“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.

Marriage Equality will deliver a better country for us all

On the weekend as yet again the critics step up their words of fear and hate against the proposal to introduce equal marriage this video from the American Foundation for Equal Rights seems especially apt.

The video features an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon and others, “8” is a play written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and directed by acclaimed actor and director Rob Reiner. It is a powerful account of the case filed by the American Federation for Equal Rights (AFER ) in the U.S. District Court in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8 , a constitutional amendment that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. Framed around the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, 8 provides an intimate look what unfolded when the issue of same-sex marriage was on trial.

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

Time to help low and middle income families

The Lib Dem policy of no tax on the first £10,000 you earn is at the heart of the Coalition Agreement to be delivered by 2015.

We’ve already taken the first steps to delivering this – from April most local people will be paying £27.50 a month less in income tax.

The full £10,000 allowance will put £60 a month back in the pockets of ordinary people. It will take over three million low paid workers out of tax altogether.

These savings can’t come too soon for families in Glasgow. That’s why the Liberal Democrats are campaigning to bring forward the introduction of the £10,000 allowance.

Please sign the petition to persuade George Osborne to fast track the Lib Dem policy to increase the income tax threshold to £10,000 in the next budget, and hence take thousands more people out of tax and put £700 back in people’s pockets.

There are measures that can be taken to pay for this including the clamp down on tax avoidance and a mansion tax.

Please support this and help the Lib Dems to help the lowest paid and middle income workers in this country.

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 Activity Directory 2012 Launch

Maryhill Activity Directory is one of the really valuable resources I’ve came to rely on over the last few years. Jammed packed with details of all the voluntary groups and activities across my ward and the wider Maryhill area.

The Directory is a credit to Jim Hamilton, who’s energy and enthusiasm seem boundless, and to all the team who bring this together. The launch at Maryhill Fire Station was a great day out and was officially launched by Lord Provost Bob Winter who spoke on behalf of all four ward Councillors including Mary Paris, Mohammed Razaq and myself. 

We have been delighted to provide funding for the Directory over the last four years. I know we all wish Jim, his team and the Directory every success in the future.

Hard copies of the directory are available at most centres or you can drop Jim a message at: [email protected]

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.

Parkview Primary P7 play host for Burns Supper

I was delighted to accept my invitation from P7 at Parkview Primary to attend their Burns Supper this afternoon. P7 used the event as an enterprise project with teams assigned to work on finance, entertainment and catering. All the pupils had a role in the dancing, singing and poetry reading.

The event was huge fun and a big thanks go to Mrs Rowan and her excellent staff, the proud parents and of course the stars of the event, the pupils.