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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.