New Summerston & Acre Safety Forum


I hope residents will welcome the news that after concerns over a spike in crime and anti-social behaviour were raised with local councillors, meetings with community representatives in both Summerston and Acre have led to a regular Community Safety Forum being established.

The Forum includes local Councillors , tenant and residents groups, Asda and the voluntary sector. The Forum also has representatives from the Police, Glasgow Community Safety Services and Glasgow Life. 

Community representatives have praised the higher visibility of police officers in the area and welcomed the news that this would continue. The Forum were also keen to address the issue of facilities for young people and to hear about work being undertaken to address underage drinking in the area.

Voluntary Sector groups are also doing excellent work in the area with North United Communities already active in street work in Summerston and hoping to expand their activities at John Paul. Aberlour are working in Acre and will be taking part in the Acre Fun Day set for 6 August from 1 pm to 4 pm.

The new Community Safety Forum aims to meet on a regular basis to exchange information and to look at ways to improve particular problems in the area. However everyone agreed that whether it’s criminal activity or anti-social behaviour we all have a role to play in helping our communities by contacting the police or reporting issues to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Botanic Gardens Cafe

Botanic Gardens

Good news as we finally start on the conversion of the ground floor of the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre into a Family Café. Plans are all in place now and we hope soon to have a traditional tea room serving tea, coffee, soft drinks and high quality baking and snacks. Wall space will be used as before for art exhibitions with works by local artists on display and for sale.

Many of you will have noticed the new patch of hard standing down near the main gate. This is the base for a new cabin, with picnic tables to the rear, which will offer a range of takeaway items. The cabin will replace the van that stands at present in front of the West Range of glasshouses.


New homes for rent as Maryhill Locks Projects starts.

I was delighted to be with fellow Maryhill Kelvin Councillors and local City Building apprentices to mark the beginning of work at Maryhill Locks Transformational Regeneration Area.

We broke ground for the beginning of work at Maryhill Locks as part of the local Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) programme, which aims to deliver affordable housing for rent and sale alongside community, business, leisure and retail spaces in a high-quality environment.

The project will see more than £15m being invested in Maryhill, with a long-term goal being 700 new homes.

One of the biggest issues I’ve faced since becoming a Councillor is the shortage of new social rented homes and in particular family sized homes so I’m delighted to see over a 100 new Housing Association properties being built and the aim for up to 600 additional homes for shared equity and for sale.

And the other real benefit is the jobs created for new local apprentices which is something I know all of the ward Councillors welcomed.

City Building Apprentices employed on Canal Project

City Building Apprentices employed on Canal Project

Update on Southern Cross

Latest update following collapse of Southern Cross posted below.

Briefing to Elected Members on the Current Position of Southern Cross 

Date: 11 July 2011

  1. 1.        Background 

1.1     Southern Cross is the UK’s largest Care Home operator with 8 Care Homes within Glasgow. 

1.2     On the 11 July 2011, the Provider announced that it intends to wind up its operation following the notification of their intention to leave the Southern Cross Group. The Provider has intimated that it will no longer exist after the period restructuring at the end of October 2011.   

  1. 2.        Glasgow Service Users 

2.1    There are 8 Southern Cross care homes within Glasgow with capacity to support 497 individuals.  Currently there are more than 400 service users receiving support within Southern Cross’ Glasgow based care homes.  Glasgow City Council placed approximately 335 of these individuals with the remaining 86 service users placed by external Local Authorities. 

2.2     In addition to this Glasgow City Council has placed circa 176 individuals in Southern Cross Care Homes across the UK (173 out with Glasgow but within Scotland, and 3 out with Scotland). 

2.3     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). 

  1. 3.         Business Position

3.1.    There are a number of landlords within the Southern Cross group.  The biggest in the UK has intimated that they will continue to run their business and will be negotiating with other care providers to provide care in their homes. It is anticipated some smaller landlords will continue to work in partnership with this landlord.

3.2.    The exact position with the other landlords is unclear but they will also all be actively seeking other care providers to provide care in their homes.

3.3.    The National Contingency Planning Group has been working with key stakeholders to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. There are regular meetings of this Group and senior management from Southern Cross will be present at the next meeting to give further update on the current position.  

3.4.    Cosla does not anticipate any closures of care homes in the short term and will continue to demand continuity of care from landlords and providers. The default position is to assume that the market will deliver a solution.

3.5.    SCSWIS (formerly the Care Commission) is also meeting regularly with the Provider to ensure that there is a seamless transition to another care provider

  1. 4.         Council Position

4.1.    The Council is represented on the National Contingency Planning Group and continues to work closely with Cosla, Scottish Government, SCSWIS and other Councils and the Provider to ensure consistent care continues to be delivered by Southern Cross and that any disruption to service users is minimal.

4.2.    A Glasgow Contingency Planning Group chaired by David Williams, Assistant Director, Social Care Services meets weekly to ensure that there is a well coordinated response within the Department. Every service user within Glasgow has an allocated care manager. There is programme of reviews organised for those service users who have not had a review in the last 6 months.

4.3.    Active contract management is also taking place with regular visits to the homes with regular feedback also being sought from home managers.  These processes will highlight any concerns regarding the care provided in these homes.

4.4.    Regular updates to briefings will be provided as more information becomes available.

Maryhill Hub News

The Hub

The Hub continues to enjoy success with more and more activities now being delivered and a significant increase in people using the centre.

Through the local community planning board we were able to secure over £100,000 of additional funding from partner agencies to improve the landscaping around the centre including a new toddlers play area and also finally geting the old blaes pitch by the rec centre upgraded to grass.

I was also happy to approve a grant of £10,000 to the Wyndford & District Community Council to also help improve local facilities.

Glasgow Commmunity Safety Services (GCSS) who run the Hub have also recently created an e-newsletter giving more details about what’s happening at the Hub.

HUB Enews

Cadder Task Group launched

I was delighted to attend the first meeting of the Cadder task group which includes representatives from Cadder Housing, the Community Council, centre management committee, voluntary agencies, regeneration staff and council officers.

Top of our agenda was of course the continuing work on the centre and in particular securing funding for refurbishing the sports hall which had been damaged by flooding.  We agreed that there are both short and long term objectives which require to progressed in relation to the Cadder Community Centre, specifically, and the wider neighbourhood, more generally.

Short Term Objectives – Ensure the ongoing use of the existing centre with additional refurbishment to the buildings to ensure that they can continue to provide a quality facility for the community.

Long Term Objectives – Developing the community centre as part of the wider regeneration of the Cadder area.  This includes exploring the opportunity to develop a Regeneration Masterplan for the Cadder area to look at addressing issues including transport and road access problems, the need for new housing, play areas, retail opportunities and future school building plans.

Area Committee grants for June 2011

Maryhill Kelvin Area committee met this morning and the ward Councillors and Community Council reps agreed the following grants:

£4537 awarded to Creative Choices:

To provide a Music pilot programme (6 months) in the Maryhill Hub on Tuesday nights 6.00pm-7.30pm and Wednesday nights 7.00 – 8.30pm. The programme has been developed as a method to combat anti social behaviour and has been designed to respond to the request of young people using the Centre. The programme will run 27 sessions. The programme will provide opportunities to learn about different styles of music, to use and learn to play an instrument.

£976 to Acre Tenants and Residents Association:

Game on: To purchase two televisions, gaming consoles and equipment to provide gaming sessions for young people attending the Community Hall. The application has been proposed to respond the requests from young people and their parents for more youth activities in the Hall. It is hoped that that Game On project would increase the current Hall membership which stands as approximately 50.

£3906 to North United Communities

Summer Diversionary Activities – Cadder Community Centre & Maryhill Hub. To provide a 4 week programme of diversionary sports and arts activities for up to 150 young people through the school summer holiday period. Activities will include in-house multi sport sessions, providing trips and excursions, kayaking, gorge & hill walking, biking as well as family trips to the Park.

In addition the Area Committee also agreed the following funding:

£1077.64 for North West Women’s Centre play scheme.

£847.61 for Shakespeare Street play scheme.

£467.30 for Ruchill Church play scheme.

£1376.45 for Breakthrough play scheme.

Further information on the Council’s Area Committees as well as advice on grant funding can be obtained by contacting the Development Officers who support the Area Committees throughout the City.  For Maryhill Kelvin they are:-

North West Area Team

The Mercat, 31 Hecla Square, Glasgow G15 8NH

Tel: 0141 276 9900  Fax: 0141 276 9909

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

SNP comments don’t bode well for Glasgow 2012

Reading the comments from SNP Councillors about their plans to takeover Glasgow City Council next May one would think this is a done deal and one in which voters will have little say.

While the SNP may have won out at Holyrood, voters in Glasgow will decide who their local councillors are next May and that judgement will be made on very different grounds not least their record in council. Constituents in my own ward will certainly be asking why the SNP voted on Glasgow Life’s Board to close Wyndford Recreation Centre, Ledgown Tenant’s Hall and Cadder Community Centre as well as asking why the SNP group failed to support Scottish Liberal Democrat proposals for over £40 million in a new school building programme.

Early comments from the SNP group about ‘reviewing’ the network of Arms Length External Organisations such as Cordia or City Building are concerning when these companies have not only saved the Council some £27 million but also provided much needed jobs and in particular  hundreds of vital apprenticeship places for our young people.

Claims of Council managers “running riot”, and comments such as “There’s a lack of respect between senior officers and the people running this ship that needs to change. That doesn’t mean a clear-out, but we do need to review if everyone fits in.” do not bode well. I have had nothing but support from council officers and hold them in the highest regard. As a former GCC employee and Unison trade union officer I worry at an SNP council group that so often attacks staff in the press when staff are unable to reply.  

In 4 years, and despite having a publically funded full time policy officer, the SNP group have not presented a single new policy in Council and this year didn’t even present an alternative budget for the city. If they aspire to be more than an opposition then they will need to demonstrate how Glasgow would be run under an SNP administration, meanwhile their comments so far give real cause for concern for both staff and Glasgow as a whole.

Events Sat 21st May in Maryhill

Two big events this Saturday which I hope people will support.

Maryhill Parish Church are hosting their Family Spring Fair from 12 to 2pm. The parish promises everything from a bouncy castle to BBQ, car boot sale and lots lots more. The Church is at 1990 Maryhill Road, opposite Maryhill Train Station.

And the Glee musical at The Maryhill Hub (former St Gregory’s) Wyndford Road at 7.30pm, cafe open too for food and refreshments. Come down and support the kids of Maryhill.