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: