Local Champions? not for Glasgow


The news arrived late yesteday afternoon in the City Chambers that the SNP Government, having last year awarded Glasgow the lowest funding settlement of any local authority, had ripped off Glasgow yet again.

Early this year John Swinney had told Glasgow to expect a reduction of 2.6%, equivalent to £43 million in cuts. Now Glasgow residents have been told we are to face instead a reduction of 3.6%, adding a further cut of £13.5 million. The Labour administration are now warning that “brutal and unpalatable” cuts options across all services will now be back on the table for consideration. 

And what of the SNP who said they would be ‘Local Champions’ for our communities. Had Glasgow received the same deal as SNP controlled West Lothian then the city would actually be £46 million better off. 

SNP Councillors in Glasgow however are out defending this cut – saying Glasgow got its fair share! With ‘Champions’ like this who need’s enemies.

UPDATE 13 Dec 2010

The Chief Executive has now written to all staff to alert them to the consequencies of the Scottish Government’s decision.


Glasgow City Council budget allocation for 2011 to 2012

You will be aware from reading the newspapers or listening to the radio that the Scottish Government has now announced our funding allocation for next year. I want to tell you what this means for us.

What has been announced?
The Scottish Government had previously announced that Local Government would receive a cut in budget of 2.6%. This would have meant a reduction in Glasgow’s budget of some £37 million and you will remember that last month we published a draft budget based on these figures..

In actual fact we have had our budget cut by 3.6% which means additional cuts to our budget of some £13.5 million. The circular which was published by the Scottish Government, along with an initial analysis – Finance Settlement Key Points – by the Executive Director of Finance..

It is also worth reflecting on the fact that if we had received the same cut as West Lothian Council, who received the smallest cut at 0.32%, our budget would require to be cut by a total of £5 million next year, not the £51 million by which we will actually have to cut it.

What happens next?
The Executive Director of Finance will be working to amend our draft budget to take into account these new, much deeper cuts. I am afraid I cannot say at this time when the new draft will be available for you to read. As you might imagine, a great deal of work will be required, probably through the Christmas break, so it may be late January before we have anything to share with you. Rest assured I will communicate with you again as soon as the draft budget is available.

I would like to stress that you must not underestimate the seriousness of the situation we now face. It is very likely that there will be difficult and painful cuts to services which we are proud to deliver and on which we all rely as citizens. I am confident that if any group of staff can get us through this it is you, however it will not be easy.

Ready for Winter?

 grit bin

As winter starts to bite with heavy snow falls and freezing temperatures I’ve been contacted about the Council’s gritting policy and the location of the nearest grit bin.

To try to help I’ve posted the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions supplied by Land and Environmental Services as well links to the winter Maintenance Plan and a list of all grit bin locations in our ward.


A1 The Council has agreed a set of priorities in the event of snow or ice on road surfaces being forecast.Top priority is given to:

·         Major Bus Routes;

·         Junctions;

·         Emergency Facility Access Routes.

Lowest priority is given to:-

·         Parks;

·         Private Roads.

A list of agreed precautionary treatment targets can be found in our Winter Maintenance Plan along with treatment priorities in the continued presence of snow or ice on the City’s roads within normal working hours.


A2. Land & Environmental Services has a contract with the Metreological Office to supply weather forecasts for Glasgow each day from the beginning of October until mid May.The Service has also installed ice stations at 5 selected locations within the City which, together with the facility to access 15 other stations in adjacent authorities, help to improve the accuracy of forecasts. Staff can access information from these stations via portable computers.Pre-gritting operations are undertaken from the beginning of November until the end of March on a standby arrangement. Ad hoc gritting is done outwith this period.


A3. Yes. A list of our footway treatment priorities can be found in our Winter Maintenance Plan.


A4. You can visit a Land & Environmental Services’ Depot and pick up some salt (maximum 10 kgs) or take salt from one of approximately 500 bins located around the City.


A5. Grit bin locations have been agreed with local communities. Further details of the Council’s policy on grit bins can be found in the Council Minutes.If you want to request that a bin be relocated, please contact Land & Environmental Services.


A6. Check if your road is covered by the criteria for pre-gritting as per Section 3 of the Winter Maintenance Plan. Roads outwith the priority criteria will be treated in accordance with Section 3.3.1 in the Winter Maintenance Plan.

Further Information

Details of the winter maintenance plan can be found here

Open the pdf here for further info: Grit bin locations in Ward 15 Maryhill Kelvin

Labour considers £100 million in cuts to City services


This morning saw the release of  details of spending cuts of over £100 million being considered by the city’s Labour administration.


  2011-12    2012-13    Total
    £m   £m    £m
Corporate 6,150,000 7,125,000 13,275,000
Corporate Services/Chief Executives 457,300 2,952,400 3,409,700
Development and Regeneration Services 430,000 120,000 550,000
Education Services 17,534,200 15,913,800 33,448,000
Financial Services 660,000 617,500 1,277,500
Land and Environmental Services 1,220,000 1,050,000 2,270,000
Related Companies 3,900,000 3,705,000 7,605,000
Social Work Services 15,500,000 11,000,000 26,500,000
Technical 7,346,700 5,954,700 13,301,400
Total 53,198,200 48,438,400 101,636,600

The Herald newspaper lead with the headline that “Schools bear brunt of Glasgow council’s £90m budget cuts” and listing proposals under consideration including:

  • the possible removal of the school breakfast provision.
  • removing mobile creche facilities.
  • reviewing early years provision
  • cutting school psychologists
  • increasing Secondary class sizes in Mathematics and English above the current limit of 20 pupils per class in S1/S2
  • freezing teacher pay
  • issuing 90 day notices to remove salary conservation from teachers
  • moving school support staff from 52 week contracts to term time working contracts.

Also proposed but not recommended included the closure of Blairvadoch Outdoor Resource Centre, increasing the cost of school meals, cutting teacher numbers and scrapping nurture classes.

Options under consideration elsewhere include the Assisted House Gardens Maintenance scheme which provides a service for over 17,000 vulnerable citizens. Labour are now considering a proposal to introduce a new weekly charge for this service.

Full details of the budget options put forward by departments can be found at: Glasgow Budget options

Labour to scrap North Glasgow Regeneration Agency

Glasgow’s Labour Administration are proposing to scrap 4 of Glasgow’s current Local Regeneration Agencies and merge them into the unnamed remaining 5th LRA to create one new agency controlling the entire regeneration budget for Glasgow.

Glasgow’s 5 LRAs currently employ 800 staff who must now wait while the Council decides on the scale of ‘efficiency savings’ that a single Local Regeneration Company can deliver.

There may be a sound business case for a single strategic body to oversee local regeneration in the city but the report before the Council’s Executive Committee today was only given to opposition Councillors less than 48 hours before the meeting and there are significant questions unanswered in the report. How many staff will be lost? how many local offices will close? how will this impact on the people who use the services?

North LRA has managed to get almost 900 unemployed people into work this year, helped local organisations to recruit staff and establish new businesses in Maryhill Kelvin. It has been at the heart of the business plans to save Ledgowan and Cadder Community Halls. It has also secured apprenticeships for young people in partnership with housing associations as well as helping youngsters in our area gain Commonwealth apprenticeships, it has also helped people back into further education and secured multi-million pound investment in the new Saracen Exchange project.

Labour want to scrap the  current network of Local Regeneration Agencies and have a new single company in place by 31st March 2011. The timetable looks impossible and the information to justify this is lacking in detail. Rest assured, as your Liberal Democrat Councillors, Mary Paris and I will want to ensure that any changes pushed through by Labour protect staff and enhance the ongoing work to create badly needed jobs and businesses in Maryhill Kelvin.

Road Resurfacing


Land and Environmental Services have confirmed that Burnhouse Street, Winton Drive, Fairhaven Road and Cleveden Drive are now part of the second phase of road repairs and resurfacing in the Maryhill/Kelvin ward. I’ve had lots of feedback on the poor state of roads and pavements in the ward  so glad to see that, allowing the Labour Council don’t cut funding, the third phase of carriageway resurfacing will include Cumlodden Drive, Sandbank Street, Arrochar Street, Herma Street, Tresta Road and Thornton Street.

There’s still lots to do but I’m promised repairs within 2 weeks on any potholes identified in the ward so keep the calls and e-mails coming in.