Friday, 30 June 2017

Go Pesticide-Free

Today, I attended the first Scottish-wide pesticide free workshop for towns and cities to hear about the work of Pesticide Action Network UK. Information was provided about the human health effects of pesticides and examples from Edinburgh, Ghent (Belgium) and across France were shared to highlighted the process of communities becoming pesticide free.

 Information booklet produced by PAN UK

Outside the workshop venue in Edinburgh

There is a new toolkit available for local authorities to help to develop pesticide reduction programmes. This will be discussed further with council officials, other councillors and residents in the next few months.

Please find out more at:

Finding Youth Services Available

This week, I received information about local youth services available to young people in the Hillhead area and across the North West of Glasgow.

Online resources at:

Youth Health Support for 12-19 years olds on 0141 451 2727

Glasgow Disability Alliance has a Summer Programme for young disabled people to enjoy.

Support for parents with learning disabilities

This week, during my discussions at an North West Glasgow Networking Event organised by GCVS, I heard about the issues facing parents with learning disabilities and research by IRISS provides information on key concerns:-
  • Families where the parent has a learning disability are often over-represented in the child protection system
  • There is a lack of clarity over the number of parents with learning disabilities currently living in Scotland
  • Early identification of parents is crucial to allow preventative work to take place, however crisis intervention still dominates
  • Tools exist to assess parenting capacity, however, many are unsuitable for parents with learning disabilities and need to be adapted

Copy of report available at weblink: 

The research conclusion states:
"Little is known about how many families are affected by parental learning disability in Scotland and the UK and there are a number of challenges in establishing prevalence rates. It is clear, however, that the lives of parents with learning disabilities are likely to be characterised by marginalisation and disadvantage and they are likely to be disproportionately represented in the child protection system. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that parents with learning disabilities can and do become good enough parents when the right support is in place. This support should be based on the principles of supported parenting set out by SCLD in 2015. Evidence suggests that good progress has been made in providing this support, particularly peri-natally. However, geographical variation remains across the country and further work is needed to ensure that support is available on a longer-term basis with flexibility around key transition points in the life of the child and parents."

This research can be viewed alongside significant work completed on "Investing in advocacy interventions for parents with learning disabilities: what is the economic argument?"
by the London School of Economics published at:

I will ask about the implications of this research on the provision of services by the Council. There is a need to consider the use of specialist parenting programmes as they can provide more effective outcomes for parents with learning disabilities than standard programmes. 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Wildflowers on St Georges Road

Today, I supported a community clean up in the Woodlands area and helped to tackle the litter problem on the embankment next to the M8 at St Georges Road. During my efforts to de-litter the area, I recorded some of the plants and flowers in the area.

Clover with bees on the edge of the roadway.

Mushrooms growing next to the M8. 

Foxgloves amongst the wildflowers.

View of the wildflowers and grasses on the road verge.

The embankment next to the M8 is a vital habitat for wildflowers and supports biodiversity. There is evidence being gathered by Plantlife about the importance of road verges in supporting our rarest plants. 

Further information is provided in a report available at the following website:

Cycling safety at Charing Cross Junction

There are ongoing concerns about the safety of cyclists at the junction of Woodlands Road and Charing Cross. There are proposals for segregated cycle routes as part of the Woodside Mini-Holland Cycle Project to address these safety concerns. 
View of Woodlands Road from Charing Cross Junction

Consultation on the proposals is taking place in the next few weeks. Further information is available at:

MFA Degree Show 2017 at Glue Factory

Yesterday, I visited the annual exhibition of work from the Master of Fine Art postgraduate programme at The Glasgow School of Art. This exhibition took place at the Glue Factory

There were a variety of artworks on display. Further information available at: 

Cobbled lane at Great Western Road Bridge

Complaints continue to be raised about the water leaking in the cobbled lane under the Great Western Road Bridge. There are plans for a new drain to be installed at the wall to prevent the problem of dirty water covering the cobbles.

View of the dirty water leaking on the cobbles

View of the Great Western Road Bridge.

There are ongoing repairs and maintenance needed to this area along the riverbank. There is vegetation growing on parts of the bridge and on the top of the cobbled lane's wall which I hope can be removed to prevent any long-term damage. 

Support for UN Nuclear Ban Treaty

Yesterday, thousands of women around the world rallied in support of the UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The significance of these negotiations at the UN cannot be overstated. Nuclear weapons are a scourge on all humanity.

There are one hundred and thirty nations taking part in the negotiations on a UN treaty to prohibit the most horrific weapons ever created. People gathered at the Buchanan Street Steps in Glasgow to join with citizens of Hiroshima to say it's time to outlaw nuclear weapons.

Every nation will be better off in a world without nuclear weapons. We gave a big shout out to our Scottish CND friends representing us at the UN in New York as the UK Government's Chair remains empty. At the gathering, I called for the need to ensure that women's leadership and participation in humanitarian action and peace-making is supported. There is a lack of funding for local grassroots organisations that support women in peace-making, particularly women with disabilities. When women are community leaders, there is more peace and security in society. We stand together in support of the nuclear ban negotiations and call for peace, justice and disarmament.

We will continue to work together to bring great strides for women in Scotland and beyond to participate in the peace movement. We push for money to be moved from nuclear weapons to implementation of the nuclear weapons ban. Let's invest in women and gender equality. Stop the Arms Race. Now's the time for a nuclear ban.

More information available at: