Friday, 9 March 2018

Council Budget 2018

During the debate on budget proposals on 22nd February 2018, I highlighted that Greens are pushing for investment in Recycling, Trees, Parks and Allotments. 

The amount that Glasgow recycles can increase in the next year if more people are encouraged to separate their waste and make better use of existing recycling provision. Green Councillors are supporting initiatives to promote and encourage participation in recycling. Currently, service calendars are issued to properties on Managed Weekly Collection informing residents of bin collection dates and what can and can’t be recycled. This tends to encourage recycling by non-flatted households. Green Councillors want to ensure that additional resources are directed at flatted properties, providing information on bin collection dates and reissuing blue recycling bag and food waste caddies as well as additional blue bins. Recycling facilities for flatted properties can be developed further as part of the rollout of the Bin Replacement Programme. There is widespread concern about plastic pollution and in the coming year, there has to be a commitment to review the materials collected within the blue bin recycling service. Modifications to the Council's material reclamation facility at Blochairn should be progressed to enable additional plastic waste streams to be accepted for processing. In light of plans for a national deposit return scheme for drinks containers, we need to review current glass recycling arrangements and identify opportunities to increase the amount of empty glass bottles and jars collected for reuse and recycling.

Glasgow's trees matter and our Green budget proposals will provide funding to develop a Tree Replacement Fund to ensure that trees are available to improve public realm, biodiversity, and air quality across the city. The Council needs to plant more trees to help combat Climate Change, prevent flooding, improve health and wellbeing, encourage wildlife, and increase resilience against pests and diseases.

Glasgow’s Parks matter and we have committed resources to improve community engagement in our public parks. The Council needs to increase the number of staff who can promote parks and seek to work with residents groups, community organisations and health staff to facilitate outdoor physical activity, food growing and greenspace volunteering. This promotion can be supported by the emerging Parks and Open Spaces Vision and the Sport and Active Glasgow group.Green flags for public parks are prioritised and additional support for green flag applications to promote public parks is provided. This can sustain existing 6 green flags at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Glasgow Green, Hogganfield Park, Linn Park and Local Nature Reserve and Pollok Park. Assistance is provided to put forward an additional 2 parks, most likely be Cathkin Braes Country Park and Alexandra Park, since these already have management plans and recent investment. 

In terms of allotments, additional staffing is provided to support new sites to alleviate waiting lists and support delivery of community empowerment by the Council. There are additional statutory duties to be carried out by Local Authorities as introduced by the Community Empowerment Act. The key focus of additional staffing is in relation to preparation of the Food Growing Strategy, annual reporting to Scottish Ministers, engagement with people on allotment waiting lists, and project work in support of new allotment sites.

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