Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Update on my surgeries from 1st August 2020

Please note that I can hold surgeries using MS Teams or as a phone call to my mobile number.
To make an appointment, you can email myself at or phone or text on 07900 057 712.
I am available at the following days and times:
1st Wednesday of the month, from 7-8pm
1st Friday of the month, from 2-3pm
3rd Wednesday of the month., from 7-8pm
3rd Friday of the month, from 2-3pm.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Improvements to planters in Woodlands

Over the last few months, I have been impressed by the activities of volunteers involved in painting the planters in Woodlands. This has benefited the appearance of the area's streetscape and enhanced the local environment whilst many people have been staying at home due to the Covid19 Lockdown.

Junction of West Princes Street and Park Road
Junction of Montague Street and West Princes Street
On West Princes Street
At junction of West End Park Street and West Princes Street

The planters have been given a lease of new life with introduction of new plants. Many thanks to everyone involved in supporting this project from Woodlands Community Development Trust.

Plans for 20 metre monopole at St. Georges Cross

There are plans for St. Georges Cross which involve the installation of a 20m monopole, associated cabinets and ancillary works. 

I have objected on the basis that this proposal is  Contrary to Placemaking Principle – CDP1. The City Development Plan expects new proposals to be designed to protect the City’s heritage. The site is a small public space at the intersection of Maryhill Road, St. Georges Place, and St. Georges Road. It is of cultural significance with a statue of St. George and the dragon, saved from the Co-operative Wholesale Society at the cross when it was demolished.

View of the statue and surrounding trees at St. Georges Cross

There has been engagement with a variety of stakeholders to develop plans for the site opposite 274 St. Georges Road as part of the Glasgow City Region Deal’s Avenues Project. in the past 2 years, this has involved local consultation and community engagement to gather views on ways to improve the public realm, and support active travel. During this public consultation, there was no suggestion that the installation of 20m monopole, associated cabinets and ancillary works was planned. This installation is not appropriate for a public space with a unique statue and well known historic landmark within the city’s architectural heritage.The civic amenity of the site has to be preserved and enhanced as part of the place-making process. The contribution of this site to local people’s civic pride will not be supported by the installation of a mobile phone pole. The mobile phone pole will detract from the beauty and character of the statue, as well as surrounding trees and wider public realm at this site. It will have a negative impact on the appearance, attractiveness and perception of this public space. The height and shape of the monopole would be an eyesore alongside the statue of St. George and the dragon located a few metres away.The aims of the Avenues Project for the site would not be achieved by installing the 20m monopole, associated cabinets and ancillary works. It will not support regeneration of public realm as part of The Underline: the section of road that links Great Western Road with the city centre and includes New City Road and Cambridge Street. The 20m monopole would create an eyesore and spoil the existing designs planned to enhance the attractiveness of the area for local residents as well as visitors to the area.

Also the proposal is contrary to Planning Policy CPD9 - Protecting and Enhancing the City's Historic Environment. Within the City Plan, with reference to CPD9, there is a presumption in favour of protecting historic landmarks from inappropriate new development. The proposal has an adverse impact on the streetscape and skyline of a unique statue and is detrimental to the visual amenity of a public area.The proposal will negatively affecting the views of the statue of St. George and The Dragon from surrounding streets including Maryhill Road, St. Georges Road, St. Georges Place, and New City Road.The statue of St. George and the Dragon is featured in the Woodside Heritage Trail. 

The plans will damage the appearance of a site of special historic importance to the Woodside area and city’s history in general.  It is an established open space used by the public for recreational benefits including a Christmas tree lights switch on.It is listed as Application Reference Number: 20/01471/PNT and the closing date is 31st July 2020.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Accessibility to Kelvingrove Park

I spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine in Kelvingrove Park. During my visit, I observed that the locking of some of the gates is causing problems for residents as they make their way in and out of the park.

Firstly, the closure of the gate next to the An Clachan Cafe at Clifton Road is resulting in people using a narrow pavement to go to the next entrance. This is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs. 

Secondly, the closure of series of gates along Kelvin Way is causing inconvenience for parents with buggies, individual walkers and people who are cycling as they move around  the park to / from their home. 

Kelvin Way has been closed to traffic with support from the "Space for People" programme and this is encouraging people to get on their bikes. The closure of these gates does not make sense if Glasgow is aiming to be taken seriously as a bike friendly city. 

Closure of a gate at Kelvin Way

A cyclist putting their bike over the closed gate and then, jumping over.

Closure of another gate at Kelvin Way next to the bandstand and toilets.

One of the gates has been opened, at end nearest to University Avenue, to enable access from Kelvin Way. This is a very busy access point to the park.

I am saddened by the closure of many of the gates of Kelvingrove Park. My suggestions to address the anti-social behaviour in the park have involved the provision of staffing at all gates on hot, sunny days to curb the amount of alcohol taken in to the park. I have also pushed for youth workers to be involved in engaging with young people who use the park. To enhance their health and wellbeing as lockdown eases, there has to be a focus on developing safe spaces in our parks for young people to meet. 

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Viewpoint at Hamilton Drive

Today, I visited the community garden and viewpoint on Hamilton Drive. It was wonderful to find the wide range of flowers, rhubarb and fruit bushes being tended by local residents.

Pink Roses
Rhubarb and raspberry bushes
Seating area and planters of wildflowers
Compost heap and food waste area.

This is a much needed open space where residents can get involved in gardening and give support to pollinators including bees and butterflies. It is a quiet area for reading, writing and outdoor learning. During the Covid-19 pandemic, access to this community garden has been essential to promote the mental health and general wellbeing of residents staying at home as well as key workers.