Monday, 27 November 2017

Xmas Lights Switch On at Byres Road.

Yesterday, I joined crowds in Vinicombe Street to watch the Xmas Lights switch on by Bella Beatson. There was uplifting entertainment from choirs and jokes from children in the audience. Local cobbled lanes were closed to traffic to make way for festive activities.

Bella Beatson on stage at Vinicombe Street.
Xmas Tree on Vinicombe Street
Xmas lights on Ashton Road Car Park.

There is further information about the businesses in Byres Road and surrounding lanes at:

Support for Anti-racism march and rally

On Saturday, 25th November, I joined the march and rally from Glasgow Green to Adelaide's on Bath Street to support anti racism work and help to make Scotland a home for refugees and migrant workers. 

View of the march and rally through George Square.

Due to rise in hate crimes, we need to confront racism and celebrate diversity in our communities. The clear message of the rally was to educate, agitate and organise anti-racism campaigning in our workplaces and across our neighbourhoods.

Useful links:

United Glasgow F.C. -

Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial -

Creative pathways on the Canal

On Thursday, 23rd November, I went to the Whisky Bond to attend the exhibition of sculptures by a group of 16 and 17 years olds on a "Creative Pathways Our Bright Future" programme at Impact Arts. This programme was partly funded by Scottish Canals and provided an opportunity to develop a series of works for the Clay Pits, a nature reserve on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

View of "You Are Here" which is a map of the Forth and Clyde Canal 
that goes through the Clay Pits.

This is known as "Four Shadows" and is influenced by 
four high rise flats at Westercommon.

The "Ways of Seeing" sculpture using steel and coloured Perspex has a minimal impact on the city skyline and aims to complement the wonderful view of the west end.

It was an impressive showcase providing young people with an amazing opportunity to develop their creative skills and help them move on to employment or further studies. More information available at:

Leaves and flooding on College Cycle Route

In the last week, there have been problems with leaves and flooding on the cycling route along New City Road. The route has been dangerous for cyclists, as well as pedestrians, due to the slippy surfaces.

View of underpass at New City Road

There is an ongoing requirement for street cleansing on this cycle lane to prevent accidents and encourage more people to cycle to and from the city centre. The ongoing efforts of street sweepers to clean our streets and improve safety are very much appreciated.

Walking and cycling on Queen Margaret Drive

Until 15th December, you can submit comments on proposals for cycling lanes and improvements to support walking in the Queen Margaret Drive area. In the last 6 months, I have helped to ensure Council officials have prepared draft plans in consultation with local businesses. There is a commitment to create cycle lanes and provide better public realm.

Views of Queen Margaret Drive

Your comments will help inform the final design and support a bid to Sustrans to fund improvements to make it easier to walk and cycle in the area. 

Please go to the web page at:

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Gathering for MacMillan Cancer Support

Last Saturday, I supported a coffee morning to raise funds for the Macmillan Cancer Support Service. This was organised by women from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Glasgow.

View of posters and balloons at the coffee morning

This was a very enjoyable event which brought together women of all ages to socialise and help vital support services. An information display shared resources about the 200 different types of cancer.

 Macmillan Cancer Information Service at:

Sounds at Bandstand

Last Saturday, as I walked along Kelvin Way, I was delighted to find a Sonica festival event at the Kelvingrove Bandstand. There were large megaphones for people to try. 

 View of the megaphone project at the Bandstand

Further information is available at:

Halloween celebrations in Wilton Street

This year, I supported Halloween celebrations at Wilton Street's Community Garden on Saturday 28th October. Volunteers cleared up leaves within the garden area.

 View of decorations
Leaves being cleared up and put in bags for composting.

This is a beautiful community garden offering a social space for residents of all ages to meet and enjoy the outdoors.

Litter from single use cups

On 25th October, I attended an exhibition organised by Keep Scotland Beautiful in the Gallery of Modern Art which showcased the litter and waste associated with single use drinks containers. 

This highlighted the artwork promoting recycling from local schools supported by environmental artist Julia Barton. There were information displays outlining the impact of single cup use and ideas to encourage recycle and a reduction in litter.

Information on what happens to cups, bottles and cans.

Zero Waste Scotland estimates that 208 million single use 
cups are thrown away in Scotland every year 

Info about pledge4plastics

I heard about the practical action to tackle the negative impact that single use drinks cups have on the environment. The coffee cup supply businesses are actively supporting the Square Mile Challenge, which launched in London’s Square Mile on 3 April 2017. Can we develop a similar recycling project in Glasgow?

More information on reusable coffee cups at:

New health centre takes shape

There is a new health and social care centre being constructed on Doncaster Street. It will replace the Woodside Health Centre on Barr Street and provide access to GP surgeries, dental services, physiotherapy, older people day services, district nursing, and the older people’s team. Patients and staff are encouraged to use public transport, cycle and walk to the new facilities. 

View of the new centre under construction.

Car parking is included in the design but there will be limited spaces available. Proposals for a new restricted parking zone offering pay and display marked bays for parking in the area are under consideration. Any proposals are subject to public consultation.

The latest newsletter is available at:

Further information available at:

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Rodney Street Open Space

On a walkabout of the area at the beginning of October, I noticed that the open space at Rodney Street was neglected. In the last month, I have made enquiries about plans for the site.

Views of Rodney Street from footpath near the canal.

Various local groups along with representatives from the Council and Scottish Canals are working to create food growing raised beds and a natural play area for the benefit of the local community. I am giving my support to efforts to enhance the availability of outdoor play facilities and gardening activities in the area.

Further information available at:

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Wild Fest at Westbank Quadrant

Today, I attended the festival of wildlife at the backcourt in Westbank Quadrant, off Gibson Street. It was really enjoyable to catch up with local residents and staff involved in the local projects supported by the RSPB.

 View of acoustic music stage

Hedgehog Awareness by RSPB 

 Threat of extinction of 1 in 10 species

Time to Branch Out!

Wild Challenge

This event was part of a Wildlife Festival coordinated by the RSPB during September. Further resources are available at:

Mackintosh Festival Launched

On Thursday 28th September, I attended the launch of this year's Mackintosh Festival at Queen's Cross. The programme takes place throughout October and is full of workshops, exhibitions, and special events to support learning about the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

View of the festival programme booklet

Banner Project Leaflet

Schools Workshop Leaflet

Charles Rennie Mackintosh's most significant buildings are involved in the festival including Scotland Street School and The Hill House.

Further details are available from the webpages at:

Meeting up in Woodlands Workspace

Glasgow has the highest concentration of vacant and derelict land of any local council area in Scotland. The key reasons for this situation are land suffers from poor ground conditions including mine workings; there is a lack of infrastructure such as access to public utilities; and ownership can be fragmented. Derelict land is a blight on many communities.

Woodlands Community Development Trust has been proactive in working to reuse a derelict site on Ashley Street for a new community resource and creative hub.  On Thursday, 28th September, I met up with staff, contractors, supporters, other board members and funders to cut the ribbon at the new community facilities and helped to officially open Woodlands Workspace.  This workspace is contributing to efforts across the city to bring about the transformation of derelict sites.

View of the Woodlands Workspace.

The workspace will facilitate economic development and support investment in the Woodlands area. We have seen the closure of the Willowbank Primary School and relocation of the Scottish Ballet School outwith the area in recent years. The opening of the new facilities for the benefit of the community of Woodlands is the beginning of a new chapter. I encourage residents to get involved in the development of new activity at the Woodlands Workspace. 

View of launch programme in October 2017.

This workspace hopes to provide a catalyst for new arts and cultural projects. I look forward to continuing to support the work to bring together residents and groups using this inspirational space. We need to maximise the opportunities to develop the creative talents in the area.

Further details at:

Monday, 25 September 2017

Concern about climate change targets

During Climate Week, I went along to an exhibit offering advice and information on resources available to help reduce carbon emissions. This took place in the Winter Gardens at Glasgow Green from 18th-21st September, supported by Glasgow City Council.

There are ongoing efforts to bring about change in people's behaviours to help reduce carbon emissions including provision of better recycling services. 

However, residents are asking for an improvement in the reliability of the blue bin collections in tenements, as they are not always emptied every fortnight. 

The grey bins for food waste are highlighted as not emptied on a weekly basis within tenements and also, these bins require to be cleaned by residents. This relies on a factor arranging the cleaning for tenement properties. 

Feedback about what needs to change to encourage recycling in Glasgow is welcomed.

Further information at:

Support for businesses in Otago Lane

Today, I made a visit to some of the businesses in Otago Lane, to buy some second hand books and a DVD. This is located on the banks of the River Kelvin, and has unique heritage character which should be protected. 

I like to spend time in Otago Lane as there are opportunities to socialise, meet up and chat to people interested in local history and culture. The businesses provide places to have a cup of tea, get a clock repaired, and find some inspirational books or music.

 Views of Otago Lane.

A fortnight ago, the access to the lane was restricted by concrete bollards but this is no longer the case. Businesses and residents are encouraging people to visit and support Otago Lane.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Protect Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

On Thursday 14th September, I spoke at a Council meeting in the City Chambers as a seconder for an Emergency motion in support of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Rohingya are facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation, according to the UN secretary general. Antonio Guterres has spoken out about the alleged attacks by security forces on Rohingya villagers stating that they were completely unacceptable. The Burmese army is says it is fighting with militants and denies targeting civilians. However, the UN Security Council is called for urgent steps to end this violence.

Aung San Suu Kyi is known as pro-democracy campaigner, who under house arrest in Burma, was given the Freedom of Glasgow in her absence, in 2009. Councillors shared their concern that she presses the military to end its brutal crackdown. 

Some 379,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since violence began last month. Whole villages have burned down. The number of Rohingya arriving in Bangladesh has tripled since a week ago.

Dr Suu Kyi has a long-declared commitment to universal human rights. However, there is concern that she does not and never will embrace the beleaguered Rohingya Muslims in this Buddhist majority country.  Dr Suu Kyi, has spent many years in some form of detention imposed by the country's military regime. As the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

On 13 November 2015, the NLD secured the required two-thirds of the contested seats in parliament to win a majority in what was widely regarded as a mainly fair vote - although there were reports of some irregularities. The Muslim Rohingya minority, who are not recognised as citizens were denied voting rights. Since taking power, the NLD, and Dr Suu Kyi in particular, have been facing growing international pressure for ignoring abuses against the Rohingya in western Rakhine state. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Support needed for Moira Fund

Today, I supported the Ladies Lunch in aid of the Moira Fund. This is a charity established in memory of Moira Jones who was murdered at Queen's Park, in 2008. This Fund provides practical support for families affected by the violent death of a loved one.

View of dessert at the Moira Fund's Ladies Lunch. 

Further information about how to get involved in fundraising, please go to the webpage at:

Learning about impact of nukes

On Friday, I attended a talk about the global ban on nuclear weapons and impact of nuclear weapons by Tilman Ruff, an Australian public health and infectious diseases physician and a leading advocate of the global health imperative to eradicate nuclear weapons. He has written an article for reference at:

As part of the discussion, I received information about a report produced by Nukewatch on the transportation of nuclear weapons within the UK. Further details are available at:

In New York on 7th July, the representatives of 122 governments voted to adopt the text of a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.The treaty will open for signature on 20 September 2017, during the opening week of this year’s UN General Assembly session. It will enter into force 90 days after 50 governments have ratified it. Further information available at:

Protecting wildlife within Glasgow University campus

Across the Hillhead ward, there are greenspaces and wildlife havens within residential streets. These are vital habitats for wildlife and part of a green network supporting biodiversity within the city. The ongoing de-littering and promotion of community safety at these sites are essential.

View of wildlife garden next to Glasgow University.

There are students involved in practical work to protect and promote wildlife in the local community. I support their efforts to organise clean ups and environmental education at the wildlife garden area.

Support for steeple of Webster's Theatre, Kelvinbridge.

There has been concerns raised by residents about the road safety at the junction of Park Road and Great Western Road as a result stone falling from the steeple of Webster's Theatre, formerly Lansdowne Church. This is busy area for school children and students at peak times. A request has been made for repair works to ensure that steeple is made safe. 

View of the steeple at Webster's Theatre.

I have been advised by council officials that the steeple is the responsibility of the Church of Scotland. The steeple has been examined and repair works have been agreed involving scaffolding with a crash deck to be erected. These works will require listed building consent.

Whilst the works are progressed, the reopening of Webster's Theatre using the North Woodside Road door is expected at the end of September.  The bar and restaurant will only open when access issues at the entrance on Great Western Road are resolved.

Further information available at:

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Mary Barbour Award 2017

There was a special awards ceremony on Friday 25th August in celebration of the life of Mary Barbour. This year, the winner was Sadie Gordon, who has been an activist campaigning on housing and community issues in the North Glasgow area for many years. 

I attended with FASS and a group of Kinship Carers in support of the award nominee, Sadie Prior. I feel it is vital that the contribution of Kinship Carers is recognised.

Front cover of the booklet for the Mary Barbour Awards 2017 

Further information about the awards and the plans for the Mary Barbour Statue can be found at:

For details about F.A.S.S. which supports parents and adult family members affected by or concerned about a loved one's drug or alcohol use, please go to:

Repairs to the wall for Sixty Steps

The repair of the wall at the Sixty Steps at Queen Margaret Road, funded by Glasgow City Council, has been underway since April of this year. 

The works have been completed in time for Doors Open Day Festival 2017, with information available at

View of the repaired wall.

View of the repaired wall.

View of the Sixty Steps.

A community clean up of the Sixty Steps is planned on Saturday 2nd September at 10.30am. Further details at:

40th Anniversary of Community Central Halls

This week, I caught up with the work of Community Central Halls which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary. As a local development trust, it has a wide range of services supporting local residents of all ages. 

Currently, the provision of community services is being expanded for young people. There is a personal development programme provided by the Prince's Trust and they are recruiting for the next team starting on 18th September 2017.

Further details available at:

Monday, 31 July 2017

The beauty of the fountain

In recent weeks, I have made enquiries about the repairs and maintenance of the Stewart Memorial Fountain in Kelvingrove Park. It is a favourite place to go for many and people enjoy the spectacle of the fountain when it is fully operational.

View of the fountain, last Thursday evening.

I am giving support to the repairs and maintenance programme for the Fountain. There is a need to promote this Fountain as part of the Council's Parks activity programme.