Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Local Election 2022 Pledges

As a candidate for the Scottish Green Party seeking re-election in the Hillhead Ward, I have pledged my support for the asks of the following organisations:- 

Walk, Wheel, Cycle, Vote - http://walkwheelcyclevote.scot/how/


Scottish Women's Aid #Survivors Pledge2022 - 
https://womensaid.scot/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Press-Release-SurvivorPledge2022.pdf


Social Enterprise Scotland - https://socialenterprise.scot




Community Transport Association - https://ctauk.org/scottishlocalelections2022/










Scotland's Mental Health Partnership - https://www.smhp.scot/manifesto


STUC's Women's Committee #FoodForThought campaign for universal free school meals.


Sunday, 10 April 2022

Solidarity with Ukraine

On Saturday 9th April, I attended the day of action in support of Ukraine at George Square. There was a programme of music, poetry and speakers offering solidarity to the people of Ukraine.

Ukraine Solidarity Campaign Banner

View of the stage

Banners at the day of action

There is a regular gathering of people in support of Ukraine in George Square. The war in Ukraine is a disaster for the people of Ukraine and a terrible threat to us all, including increasing the danger of nuclear war. We have to work together to oppose the Russian invasion and call for the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops.  

The Home Office response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis has been slow and it has thrown every possible bureaucratic blockade in the path of refugees. It is placing unnecessary barriers in the way of people fleeing the most desperate situation imaginable. The visa requirement should be waived immediately.

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Community activities at Braeside Community Garden

Local children and families in North Kelvin are benefiting from the facilities at Braeside Community Garden on Maryhill Road. There are raised beds for children to engage in gardening activities alongside communal garden space and a woodland area.

Use of pallets for fencing around the garden

Artwork within the garden area.

Support for artists and designers. 

In the coming months, there are plans for regular community events including a local makers market on the 1st Saturday of each month. 

Celebration at Children's Wood

Last weekend, I visited the Children's Wood to join the celebrations for the signing of a 25 year lease for the land. This is significant progress after many years of campaigning to protect this vital area. I have always support this land being protected as open space, not for housing development.

Children's Wood Banner

View of the wooded area used as a forest school 

Food growing spaces

View of the North Kelvin Meadow and Children's Wood

Local schools, nurseries and families across Hillhead have highlighted the importance of this space for their activities as well as the wider community's health and wellbeing.  Thanks to everyone involved in supporting the process to secure this lease agreement.

Gathering to enjoy the tree blossom

Over the last few weeks, people have been enjoying the tree blossom across Hillhead. Many people have been gathering under the trees at Kelvingrove Park.

View of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Tree blossom in the sunshine

People meet friends under the tree blossom.

I have received enquiries from residents interested in supporting a blossom festival to bring people together in our public parks to celebrate the start of Spring.

Sunday, 13 March 2022

Empty building at Great George Street

There are ongoing enquiries about the empty building at 10 Great George Street. Recently, resident highlighted problems due to a roof collapse.


The site has been secured due to health and safety concerns. Heras fencing is preventing access for vehicles and anyone wanting to use the building.

Trinity Tower Incident Update

There continues to be an exclusion zone around Trinity Tower. I am in contact with residents who have been evacuated from their homes due this situation. 

Steel sheeting creates an exclusion zone.

I will continue to make enquiries with council officials in response to concerns raised by residents affected. It is anticipated that the exclusion zone will be in place for 2-3 months.

Restoration of Woodside Library

This week, a tour was provided to local councillors of the Woodside Library after the completion of the restoration works.

New dome and chandelier

Reading room with new book displays and study facilities.

New seating provided for library users.

New display cases for community information and local history.

This library will reopen to the public on 28th March 2022. Thanks to everyone involved in the restoration works.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Surgeries in March 2022

During March, I will be available to meet residents with concerns.

Please note the following information about my outdoor surgeries:-

Friday 4th March from from 2 - 3pm, at seating in Wilton Street Community Garden.

Friday 18th March from from 2 - 3pm, at seating in Cresswell Street Playpark, Cresswell Street.

Please wear a mask, bring hand sanitiser and maintain 2 metres distance. You can drop - in or book an appointment in advance by email or text message. 

Also, I can meet by appointment using MS teams on the following days:-

Wednesday 2nd March from 7 - 8pm

Wednesday 16th March from 7 - 8pm

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Thankyou.

Tree planting at Kelvin Walkway

Yesterday, I noticed that trees have been planted within greenspaces on Kelvin Walkway as part of environmental works by Scottish Water.

View of tree planting next to the old flint mill, near Garriochmill Road.

Thanks to everyone from Scottish Water and Glasgow City Council  involved in the tree planting project.

Reopening of Maryhill Library

Yesterday, I visited the Maryhill Library which reopened on 24th January 2022. It is a Carnegie Library which was first opened in 1905. There has been significant investment in the library's facilities including restoration of the wooden flooring.

View of resources available from Macmillan Cancer Support 

Wide choice of book available to borrow.

Children's area

Local history books and display

Maryhill Library has been reopened thanks to the efforts of many people including North Kelvin Community Council and library campaigners. Funding has been awarded from Scottish Government Public Library Covid Recovery Fund to enable Glasgow Life to reopen this library and others across the city. Residents across North Kelvin are encouraged to access the services available and ensure development of activities at Maryhill Library. 

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Budget passed on 17th February.

On 17th February 2022, an SNP-Green Budget was passed at a Glasgow City Council Meeting held virtually.

Firstly, I wish to thank the finance officers and all staff involved in the budget process including the green policy officer. Also, I am very glad to have been part of constructive budget negotiations alongside Cllr Jon Molyneux with the City Treasurer and the SNP Administration in the lead up to the budget meeting.

Combined, our investments will support a lasting legacy for Glasgow’s communities after hosting the COP26 climate summit. We face a stormy year ahead and will continue to call for more resources for local government from Scottish and UK Governments.

Greens are supporting the cleansing workforce and action to improve recycling collections across local neighbourhoods. Far too much waste that could easily be recycled is going to landfill or not being reprocessed. That is financially wasteful and it undermines opportunities to improve on Glasgow’s shameful recycling performance. We are providing more funding to ensure that the Council maximises support for the recycling of cardboard, in particular.

Our revenue investment improves the resilience of recycling bin collections with priority given to tenement areas, strengthening environmental health enforcement, and improving conditions and development opportunities for essential workers.

There is increased public concern over the environment, and changes to services around waste are most effectively achieved through supporting community activism at a local neighbourhood level. We need to develop services which work with residents to engender a spirit of common action to recycle more.

We are developing better bulk uplifts. Scottish Greens’ proposals mitigate the impact of bulk uplift charging, with a move to a flexible per-item charging model, allowing for periodic amnesties, and further promotion of repair and reuse options.

Funds are provided to design a free public transport pilot project to get Glasgow moving. A free transport pilot has been agreed as part of the Climate Action plan, backed by a motion passed on 9th December 2021. The response to the council leader’s letter from the Scottish Government’s Minister for Transport indicates support of a pilot, but lack of any finances being available. The Green budget addresses the funding gap.

Our Green proposals restore the £10m Glasgow’s Climate Action Fund to deliver agreed investment priorities. This will maintain Council-led action tackling the climate and nature emergencies.

Investments include Rapid implementation of city-wide 20mph speed limit at £2.1m. This is the cost to help implement a 20mph speed limit on the majority of our residential roads across Glasgow in partnership with Sustrans.

Rooftop solar investment is planned for Council buildings at £2m. This is contributing to a better future by reducing our carbon footprint through developing our renewable energy capacity.

There is increased support for food growing spaces to meet the rise demand for allotment provision at a cost of £0.2m.

Wildflower Meadow and Green Connector 5 year action plan is £1.5m. We want this funding to commit to enhanced wildflower and grassland management, operational delivery to increase biodiversity, pollinator friendly planting, creation of wildlife habitat, and maximising connected green active travel routes.

There is support for traffic calming measures at schools which cannot have Car-free School Streets at £0.5m.

The back courts and lanes funding of £0.7m is extended. Green councillors continue to support efforts to encourage people’s involvement in back lanes as a community asset and our budget provides access to the resources needed for maintenance of lanes across the city. This invests in safer, cleaner back courts and lanes. We expect this will help to improve security, address littering, encourage community growing and composting, or provide secure cycle storage or tool sharing schemes.

We are supporting a City Centre Greenspace investment. This is making the Ramshorn Cemetery a permanent, publicly accessible greenspace in the city centre, following its use during COP26. We recognise the importance of supporting better access to outside spaces for physical and mental health. Permanently reopening this important green space will benefit local residents and visitors. It’s been closed for several years and requires funding to re-open since Strathclyde Uni passed over the management to the council under City Property.

We have to ensure that there are improvements in council services to support the wellbeing of Glasgow’s citizens and also, look after the environment across all communities in the Dear Green Place.


Saturday, 12 February 2022

Support for Community Clean Ups

Today, I supported the community clean up of Southpark Avenue and Belgrave Lane. There is an ongoing problem of littering by people eating from local takeaways.

Greenspace on corner of Southpark Avenue and Belgrave Lane

View of Belgrave Lane

Green waste, litter and flytipping gathered for removal.

Thanks to everyone involved in supporting regular community clean ups across Hillhead. 

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Surgeries for February 2022

 

During February, I will be available to meet residents with concerns.

Please note the following information about my outdoor surgeries:-

Friday 18th February from from 2 - 3pm, at seating in Cresswell Street Playpark, Cresswell Street.

Please wear a mask, bring hand sanitiser and maintain 2 metres distance. You can drop - in or book an appointment in advance by email or text message. 

Also, I can meet by appointment using MS teams on the following days:-

Wednesday 16th February from 7 - 8pm

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Thankyou.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

Impact of exclusion zone at Trinity Tower

Yesterday, an exclusion zone was created around the Trinity Tower building at Lynedoch Street due to safety concerns. 

This has resulted in some residents being evacuated and a rest centre at Kelvin Hall has been set up by the Council, supported by the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership.

Also, there are road closures in place as follows:-

Lynedoch Street from Lynedoch Crescent to Lynedoch Place

Lynedoch Place at Park Circus Place


Woodlands Terrace at junction at Lynedoch Street/Lynedoch Place


Claremont Place


Woodside Terrace Lane at rear of Trinity building

Woodside Terrace/Claremont Terrace junction closed.

Thanks to all the staff involved in keeping people safe including Building Standards, Traffic Management, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Glasgow Life and Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership.

Please note that I completed a walkabout yesterday and today. I will continue to monitor the area through visits on foot. I await further information from building standards officer at the Council. 

Access by footway at Claremont Pass leading to Claremont Terrace

This is a very distressing time for all the residents within the Park area. If I can be of assistance to anyone affected, please get in touch.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Filming at Kelvinbridge

It seems that the disused tunnels at Kelvinbridge are being used for filming, today. I noticed that temporary buildings and access arrangements are provided for the cast and crew.


Glasgow is supporting more film productions with promotion of its unique architecture and heritage features. The film industry is vital to support the local economy and generate new opportunities for creative talent.

Objection to drive through on Tollcross Road

There is a proposal, planning reference: 21/03694/FUL to erect a restaurant/hot food takeaway and drive thru, with access, parking, landscaping and associated works. It is located at 1220 Tollcross Road, Glasgow, G32 8HH. I have objected due to the following issues:-

-Impact on local town centre

This proposal will have a negative impact on local food and drink businesses within the Tollcross area. There is already an over provision of local take aways and restaurants on Tollcross Road including Salt & Chilli Chinese Takeaway, Transylvania Food and Coffee, Sizzlers Indian TakeOut, Sea Salt Fish and Chips, The Chinese Hot Wok Tollcross, Wing Wah Takeaway, Ruby Murrys Takeaway, Rice Garden Chinese Takeaway, the Fullarton Grill, and Gourmet House. There is a choice of local drive through facilities nearby at London Road, currently occupied by McDonalds, KFC and Costa.

- Contrary to Policy

  • The Council declared a Climate Emergency

  • The Council agreed in September 2021 to explore measures to curb new drive-throughs

  • Car-centric infrastructure should not be approved

Glasgow City Councillors acknowledged in September 2021 that Glasgow must play its part to tackle the climate emergency and that this includes curbing the introduction of new drive throughs to reduce emissions and improve air quality in our neighbourhoods. 

- Road safety, traffic and parking issues

  • Significant increase of local traffic due to cars at the proposed site

  • Queues will form onto Tollcross Road

  • Car idling will cause further air pollution and noise pollution

  • Excessive local emissions from proximity to M7 and London Road.

The council has a long term transport strategy to increase walking, cycling and wheeling and reduce car use. This proposal will have the opposite effect. Drive throughs not only increase harmful emissions and entrench car use, but increase traffic congestion.

- Residential amenity 

This proposal is not in the best interests of the Tollcross neighbourhood and its residents. There will be a negative impact from a significant increase in cars and the queues that will form onto Tollcross Road creating a danger to road safety, on top of the car idling that will occur as happens at all drive throughs is an unacceptable cost to the community.


Tenement repairs at Oakfield Avenue

There is an ongoing public concern about the tenement at 16-18 Oakfield Avenue which is awaiting repairs. Neighbours are seeking an update on the programme of repairs.

view of the tenement and surrounding fencing

Regular enquiries are being undertaken to seek information from the structural engineers and owners of the property. Oakfield Avenue is still closed off. More details are awaited on the length of time required to complete the works.