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.

Cordia Wrong on Jubilee Holiday

Cordia LLP logo

Like other Councillors I was recently contacted by the trade union Unite about the decision of the Cordia LLP Board not to grant Unison or Unite members the Diamond Jubilee as an extra public holiday, despite it being awarded to 7000 GMB members in Cordia, all other Arms Length Companies (Aleo’s) and all the city council staff.

Normally I have nothing but praise for the work of Cordia but I must admit that as a former negotiator for Unison I was shocked by this and even more so when I was advised that the Cordia Board comprising four Labour and one SNP Councillor had backed this decision.

In correspondence the Managing Director of Cordia has advised me the issue of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee holiday is tied into a range of changes in staff terms and conditions which Cordia feel are necessary in order to deal with the financial challenges faced by the company. Ominously the letter states that:

 response from Cordia LLP on Jubilee Holiday dispute

Whatever the dispute between Management and Unions over the wider package of service reform it cannot make sense to say that 94% of your workforce can have the Jubilee holiday but 6% cannot. The cost of bringing those staff in, especially given all council staff will be off, will clearly exceed the cost of granting the holiday.

I’ve written back to Cordia urging them to separate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Holiday from this dispute with two of their unions. I hope commonsense prevails and that the new Cordia Board, which will be selected after May’s elections, will reverse this decision.

A Fresh Start for Glasgow

front page of Glasgow Liberal Democrat ManifestoIf you read the press the council elections in Glasgow are often framed as a battle between the SNP and Labour in some kind of titanic struggle that may determine the outcome of a future Independence Referendum.

But the reality is that these elections are actually about how our City is run and our communities best served. The choice on May 3rd should be about electing hard working Councillors not part time politicians. Being a Councillor is a job of work, Councillors in Glasgow are responsible for a budget of over £2 Billion pounds and how Councillors resource, plan and deliver services affects the daily lives of citizens far more than any MSP or MP.

We believe these elections give Glasgow an historic opportunity to shed the mistakes of the past and deliver a fresh start for our city, restoring it’s reputation and re-establishing the bond of trust between our city and its people. Some of our key themes are set out in our Manifesto for Glasgow.

So I urge constituents, keep on asking the hard questions of what candidates will actually do, and most of all exercise your right to vote on May 3rd.

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.

Community groups benefit from March Area Committee grants

Community Notice Board

The March meeting of Maryhill Kelvin Area Committee was happy to support the following bids from local groups.

£2050 to Wyndford Residents Association and Wyndford & District Community Council for ‘Wyndford World Cup Fun Day’ to take place in and around Maryhill Hub on Saturday 26th May 2012.

£1000 towards the Cadder Community Festival which will be held on Saturday 16th June 2012.

£1000 to Summerston Youth Forum towards a gala day on 30th June 2012 North West Women’s Centre.

£2000 for St Mary’s Primary School for new playground equipment.

£1,800 to John Paul Academy Parent Council for equipment for playground games event.

£2000 to John Paul Academy for equipment and clothing for pupils participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

£4647 to support the refurbishment of Cadder Community Centre, this follows on the successful bid for £28,000 approved at the Maryhill Kelvin and Canal Local Community Planning Partnership.

£539 for new IT equipment for The Disability Community project which aims to enhance the lives of disabled people within the local area by improving services and providing opportunities for personal and social fulfilment.

£250 to Gairbraid Women’s Church Guild towards the cost of Bus hire for a trip to Oban on 2nd June 2012 for approximately 33 people.

£195 agreed for bus trip by the North West Women’s Centre to the Scottish Parliament.

£600 to Greater Maryhill Outreach project for children’s musical instruments.

£450 to Wyndford & District Community Council towards purchase of laptop and printer.

£830 to Glasgow Repertory Company towards delivering a tour of the 2012 production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to communities in Glasgow. This proposal is specifically aimed at a performance in Botanic Gardens and one in the St Matthews Centre (Canal ward). These performances will be free at both venues and take place on 17th and 18th July 2012.


“Cadder deserves the best”

That was the clear decision of last month’s task group meeting where Cadder Housing Association and Grant/Murray architects unveiled the stunning artwork from the new plans for Cadder Community Centre and Sports Hall.

The task group which includes Cadder Housing, the Centre’s management committee, Cadder Community Council, council and voluntary sector partners and Cadder’s Councillors, MSP and MP were thrilled by the vision of a new build sports hall and refurbished community centre.

And in further good news, Maryhill Kelvin Area Committee approved a grant of £12,000 for work on the Community Centre and will consider a further bid at our next meeting in April. 

All of us know Cadder deserves good community facilities and when it comes to the Centre and Sports Hall Cadder has shown it has big plans which we hope all of the community will get behind and support.

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.

February Area Ctte Grants

This month Maryhill Kelvin Area Committee was happpy to support the following bids for support:

North Glasgow Healthy Living Community

Funding for 7th Annual North Glasgow 5k Fun Run to take place on 22nd April 2012.

Awarded £822

Go Safe Glasgow Road Safety Partnership

The partnership requested a total sum of £42,000 from Area Committees across the city to contribute to two initiatives (£2,000 per committee) as follows:

1. Costs of fitting out and purchase of on board recording equipment and signage for a Speed

Reduction and Information Vehicle. Go Safe Glasgow is launching a year long speeding campaign supported by Strathclyde police. The vehicle will be deployed on a rotational basis within each area. A quarterly report will be submitted to each Area Committee supporting the vehicle; and made available to engineers in their assessment of measures to reduce speed in identified areas. Strathclyde Police will support the initiative through targeted enforcement of identified repeat offenders. Each area will have an equal share of the resource which in addition to recording speed can be deployed to local communities to deliver road safety messages.

2. Go Safe Primary Safety Pack. The partnership will develop an interactive safety education resource which will cover all aspects of safety including prevention of crime, road safety, water, railways and fire. A fully Interactive Website will enable the involvement and input of local elected members and include links to access local services and agencies; additionally some documents will be available in other formats/languages. Education Services will develop and provide delivery of the programme throughout their schools as part of the Curriculum of Excellence.

Awarded £2,000

Cadder Housing Association

The housing association requested a contribution towards the following upgrades to Cadder Community Centre:

1. Renew / Upgrade Male Toilets approx £5,000

2. Renew/ Upgrade Female toilets approx £5,000

3. Remove obsolete water storage tanks approx £2,000

4. Create new reception space from intervening space between existing reception area and toilets approx £15,000

5. Renew internal doors approx £5,000

Work on the exterior of the building has been carried out including commissioning a new roof, cladding, heating and connecting fire alarms. The next priority is to make the centre more welcoming.

Awarded £12,000 and agreed to give further consideration to further funding at the next meeting.

1st Glasgow Boys Brigade 

To purchase equipment for use by the 51 members during the camping weekends, weekly activity programmes and the annual summer camp.

Awarded £1,575

A budget that put Glasgow first

Today we came so close. In fact we came to within 2 votes of securing a better budget, a budget that met Glasgow’s needs. Too often people tell me that when push comes to shove politicians will always go with what is in the interests of our party and not what is necessarily the best for Glasgow.

So today we faced the question head on and we put Glasgow first. All of Glasgow’s opposition parties agreed to meet this morning and see if we had the wit and the will to set aside party advantage and work in partnership to present a credible alternative budget that for the first time in a generation stood a real chance of securing a majority in Council.

This wasn’t going to be an SNP budget, a Green Budget or a Scottish Liberal Democrat budget. No party would be able to claim it had sole ownership or led on this budget.

We were able to agree an alternative and the full detail of our budget is contained here in the Opposition Budget

Despite our best efforts and the support of six Labour Councillors we were unsuccessful. The Labour party budget secured the support of 38 Labour Councillors, one suspended Labour Councillor and one Independent. In total they had 40 votes to our 38.

Despite the spin they place upon the opposition budget and claim it cut education and jobs, the fact is that our joint budget proposed:

  • £32 million for a new primary school building programme.
  • To restore the cap of no more than 20 pupils in S1/S2 Maths and English classes.
  • Employ additional ESL Teachers and increase the number of teachers in Family Centres
  • A £2 million jobs fund to support training and employment for young people
  • The appointment of a Carers Champion and increased investment in Carers Centres.
  • £8 million additional investment in roads and pavement maintenance.
  • Enhanced recycling and the introduction of weekly blue bin collections.

We believe that it was right for Glasgow’s opposition parties to try to secure the best possible budget for Glasgow. This time we lost but I believe all of us benefitted from working in partnership in the best interests of Glasgow. I think that’s what people want to see more of, not less. Rest asssured I will always work with those who continue to put Glasgow First.