go to the weblink at:

Further information is available on our website -

Sunday, 19 June 2016

University Campus Development and Trees

In the last few weeks, there have been concerns raised by residents about the felling of trees in Kelvingrove Park. An online petition has been set up to gather support for protection of the trees and this is available at:

Currently, there is a planning application from the University of Glasgow for the Mixed-use Campus Development of the former Western Infirmary site, on University Avenue. This plan includes proposals for trees and planting within the "Campus and Public Realm Strategy" and there is a tree survey which is seeking the removal of about 50 trees as part of the development.

Due to the level of public interest in the safeguarding of trees in Kelvingrove Park, I have drafted a objection letter which considers the impact of the campus development on existing trees. I am submitting the following letter to the Council's planning department. Please note, objections have to be submitted by 28th June 2016.

Views of trees along the River Kelvin, at the area 
opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.


Development and Regeneration Services
Glasgow City Council
231 George Street
G1 1RX
Dear Sir/Madam
Planning Application: 16/01208/DC
Address: Site At University Avenue Glasgow
Proposal: Mixed-use University campus development
Please note my objection to the principles in their current form, as set out in Campus & Public Realm Strategy of the Campus Development Framework (CPD) at 4.14 Trees and Planting which states, "In a number of instances, there are existing areas of the campus that would benefit from the management of its trees to improve the quality of environment at ground level and open up significant views, particularly across the Kelvingrove Park" and "The positioning of trees such that they enhance and frame views to significant building, but do not block them."
These principles must be amended in line with the current Park Management Plan for Kelvingrove Park which states that thinning of any groups of trees should be no greater than twenty percent. Furthermore, a principle should be included in the Campus and Public Realm Strategy 4.14 Trees and Planting, in line with the Ecological Impact Assessment, UoG-DOC-25-1, May 2016 at 6 Conclusion that: ‘where possible the removal of shrubs and trees should be avoided’.
Furthermore, I strongly object to the Tree Works Proposal in its current form, as outlined in the Tree Survey, UOG-DOC-30-1, May 2016 which outlines plans at 2.11 for selective tree felling and removal of c50 trees as a minimum. This must be amended in line with the current Park Management Plan for Kelvingrove Park which states that thinning of any groups of trees should be no greater than twenty percent.
This Campus Development Framework (CPD) proposal for Tree Felling is contrary to Policy DEV11 Greenspace as Kelvingrove Park and River Kelvin is a designated wildlife corridor. The proposed removal of trees will not enhance this area of wildlife corridor and its use as a wildlife habitat.
The priority of the Campus Development Framework (CPD) should be to protect and retain these trees to support the vision of a Green Campus and Sustainable Place. The protection of this parkland's existing trees, vistas, and riverbank, as part of a "green corridor" along the River Kelvin between Kelvingrove and the Botanic Gardens, should be adopted in principle within the Campus Strategy. In the development of the University of Glasgow as a world class institution, the preservation of the existing ecology of Kelvingrove Park is a vital feature of any plans and essential to the delivery of a Sustainability Strategy.
Yours sincerely.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

School Costs

There is a short film called "School Costs" which highlights the struggle of families on low incomes to meet the costs of their children attending school. This film has been produced with the support of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and Child Poverty Action Group.
EIS report in to Child Poverty

The film has been developed, along with the EIS report on the impact of child poverty, to provide some advice and guidance to teachers and other people working with families. There are practical examples of how schools can take account of child poverty and address key issues such as hunger, school uniform, equipment, homework, school trips, and fundraising.

Useful link:

"School costs" film available at:

Thursday, 16 June 2016

This week's councillor's surgery

This week, I had a surgery in Hyndland Secondary.  I am never sure if anyone will turn up to discuss their concerns face to face at a surgery. The majority of residents choose to email their concerns or complaints. 

It is useful to offer an option for people to drop in for a chat, at one of my surgeries, on a monthly basis. The chance to talk through problems can help to identify what actions are needed to improve a resident's situation. At this week's surgery, I took up concerns about plans for mobile phone masts and obstruction caused by parked cars.

Before and after my regular surgeries, I try to have a walkabout in the neighbourhood nearby and take a note of any environmental issues such as potholes, overflowing bins and graffiti. 

After this week's surgery in Hyndland, I spotted that one of the local shops, The Butterscotch Bakery, had received recognition for their cakes at the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards.

View of the shop window for 
The Butterscotch Bakery on Hyndland Road.

Security at surgeries is likely to be topic of conversation over the coming days. The loss of the life of Jo Cox MP from a violent attack as she made her way from a surgery has highlighted the risks to personal safety from providing face to face meetings with residents. I think that surgeries for residents are required but I expect that further discussion will take place with colleagues about security arrangements at each surgery.

Useful link:

Monday, 6 June 2016

Improvements to Braid Square Pitch

In the last 2 months, improvements to a red blaes pitch at Braid Square have been carried out. A new access route from St. Peter's Street via the playground of Oakgrove Primary was created to enable maintenance vehicles to come to and from the pitch. This was required as another access route had been closed off when bollards and safety barriers were installed.

Working alongside members of the Oakgrove Parent Council and staff from Education Services, I have helped to develop plans to provide secure fencing and resurfacing of one of the red blaes pitches. Grant funding and donations has been received to cover these works. 

The pitch is used by schools in the local area during 9am - 5pm. However, after 5pm on Mondays - Fridays and during weekends, it is open for community use and this is provided free of charge.

View of the resurfaced pitch with fencing and white lining.

The pitch is needed to encourage a range of sports activities and outdoor learning by the community. 

Dog walkers are asked to use other areas of Braid Square. This is to ensure that dog fouling is not a problem within the pitch area.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Repairs to Woodside Library

This week, I held my surgery at Woodside Library. During my visit, I was able to view the area of the library which is not in use due to damage to the dome. The books and shelves were covered with sheeting in preparation for maintenance works to start.

Internal view of the area below the dome.

The library remains open whilst the works take place. The investment in repairs to the A-listed library's dome is essential. This will enable the library to provide a full range of library services including access to vital study space, wide range of books, and computers.

Useful link:

Get ready for the Women's 10K

This year's Women's 10K in Glasgow takes place on Sunday 6th June 2016. I have received my running pack in the post this week.

The route starts and finishes at Kelvingrove Park.I look forward to taking part and running alongside thousands of women through the city's streets.

Useful link: Great Women's 10K -