Maryhill Park Investment Plans move forward.

Entrance sign for Maryhill Park, Glasgow

I notice there has been some interest over what’s happening at Maryhill Park. So I was delighted to hear from Glasgow Life today that two of the tennis courts should be open by the end of next week.

This sees further progress following the public consultation which established the investment plans for the park and follows the preliminary meeting of the Friends of Maryhill Park by residents in this area of the ward.

Glasgow Life have confirmed that:  “Over the coming months, planned investment work will be carried out to upgrade the tennis courts and further specialist work is planned for the running track. We will give access to the site, to allow for a spring clean of the surrounding areas.”

Glasgow Life, in partnership with local clubs and other agencies are looking at future plans for investment in the area, including the running track and tennis courts at Maryhill Park.

The city has invested £17 million in sports facilities in six locations which are within walking distance of the site, including a new £8.3 million, state-of-the-art leisure centre at Maryhill and numerous indoor and outdoor pitches.

Recent Investment 

  1. Maryhill has seen the construction of the city’s most recent major leisure Centre at Gairbraid Avenue in the heart of Maryhill. This significant facility sits alongside the redeveloped Burgh Halls as part of a massive regeneration project. The Leisure Centre includes a swimming pool, fitness suite, health suite, dance studios, sports halls etc and was opened in 2010 at a cost of £8.3m.  In this short space of time it has attracted over 400,000 attendances.
  2. New sports pitches and community leisure facility at John Paul Academy. These opened in 2008 at a cost of £2 million and have attracted 140,000 local people since it opened.
  3. Refurbished sports pitches adjacent to Maryhill Park. These opened in 2008 at a cost of £250,000.

There are numerous opportunities for young people to get active in the Maryhill area. Glasgow Life supports numerous sports clubs and activities for young people in the local area, including, bowling, football, judo, martial arts and netball – all of which include new expansion within junior ranks. The Maryhill Junior Boys Club and the Sapphire Gymnastics Club have been credited as outstanding examples of engagement with young people. 

Glasgow Life also supports the Maryhill Harriers, with the junior club attracting a regular attendance of 28 young athletes to the club.

Maryhill Activity Directory provides a comprehensive listing of activities and events in the Maryhill area. The directory includes activities mainly from the communities of Acre, Cadder, Firhill, Gilshochill, Hamiltonhill, Kelvindale, part of Lambhill, Maryhill, North Kelvinside, Ruchill, Summerston, Westercommon, Woodside, Wyndford & beyond.

Friends of Maryhill Park

Land and Environmental Services intend to hold a meeting in John Paul Academy during the week beginning 23 April 2012 to which residents who have expressed an interest in establishing a Friends Group for Maryhill Park will be invited.

In the meantime LES have advised on the use of Amenity/Greenspace ENV2 receipts towards providing play facilities and landscaping within Maryhill Park.

The funds will be used to create a new toddler’s play area in Maryhill Park and to introduce wildflower areas in the area just off Maryhill Road.

By re-landscaping this area and introducing meadow planting it is hoped this will enhance the wildlife value and biodiversity of the area and provide another area in the park where schools can visit and study nature.

First our Rail Stations, now SNP target Bus Services

As the consultation on Rail2014 and the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme end, and we await the outcomes on station closures and the future of the Queen Street to Anniesland northern line, we might have thought that that the public fury over these threats to our public transport would have taught the SNP Government that people want public transport improved, expanded but definitely not cut.

But this week I received notice from First Group of a new threat by the SNP Government to bus services.

The Bus Service Operators Grant, administered by Transport Scotland, is paid to bus operators to enable them to run services which might not otherwise be commercially viable and keep fares down.

The Scottish Government has recently informed bus operators that, from 1st April 2012, it plans to reduce the budget for the Bus Service Operators Grant by around 20%. In addition, the Scottish Government is changing the method it uses to calculate payments to operators. The combined effect could have a far reaching impact on many bus passengers, particularly those who live and travel in areas like the Glasgow conurbation.

And among the consequences First Group warn of:

  • Increased fares and a reduction in service levels – this is likely especially in cities such as Glasgow.
  • Increased pressure on local authorities – it is likely that the reduction in support will make it more expensive for local authorities to support socially necessary bus services and school services as operators will face higher costs when operating contracts. In addition, local authorities may be asked to support more services that are no longer commercially viable.

The SNP are telling people to use public transport on the one hand and are then cutting transport funding on the other. The SNP have known for months from the bus operators themselves that the scale and the speed of these cuts would have a damaging impact on the bus network, and it’s simply not good enough to try to pass the blame and expect operators to maintain current services while cutting their grant.

People are already struggling to keep pace with the rise in the cost of living and this latest news of increasing bus fares and cuts in services will hit the pockets of those hardest pressed in society and do nothing to promote greater use of public transport.

Maryhill Town Centre Gets Green Light

Maryhill's Historic Burgh Halls at Gairbraid Avenue

I was delighted at this morning’s Executive Committee to support the approval of the Maryhill Town Centre Action Plan. This marks yet another step in Maryhill’s regeneration and follows on the success in securing over £20 million in Council investment for Maryhill over recent years.

A visible first step in the plan is the agreement to proceed with the design works for the Gairbraid Avenue Public Realm project.

As residents know, Maryhill Burgh Halls benefited from an allocation of £1.8m from the Government’s Town Centre Regeneration Fund. To complement that investment Glasgow City Council allocated £500,000 towards production of a Maryhill Town Centre Action Plan and delivery of a public realm project to boost the area’s attractiveness for the existing community and for potential new residents, visitors and investors.

In April 2010 Development and Regeneration Services initiated preparation of the Maryhill Town Centre Action Plan. Community and Stakeholder engagement took place over a period of approximately a year, with suggestions for further consultation emerging at each step.

Residents made their view clear that the boundary for the TCAP should not be confined to the area currently defined as Town Centre in City Plan 2 but should be extended to stretch from Maryhill Railway Station in the north to the junction of Maryhill Road and Queen Margaret Drive in the south.

The result of consultation with residents, local business and other key groups is the Maryhill Town Centre Action Plan which was approved today an offers a real community led vision for Maryhill’s future.

The first step is Gairbraid Avenue and this work will be carried out by Rankin Fraser (co-designer of the award-winning Phoenix Flowers at Garscube Road). Having consulted with the community via Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust and the planning application process, the planning consent has been granted and construction should start on site early in 2012 with a six month contract.

Glasgow agrees new waste strategy

Last Thursday saw some good news on finally tackling Glasgow’s poor record on waste management which has seen our city bottom of the league in terms of recycling performance.

The project will mean:

  • 250 new jobs created
  • Household recycling rates increased to 50%
  • 90% of contract waste diverted from landfill
  • Production of renewable energy supplies for up to 22,000 households

Last year, Glasgow City Council achieved a 24% recycling rate. With the introduction of managed weekly collection, improvement in Household Recycling Centres and collection of additional recyclate material, the recycling rate is expected to reach 32%. However the Viridor solution will now complement Glasgow City Council’s existing recycling and recovery activities and raise the household recycling rate to 50%.

The new facility which we approved will be created in the Polmadie area and will create 250 new jobs and save the council £10m a year. It will combine a Smart Material Recycling Facility with an anaerobic digestion combined heat and power plant to deliver heat and power for the local community.

Full details of the proposal can be found here.

New plans for Maryhill Park

Maryhill Park was recently selected for an exercise to consider opportunities to develop the park which had potential to deliver significant benefits for local residents.

The purpose of the project was to identify opportunities to improve the park based on local opinion and using the skills, knowledge and involvement of the community. As a result of this approach Glasgow City Council is now seeking to develop proposals to realise the potential of this resource and make a significant contribution to the development of Maryhill Park as an attractive and sustainable park.

Following consultation the draft report has identified a series of short term aims including quality entrances, better signage, new lighting, tree and shrub pruning and new planting. The report also highlights the need to upgrade the play area, create new footpaths, and provide educational opportunities for young people in the park.

Glasgow Life have stated that the tennis courts are still in demand by some of the local community, and are included as part of Glasgow Life’s Strategic Development Plan for tennis.

The report’s recommendations will be considered over the next few months.

Action on Dog Fouling


Officers from Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Community and Safety Services are employing new tactics to crack down on irresponsible owners who refuse to clean up after their pets.

As well as continuing to issue fixed penalty notices to those caught in the act, teams will, for the first time, use CCTV and witness statements to issue them retrospectively.

Dog wardens will uplift animals that are stray or not under proper control.

And Clean Glasgow will work with landlords, where possible – and use antisocial behaviour legislation where it is not – to tackle persistent offenders.

Ultimately, this may mean going to court to remove an animal permanently, if offenders do not respond to other sanctions.

Teams will tackle hotspots identified by communities.


Report dog fouling and identify owners who do not clean up after their dogs to Clean Glasgow on 0800 027 7027

New 20mph mandatory zone for Cadder

One of the regular concerns raised by residents is about speeding and the dangers it poses. I’m therefore glad to see that Land and Environmental Services are now carrying out a preliminary consultation on the introduction of a new mandatory 20mph zone in Cadder.

The city’s Health Commission has already stated that there is clear evidence this will save young lives, reduce the severity of injuries and prevent accidents in our neighbourhoods. The measures will also benefit elderly and disabled residents and will help to put a clear emphasis in favour of people rather than the car.

After consultation, and once a traffic order is passed, signs will be placed at each entry and exit point of the new zones. These would be at the entrances into Cadder at Tresta Road and Skirsa Street.

On most of our residential roads, it’s neither safe nor appropriate to drive any faster than 20mph already – many are narrow, or in the case of Cadder, lined with park cars. I hope that the community will welcome this new mandatory zone as a step in the right direction to address traffic concerns in the area. 

And of course I hope the scheme can be rolled out in other areas of the ward as well.

Action on Garden Maintenance Scheme complaints

Glasgow’s assisted gardens maintenance scheme provides basic garden maintenance for some 17,000 citizens. The service is designed to help elderly and disabled people.

In previous years the service was supplied directly from the Council’s Land and Environmental Services department but this year the service was transferred to Glasgow Regeneration Agency with the hope of providing workplace and training opportunities to young people and offering the prospect of full time job opportunities.

However since the service transferred the number of complaints has steadily risen with constituents complaining of having received either no service or a very limited and poor quality service.

I recently met with managers from Land and Environmental Services (LES) to raise the level of complaints and the failure of the Regeneration Agency to deal with constituent complaints. A full debate on the issue was held at our Full Council meeting and the city’s Labour administration have now indicated that additional staff and management support will be provided. They have also indicated that the season will be extended into October in order to ensure that constituents receive some kind of service.

I fully support the aim of creating training opportunities for young people but I think it’s clear that Glasgow Regeneration Agency and LES were poorly prepared for the new scheme. The reasons behind the problems will be subject to scrutiny by Councillors as will the future delivery.

Nearly 300 constituents in Maryhill Kelvin receive this service and I’m determined to ensure that there is a dramatic improvement in the quality of the service for the start of the New Year.

Who is eligible for this service?

This service is available to residents of Glasgow who meet the following criteria:

  • The householder is a registered Council Tax Payer
  • The householder is over 70 years of age
  • The householder has a medical condition that prevents them from maintaining the garden
  • There are no able bodied persons between the ages of 16 and 69 in the household

What service is provided? 

  • 13 cuts per year
  • 3 hedge cuts per year

Rat problems


I’ve been getting complaints from local residents about a particular problem with rats and am working with Environmental Health and the Housing Association to address the problem. In the meantime I thought it might be of use for other constituents to know what action the Council can take to tackle the issue.


Glasgow City Council’s Land and Environmental Services provides a free service for the investigation and treatment of rat infestations in all locations, with the exception of commercial premises. So it does not matter if you are a tenant or an owner occupier or if the infestation is in a garden, back court or vacant site our Pest Control Section will carry out a treatment efficiently, using the safest products available. If we have to treat an infestation for you do not expect instant results. Rats are naturally wary of new food sources and it may be some time before they are comfortable eating the bait. Once they start to feed on the bait it can take between 3 to 10 days for the poison to be effective. You must make sure that children and pets never get access to any rat poison.

If you are unfortunate and need to use this service please contact:

The Customer Care Centre – Tel: 0845 270 1558 and select option 4.

The Customer Care Centre operates 24 hours per day every day of the year.

Here is some information and advice which you might find of assistance.

Breeding Habits

Rats are found worldwide and are considered a pest because they can cause structural damage, spread disease and compete with us for food.

Rat populations can develop very quickly in suitable conditions. If sufficient food and shelter are available, they can breed throughout the year with a female producing 7 litters of 8 to 10 offspring.

Their normal lifespan, in the wild, is about 18 months


Rats are very much creatures of habit and tend to follow routes with which they are comfortable. This means that, if the activity is outdoors, you may find distinct trails where their activities wear away vegetation. Also look out for droppings which are dark coloured and about the size and shape of a sultana. As the rat is a burrowing animal you may find signs of this outdoors. Burrow entrances will be between 70 – 120 mm in diameter.

The rat exudes an oily film, to protect its fur, and this can leave distinctive smear marks along surfaces, with which they come into contact and footprints may be found in mud or dust.

Rats are very destructive creatures and you may also find damaged foodstuffs and packaging, cables, pipes and woodwork. Rats need to gnaw on hard materials to control the size of their front teeth so you may find signs of this. It does not mean that they are feeding on these materials.


To prevent re-infestation and to assist with any treatment that is being carried out, it is important that you carry out any proofing or hygiene work which our Pest Control Officer recommends. Proofing is the technical term for any structural maintenance work which you have to carry out to deny access to rats. Hygiene controls are essentially depriving the rat of any food source, other than the poison bait.

As well as making these recommendations, the Pest Control Officer will be able to offer you practical advice on how to resolve any proofing or hygiene issues.

Things To Consider

    1. Remove all food sources
    2. Store refuse securely
    3. Rats are very resourceful creatures and will exploit any feeding opportunity which comes their way. From a pest control point of view, we would prefer that you did not feed birds whilst the treatment is in progress. If you feel that you must, please make sure that the food is not accessible to rats
    4. Make sure any pet food is stored securely and that any spillages are cleaned
    5. Clear up any dog mess (rats really will eat almost anything)
    6. Remove any source of water (turn any container, that might collect rain water, upside down)
    7. Clear any blocked drains
    8. Do not let gardens become overgrown
    9. Remove any piles of material, which may have accumulated in your garden