Monday, 10 July 2017

Burnbank Gardens Clean Up

Yesterday, I helped with a clean up in Burnbank Gardens, Woodside. This area is part of the Glasgow West Conservation Area and an important feature of the city's greenspace network.

 Litter gathered at the clean up
View of Burnbank Gardens

I look forward to taking part in future events to promote the gardens and improve the maintenance of the local area.

Celebrate treaty to ban nuclear weapons

On Saturday, 8th July, I went along to the North Gate at Faslane Naval Base to join a group celebrating the United Nations completing talks to agree a Ban on nuclear weapons.



The global treaty banning nuclear weapons was passed at a special meeting at the United Nations in New York on 7th July. This treaty was supported by 122 countries after many years of negotiations. Ongoing concerns have been raised by peace activists about the UK government not taking part in the talks. It is a huge disappointment that the UK has not participated in the process of agreeing the treaty. 

Further information at: http://www.banthebomb.org/index.php/news/trident/1938-global-treaty-banning-nuclear-weapons

Friday, 30 June 2017

Go Pesticide-Free

Today, I attended the first Scottish-wide pesticide free workshop for towns and cities to hear about the work of Pesticide Action Network UK. Information was provided about the human health effects of pesticides and examples from Edinburgh, Ghent (Belgium) and across France were shared to highlighted the process of communities becoming pesticide free.

 Information booklet produced by PAN UK

Outside the workshop venue in Edinburgh

There is a new toolkit available for local authorities to help to develop pesticide reduction programmes. This will be discussed further with council officials, other councillors and residents in the next few months.

Please find out more at: http://www.pan-uk.org/pesticide-free/

Finding Youth Services Available

This week, I received information about local youth services available to young people in the Hillhead area and across the North West of Glasgow.

Online resources at: www.y-pod.info

Youth Health Support for 12-19 years olds on 0141 451 2727

Glasgow Disability Alliance has a Summer Programme for young disabled people to enjoy.

Support for parents with learning disabilities

This week, during my discussions at an North West Glasgow Networking Event organised by GCVS, I heard about the issues facing parents with learning disabilities and research by IRISS provides information on key concerns:-
  • Families where the parent has a learning disability are often over-represented in the child protection system
  • There is a lack of clarity over the number of parents with learning disabilities currently living in Scotland
  • Early identification of parents is crucial to allow preventative work to take place, however crisis intervention still dominates
  • Tools exist to assess parenting capacity, however, many are unsuitable for parents with learning disabilities and need to be adapted

Copy of report available at weblink: 

The research conclusion states:
"Little is known about how many families are affected by parental learning disability in Scotland and the UK and there are a number of challenges in establishing prevalence rates. It is clear, however, that the lives of parents with learning disabilities are likely to be characterised by marginalisation and disadvantage and they are likely to be disproportionately represented in the child protection system. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that parents with learning disabilities can and do become good enough parents when the right support is in place. This support should be based on the principles of supported parenting set out by SCLD in 2015. Evidence suggests that good progress has been made in providing this support, particularly peri-natally. However, geographical variation remains across the country and further work is needed to ensure that support is available on a longer-term basis with flexibility around key transition points in the life of the child and parents."

This research can be viewed alongside significant work completed on "Investing in advocacy interventions for parents with learning disabilities: what is the economic argument?"
by the London School of Economics published at: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51114/?from_serp=1

I will ask about the implications of this research on the provision of services by the Council. There is a need to consider the use of specialist parenting programmes as they can provide more effective outcomes for parents with learning disabilities than standard programmes. 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Wildflowers on St Georges Road

Today, I supported a community clean up in the Woodlands area and helped to tackle the litter problem on the embankment next to the M8 at St Georges Road. During my efforts to de-litter the area, I recorded some of the plants and flowers in the area.

Clover with bees on the edge of the roadway.

Mushrooms growing next to the M8. 

Foxgloves amongst the wildflowers.

View of the wildflowers and grasses on the road verge.

The embankment next to the M8 is a vital habitat for wildflowers and supports biodiversity. There is evidence being gathered by Plantlife about the importance of road verges in supporting our rarest plants. 

Further information is provided in a report available at the following website:



Cycling safety at Charing Cross Junction

There are ongoing concerns about the safety of cyclists at the junction of Woodlands Road and Charing Cross. There are proposals for segregated cycle routes as part of the Woodside Mini-Holland Cycle Project to address these safety concerns. 
View of Woodlands Road from Charing Cross Junction

Consultation on the proposals is taking place in the next few weeks. Further information is available at: https://woodsideminiholland.commonplace.is/about