Saturday, 15 April 2017

Protecting greenspaces

 I am seeking re-election as the Green councillor for the Hillhead ward on 4th May. I have served communities in this area of Glasgow for the last 10 years. Our local greenspaces are precious and need to be looked after. Residents in Hillhead, like many people across Scotland, have organised themselves to protect wildlife sites and safeguard local parks and open spaces. 

Green councillors are supporting green spaces as wildlife habitats but also, for local food production through community gardens, allotments and school growing projects.

We have seen community gardens - such as the site on West Princes Street in Woodlands within the West End of Glasgow – being established as outdoor community centres after landscaping and raised beds installed. Community gardens can be utilised in a variety of ways from social to musical and educational. All of which positively enhance a local area. Green spaces can support a programme of events, workshops and training for local residents in growing your own food, effectively composting household waste and reducing your carbon footprint. Green Councillors are committed to bringing together local residents and businesses to become more energy efficient and involved in looking after our environment. Green spaces make a big difference by creating a social space where people can volunteer, gain practical skills and get to know their neighbours.

Communities are seeking support to develop sustainable solutions to managing flooding and public land in ways that benefit residents and wildlife. There is a need to ensure the planning system works for people and nature. And we shouldn’t stop at protecting our existing green spaces.

Wooded areas are part of the greenspace network within Hillhead

Scottish Greens strive for a planning system that listens to people. It should be transparent, accountable and give residents power to shape their communities, resulting in development that is driven by public interest, not just economic growth. A stronger, more accountable planning system, with local people at its heart, can deliver housing in the right places, whilst creating and connecting new wildlife sites, woodlands, wetlands and other green spaces. This, in turn, will help provide natural flood defences, to help cope with our changing climate.
Open space safeguarded by community action within Hillhead. 

Green councillors want to invest in planning as a public services to empower local groups and individuals to negage, providing meeting spaces, information and dedicated staff. We want to ensure transparency and accountability by pushing to make the voting record for all planning committee votes available promptly online and in offices. Campaigning with our MSPs, we are seeking to balance the rights of communities with those of developers by giving communities an equal right of appeal over planning decisions. At present, only developers have the right of appeal.

Councils can take more action to help promote green spaces within our cities, towns and villages as they add significant value to our lives as well as provide places for wildlife to flourish.

The election of more Green councillors is vital ensure our streets, neighbourhoods and communities are places we can enjoy and be proud to call our home. 

For more details of the Scottish Green Party Manifesto for Glasgow, please go to:

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