Sunday, 8 December 2019

Call for Safer Streets

I joined activists on Friday, 29th November at the "Fight The Night" march from Kelvingrove Park to George Square calling for safer streets and end of violence against women. 

 Going through Nelson Mandela Square

 End of the march in George Square

I encourage men to sign up to the White Ribbon Campaign and support the ending of violence against women in our streets and across communities in Glasgow.

Glasgow's Youth Climate Strike

On Friday, 29th November, I met up with youth climate strikers in George Square. They had created a series of placards to highlight their concerns.

There is ongoing demand for climate action by young people involved in the Youth Climate Strike Movement. We urgently need a Green New Deal and Just Transition to cut carbon emissions to safeguard all our futures.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Scotland Councillor Awards 2019

At the LGiU Scotland Councillor Awards 2019 ceremony on 28th November, I won the Environmental Impact Award sponsored by Keep Scotland Beautiful and CCLA Good Investment.

With the award at the ceremony 
in Edinburgh City Chambers.

I am delighted to receive this award in recognition of my contribution in leading Glasgow's response to the Climate Emergency. The supporting statement acknowledges my role in "setting up an agreement from the Council's Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Committee to form a climate emergency working group with cross party, multi-stakeholder representation" in February 2019. This group reported back in August 2019 and a headline target was set for Glasgow to be carbon neutral by 2030. There were 61 other recommendations provided for consideration by the council and an implementation plan is expected by April 2020.

This is the second year of these awards. Many thanks to the judging panel from across local government and everyone involved in making these awards happen.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Support for urban greenspaces

This month, I have received requests for support of greenspaces. There is constant pressure on gap sites to be developed for housing. However, greenspaces are needed to promote nature conservation, enhance health and wellbeing and support surface water drainage.

Views of open spaces in Hillhead.

Further survey work is required to identify the species and plants that are living in the greenspaces across the area. Any findings can provide evidence to support their retention as part of a green network in the city. 

Artists Exhibition in Arlington Baths

In the last week, I visited the artists exhibition at Arlington Baths in Woodlands. The range of activities taking place at Arlington Baths enable people to socialise and supports the building of stronger community networks. 

View of reading room in Arlington Baths.

This A listed building makes a significant contribution to the architecture and historic fabric of the area. Ongoing improvements to the building are taking place and further funding is needed to look after the swimming pool, the unique Turkish suite, saunas, steam rooms and gynasium.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Improvements to Back Lanes in Woodlands

On a walkabout, today, I noticed a significant improvements in the back lanes within Woodlands. The tarmac lane between Dunearn Street and Carrington Street was cleared of bulk items. In addition, progress is being made with a residents group making improvements at the lane between Woodlands Drive and Dunearn Street. 

 View of the tarmac lane

Repairs to gate at lane between Dunearn Street and Woodlands Drive

New sign to support recycling and donation of household items to charity.

There is ongoing partnership work by residents to improve the private lanes in Woodlands.

Tree works at St. Georges Cross

This week, trees have been cut down from the road verges on the motorway interchange at St. Georges Cross. The removal of some trees has created gap sites and reduced vegetation to support biodiversity. 

 Cleared area at pathway to/from Garnethill

 Tree stumps next to M8.

Cleared ground on St. Georges Road.

Tree planting in response to the Climate Emergency has been recommended. Plans are needed to manage the trees along the motorway network and replace the trees removed from this area. 

Youth Climate Strike on 25th October

A group of youth climate strikers gathered in George Square on 25th October. I offered by support and encouragement to their campaign efforts as part of Fridays for the Future. 

 Banners by the Youth Climate Strikers

There is an ongoing campaign calling for action in response to the Climate Emergency. The next day of global demonstrations is on Friday 29th November. 

Protecting wildlife

The annual conference of the Scottish Green Party took place in Inverness on 12th to 13th October. I attended various discussions on policy issues and met up with activists from across the country.   

I was able to show my support for the proposed Member's Bill by Alison Johnstone MSP which will provide legal protections to foxes, mountain hares and brown hares.

Stroll through Glasgow Botanic Gardens

This month, I visited the Black History Month's exhibition at the Kibble Palace in the Botanic Gardens. There are always special heritage displays, beautiful flower beds and interesting plants to learn about.

 Views of the Botanic Gardens.

Due to the ecological crisis, the Botanic Gardens have an increasingly important role in promoting nature conservation and sharing information about the latest scientific findings. 

50th Anniversary of Belhaven Nursery

On 5th October, I attended the 50th Birthday Celebration of Belhaven Nursery. It was a chance to support the nursery's development which is located alongside the new primary school being built on Queen Margaret Drive.

 Banner celebrating 50 years of Belhaven Nursery

View of the building site next to the nursery.

Over the next year, the maintenance of the nursery facilities will be a priority. It is vital that the nursery building receives the capital investment it needs to deliver expanded nursery education for families in the area.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Sign up to share tools

There is a Glasgow Tool Library that supports sharing of resources. This is a positive development for anyone interested in accessing tools for gardening, DIY and general maintenance activity. 
The tool library is open on Saturdays, 12-4pm at Civic House, 26 Civic Street, Glasgow, G4 9RH. Further information is available from twitter @GLA_TL

Plastic pollution and our oceans

The issue of single use plastic continues to be raised as a major concern for residents. I have received useful information from the Marine Conservation Society to refer to. 

Leaflet on living without single use plastic items.

There is a campaign in support of the Global Ocean Treaty organised by Greenpeace.

Information produced by the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership highlights the marine litter issues affecting our coastline. Litter prevention strategies and zero waste projects are vital.

Major changes at University Place

This week, I completed a walkabout within University Place to check on access routes as a resident complained about missed bin collections from Sutherland Lane.

One way route for vehicles on University Place from University Avenue.

This area is under development as part of the University of Glasgow Campus Plans. As a consequence, there are major changes to the traffic management in University Place. There is no longer unrestricted parking and now, a one way route operates from University Avenue for vehicles.

Access is maintained to empty bins via Sutherland Lane.

View of footway.

Access for pedestrians and cyclists is retained in both directions on University Place. The end of unrestricted car parking is major change to this street. It will be transformed over the next year with landscaping works and improved civic space for the west end.

Keep on running

Yesterday, I joined thousands of runners in the Great Scottish Run 10K which started at George Square.
At the starting line in Cochrane Street.

The weather conditions were ideal. I finished the route at Glasgow Green in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Thanks to the many supporters and musicians who helped to keep me going.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Park Quadrant Development

This month, I have completed a walkabout at Park Circus Lane and Park Quadrant to observe the changes taking part at the new development.

View of Park Circus Lane

 View of footpath between existing flats and the new development

New flats with entrance at Park Quadrant.

Further discussion is taking place with residents about improvements to Park Circus Lane. It is hoped to arrange clean ups and better management of the bin provision.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Support for Oor Wullie's Big Walk

On Saturday 10th August, I took part in Oor Wullie's Big Walk which gathered at Kelvingrove Park and enabled participants to enjoy spending time in the streets across the west end of Glasgow. 

I completed three kilometres to help raise funds for the care of Scotland's children. There was a great atmosphere on the walk which passed some of the sculptures on Oor Wullie's Bucket Trail.

Celebrations at the canal

Over the Summer, I have enjoyed walks along the Forth and Clyde Canal. There is a new mural at Firhill Basin. 

Mural celebrating Charles Rennie Mackintosh at the Nolly Brig.

I have noticed more barges on the canal with people spending their holidays visiting the area.
View of a barge on the canal near Murano Student Village.

It was a beautiful day for the Glasgow Canal Festival on 20th July, with spectacular dragon boat races and barge trips.

View of Speirs Wharf and a dragon boat.

Support for National Park City

On 27th July, I took part in a walk to support the proposal for Glasgow to become a National Park City. We visited open spaces and public parks between the Barrowland Park and the Kelvin Walkway to help promote efforts to value nature in Glasgow.

Barrowland Park

Glasgow Green

River Clyde

At the Halfpenny Bridge on the Kelvin Walkway, I gave my support for Glasgow to become a National Park City as in response to the climate emergency, we need to connect with nature and rapidly cut our carbon emissions.

It is possible to work with London which was declared the world's first National Park City at City Hall on 22nd July 2019. It has established aims to support:-
  • a city which is greener in the longer-term than it is today and where people and nature are better connected.
  • network of parks and green spaces and where buildings and public spaces aren't defined only by stone, brick, concrete, glass and steel.
  • a city that is rich with wildlife where every child benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors
  • a city where all can enjoy high-quality green spaces, clean air, clean waterways and learning outdoors.
There are further events and activities being planned to protect and enhance Glasgow's urban natural and cultural heritage as part of the campaign to become a National Park City.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Youth Climate Strike during school holidays

Young people gathered in George Square on Friday 19th July to call for climate justice. I heard their chants for fossil fuels to stay in the ground and action to be take to cut use of plastic.

View of Youth Climate Strikers opposite the City Chambers.

Further protests to support the Fridays for the Future are planned on 23rd August and 20th September. 

Solidarity with Climate Refugees

On Monday 15th July, Extinction Rebellion protested in the city centre to highlight the need for immediate action to tackle Climate Change. There was music, poetry, dancing and speakers to promote positive, non-violent direct action to bring about system change.

Protesters gathered at Trongate.

A section of road at Trongate was closed by a boat blocking access.

I went along to hear about the concerns of activists and find out about the protests in solidarity with climate refugees taking place in the 5 cities of Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds and London.  

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Wildflowers in Woodside

Across the Woodside area, there are sites transformed in to wildlife habitats by wildflowers. I enjoyed a walk through several sites, in the last week.

Open space at Napiershall Street

 Community Garden in Burnbank Lane

Wildflowers along the wall of Burnbank Lane

 Open space at Civic House, near Garscube Road.

Open space at Braid Square.

These areas of wildlflowers are supporting pollinators, such as bees and other insects, which benefits local food production.