Council backs Evening Times ‘Opt for Life’ campaign

  picture of NHS organ donor card

I was really glad that our last full council meeting unanimously agreed to back the motion which I was honoured to move with Bailie Jean McFadden’s support.  I am really grateful that Jean seconded the motion because I know this is a cause dear to both of us. When my friend Peter was receiving his dialysis treatment it was often next to her husband John at the same hospital.  Jean spoke movingly of John’s kidney failure and the Second Chance campaign which he set up which also called for a move to a presumed consent system for organ donations.

You can get more information about the Evening Times campaign here and you can join the organ donor register here.

The motion in full read:

Council notes:

1. That although 90% of people say they support organ donation, for lots of reasons only a quarter of the UK population is on the organ donor register; 

2. That 3 people die every day across the UK while waiting for an organ transplant; and 

3. That support for a change to a soft opt out system is backed by major charities, including the British Heart Foundation, Kidney Research UK, Diabetes UK, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and the British Medical Association (BMA). 

Council therefore congratulates the Evening Times on its current campaign to secure more donors and urging the Scottish Government to adopt a soft opt-out system of organ donation to address a national shortage of donors on the register. 

Council therefore agrees: 

1. To add our support to the campaign; 

2. To encourage residents, councillors and employees to join the current donor register; 

3. To publicise our support for the campaign through all council media channels; and

 4. To send a copy of this motion to all MSPs.

Why I’m backing the Evening Times Organ Donation Campaign

Like 37% of Scots I’ve signed an organ donation card. Yet up to 90% of Scots indicate they support organ donation in the event of their death. That’s another 53% who could give the gift of life to someone after their own death.

That’s why I’m backing the Evening Times Campaign to persuade the Scottish Government to launch an ‘opt-out’ system of organ donation in which everyone is automatically placed on the donor register.

It would mean that, unless people opted out, hospitals would be allowed to use their organs for transplants.

Every day it is estimated that 3 people die in the UK while waiting for an organ transplant. A system of presumed consent could therefore literally save thousands of lives.

Please sign the Evening Times Petition at:

and join the organ register at:

Here is a good video from my colleague Alex Cole-Hamilton explaining why he backs Organ Donation

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.

Cleveden Community Club’s first year

Cleveden Community Club

Congratulations to Cleveden Community Club who have recently celebrated their first anniversary.

The Club was started last year to make the facilities of Cleveden Secondary School available to the Kelvindale Community.

Staffed mainly by volunteers and supported by the local Maryhill Kelvin Ward Councillors, the Club has provided access to swimming, football, badminton, basketball, table tennis and the use of the school fitness suite. There is also a book exchange, model making, flower arranging and jewellery making, plus taster sessions in bowls, martial arts, cycling and trying your hand at a musical instrument.  You can also relax with old friends and new in the Community Cafe.

Local young people were founder members and have served on the management committee from the start.  Several have taken first level courses in coaching football and basketball and have now become volunteer coaches.

This summer the Club has also joined with Kelvindale Bowling and Lawn Tennis Club to refurbish their two tennis courts.  Other links between these two organisations are in the pipeline.

Last August the launch of Cleveden Community Club was celebrated with a hugely successful Ceilidh attended by family groups of all ages – and our two community police!  


This year’s Ceilidh takes place at Cleveden Secondary School on Saturday 20th at 7pm with entertainment from the Cloud Howe Ceilidh Band.

Prices are £5 for over 16s

All welcome

Summer Programme

Weeks beginning 1st and 8th August 10 -12.

CCC has two venues and will be on Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday for the next two  weeks.  In the morning there will be coached football, badminton, basketball, racquetball (Tuesday) and the pool will be available. These sports will be at Cleveden Secondary from 10 am to 12 noon.  Cost £1 for members (please bring your cards) and £2 for non members.  CCC will ask you to fill in contact details etc on Monday, so please be patient. There will be some drinks on offer, but the main cafe will be in the afternoon at Kelvindale Bowling and Tennis Club in Baronald Drive.  Come along and join CCC for some tennis (a coach will be on site and they are keen to start a junior section so all ages welcome) and perhaps try some bowling between 2 pm to 4pm.    CCC would love to see you there. 

Glasgow and Southern Cross

I know that constituents have read about the crisis facing Southern Cross and are concerned about the potential impact upon Glasgow – below is the latest briefing supplied to Councillors from Social Work in this regard.

Briefing on the Current Position of Southern Cross

Date 3 June 2011

1.    Background

Southern Cross is the UK’s largest Care Home operator.  The provider is experiencing severe financial constraints that may lead to Administration.

2.    Glasgow Service Users

There are 8 Southern Cross care homes within Glasgow with capacity to support 497 individuals.  Currently there are 421 service users receiving support within Southern Cross’ Glasgow based Care Homes.  Glasgow City Council placed 335 of these individuals with the remaining 86 service users placed by external Local Authorities. In addition to this Glasgow City council has placed a further 176 individuals in Southern Cross Care Homes across the UK (173 out with Glasgow but within Scotland, and 3 out with Scotland). Glasgow City Council’s total spend with Southern Cross is c£10.5m (c£7m within Glasgow based services and c£3.5m out with).

3.    Business Position

None of the Southern Cross properties are owned by the provider. Rather, the company has indicated that it cannot honour the rent agreements it has with its landlords going forward. Southern Cross Senior Management met with property owners at the end of April 2011. It has intimated its intention to apply a 30% reduction in the rental charges payable to its landlords, deferred for 3 months. Consequently:

  • Southern Cross is not breaching bank covenants
  • Enables further negotiations concerning long term rental charges
  • Enables negotiations  to take place with prospective investors

It is not clear that all of Southern Cross’ landlords are supportive of this action, the consequences of which will only become clear over time.

4.  Discussions with Southern Cross

A meeting between Glasgow City Council Social Work Services and Southern Cross took place on the 17 May 2011.  Southern Cross could not divulge details of any specific care home closures due to limitations of being a public limited company.  However, they did advise that they had collated criteria to identify Care Homes that were likely to have a “limited lifespan”.  Southern Cross intimated that none of the Glasgow Care homes fit the “limited life” criteria.

A National Contingency Planning Group hosted by COSLA has been convened and meets regularly. Southern Cross has advised through COSLA that there are 10 care homes within Scotland that are likely to close.  Sefton park care home in South Lanarkshire is the first care home to be closed (2 August 2011). There are 7 Glasgow service users at Sefton Park.  Arrangements are in place to deal with this.

A further Social Work Services / Southern Cross Senior Management meeting is planned for mid July 2011. In the interim Southern Cross agreed to contact Social Work Services with any significant developments.

5.    Contingency Planning

A national contingency planning group hosted by COSLA has been established with a focus on Southern Cross. Glasgow City Council is developing its own contingency planning arrangements in line with the broader national contingency plan.  Even were Southern Cross to go into administration a worst case scenario where all existing residents physically have to move is highly unlikely due to the likelihood of at least a partial takeover from another provider. However, even allowing for this worst-case scenario there is sufficient capacity within the City to accommodate all of the 421 residents currently living here.  The contingency plan will also identify alternative locations for those service users living out with the City.  In extremes, support would be sought from the NHS to make hospital beds available on an emergency basis.

6.    Conclusion

We remain vigilant in our monitoring of Southern Cross’ position whilst it is prudent to contingency plan for the worst-case scenario highlighted above it remains an unlikely scenario.

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

Grand Launch for Cleveden Community Club

Cleveden Secondary

Great news from Cleveden Community Club and I’d just want to pay tribute to my fellow Liberal Democrat ward councillor, Mary Paris, for the tremendous work she has done on this. 

The Cleveden Community Club (CCC) was started by Kelvindale residents who recognised the limited opportunities for sporting activity within the Kelvindale community.  The CCC pilot was supported by Kelvindale Community Council, Culture and Sport Glasgow, Education Services Department and the four local councillors.  Applications for start up funding to a number of bodies including Maryhill/Kelvin Area Committee were largely successful.  A local business has also provided sponsorship. 

The Club’s aims are to provide:

  • sporting and non sporting activities for all age groups within the community twice a month mainly run by volunteers
  • opportunities for young people to undertake training in sports coaching and then to experience using their skills to the benefit of CCC
  • a space within the community where residents can start their own interest groups if they so wish.

The structure and programme of the Club has been developed with the help of Culture and Sport Glasgow (now Glasgow Life).   

5 pilot sessions have been run with, to date, 141 people having completed application forms for membership.  67 are now fully paid up members.  The age range is from 3 – 78.  Under 10s require an adult to accompany them.  There is a mix of coached and free play available in most activities.  The café provides a forum where families can meet.  It will also be used as space for non sporting activities such as a book group and jewellery making.  Links with other sports clubs are being explored in particular with Kelvindale Bowling and Lawn Tennis Club.  Several of the members including young people have volunteered to undertake training in order to be able to work as volunteer coaches for various activities.

The formal opening of Cleveden Community Club by the Lord Provost will take place on Sunday 22nd August 2010 at 2pm at Cleveden Secondary School, 42 Cleveden Road, Glasgow G12.

Members can enjoy a variety of activities including swimming, basketball, badminton, football, table tennis, model making, jewellry making, book swap and ….. a cup of tea!