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Life-Saving Nasal Sprays to Help Prevent Fatal Overdoses

The new Naloxone nasal sprays will be easier to use than traditional injection kits

Special nasal spray are to be issued to staff in Glasgow’s homelessness services in a bid to prevent fatal drugs overdoses.

Frontline staff in the city’s homeless units will be trained to use Naloxone sprays which can help prevent deaths among drug users. Although staff are familiar with the use of Naloxone, the sprays are an alternative to existing injection kits.

The new Naloxone nasal sprays will be easier to use than traditional injection kits

Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) is introducing the sprays in response to the rising number of fatal overdoses.

In January, GCHSCP was so concerned, it took the unprecedented step of issuing a warning about the risks posed by poly drug use, particularly the rise in cheap Street Valium pills (Etizolam) – especially if mixed with heroin or alcohol.

Staff within GCHSCP services have been shocked and saddened by the unprecedented number of deaths among services users whom they work with closely. The Partnership is also introducing counselling, training and support for employees affected by such tragedies.

Councillor Mhairi Hunter, Glasgow’s Convener for Health & Social Care, said: “Glaswegians have been shocked by the unprecedented drugs deaths figures. Addictions and Homelessness services are doing all they can to help people whose addiction is so severe they are undeterred by the risk of HIV, anthrax, amputations and even death. The scale of the deaths is a human tragedy devastating friends and relatives of the victims, I am also acutely aware of the emotional toll on frontline staff, including those in Addictions and Homelessness services, who work closely with those most at risk.

“This is the first time the GHSCP has had access to Naloxone nasal sprays and the hope is that, by training staff to use them, they can act quickly to save lives in the event of an emergency. This new way of administering the drug, which can revive people, is less daunting than having to give someone an injection.”

Glasgow’s Alcohol and Drug Partnership is currently developing an action plan in a bid to reduce drugs deaths and a national taskforce involving several Glasgow specialists will also address this complex issue. The city continues to lobby Westminster for a change in the law which would enable the creation of a Safer Drug Consumption Facility which could help save lives and reduces the impact of drug use on communities.

Drug use is prohibited in homeless units.

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People power will drive future plans for People’s Palace

peoples palace

People power is set to drive the future of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens following a decision of the council’s City Administration Committee.

In what could be largest exercise in participatory democracy seen in the city, members of the public will be involved in all aspects of the project that will be focused on creating a sustainable future for the People’s Palace.

peoples palace

Information gathered during engagement with Glasgow’s citizens will directly inform the vision of the future use for the building, including the glasshouse structure, and the design work required to make that vision a reality.

An expression of interest will now also be submitted with the Heritage Lottery Fund later this month in anticipation of a full application for funding support being lodged next year.

As part of the £750,000 plan approved by the City Administration Committee, a set of basic principles, or  ‘givens’, on what the People’s Palace must deliver in future has been laid out.

These are:
– Revitalising and enhancing the museum displays and content that tell the social history of Glasgow.
– Retaining the existing glasshouse structure
– Continued free access to the museum and public areas.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens closed to the public on December 31 last year after an engineer’s report indicated that the structural integrity of the Glasshouse could not be guaranteed. A £350k refit subsequently allowed the museum to reopen, but both the People’s Palace sandstone building and glasshouse structure are currently in need of repair and refurbishment.

Part of the £750k fund will be deployed to undertake the design works associated with repairing the Glasshouse, which will enable the preparation of detailed costs for the restoration of the glasshouse structure. A detailed condition survey of all the infrastructure within all of the building such as heating, electrics, ventilation and plumbing would also be undertaken.

Information then gathered from engagement with the public would be used to shape and co-produce the design work that will identify the different ways in which the whole building could be potentially used in future. This design work will also be funded from the overall £750k budget.

Councillor David McDonald, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, believes the proposal demonstrates the council’s clear commitment to revitalising the People’s Palace, including the Glasshouse.

Councillor McDonald said: “The People’s Palace is one of the city’s most cherished places.  For over 120 years it has been a gathering place, entertaining and informing Glaswegians and visitors to the city.

“It is the home of the city’s social history, our collective memory, and a place that fosters a strong sense of belonging.  But it has also had a chequered past with the building having to close on several occasions to allow significant repairs to be undertaken, particularly to the Glasshouse. Now is the time to break that cycle.

“We want the building’s future to be rooted in its past heritage, remaining as a focal point for the neighbouring communities, while finding new and innovative ways to tell the city’s story.  In line with the city’s wider priorities, the People’s Palace could also take on a refreshed role in helping us address a wide range of issues such as contributing to wellbeing and good health as well as promoting civic and democratic engagement.

“I believe the opportunities are limitless for the role that the People’s Place can play in improving life in the city.  But we want to hear from the people. The people of Glasgow must be fully involved in co-creating the plan for the future for the People’s Palace.

“We want to get the widest range of views and draw upon the knowledge, expertise and passion of as many stakeholders and interested parties as possible. I have no doubt that our new people-powered plans for the Palace will secure the building for future generations.”

To support the engagement with the public, a ‘Sounding Board’ will be created that draws together those with an interest in the People’s Palace. It is envisaged this will involve heritage groups, local housing associations from both the Calton and Gorbals areas and an inclusive range of community groups and city-based institutions.

A public participation coordinator will be put in post and they will help to ensure the engagement process operates to recognised international standards with views to be gathered both in-person and on-line. Further details on the engagement with the public will be unveiled in the near future.

Further detail can be found in the paper presented to the City Administration Committee on October 10, 2019.

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Glasgow Guarantee to widen access to support for unemployed people and potential employers


Glasgow City Council’s Glasgow Guarantee has been refreshed, and this means that support will be given to unemployed people – resident in the city – of all ages through the scheme.


These people, if they are receiving support from an employability provider, and some of whom are the furthest away in Glasgow from the labour market, will now have access to jobs, training and apprenticeships.


Over 9,000 people and more than 2,000 businesses have benefited from the Glasgow Guarantee over the past decade, which sees the council supporting both local residents in entering the labour market and local businesses in employing and training local people.


More information is available at www.glasgowguarantee.org.


Businesses who participate in the Glasgow Guarantee scheme will also benefit, from a streamlined registration process and continued financial incentives to support inclusive growth, Fair Work and the Glasgow Living Wage.  Businesses will also receive up to £1,000 per new team member to achieve a recognised qualification.


Previously, the Glasgow Guarantee was only available for certain groups, including unemployed young people, graduates and adults aged 50 and over.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and City Convenor for Inclusive Economic Growth, said: “The new Glasgow Guarantee will make it easier for people in the city looking for a job or training to find it, and for employers looking for new employees, and in doing so help drive economic growth for the people who need it most.  Widening the number of the people in Glasgow who can be supported by the Glasgow Guarantee benefits not only those looking for jobs and their potential employers, but the whole city through more economic activity and greater skills, making Glasgow more attractive for employers and investors.”


The refreshed Glasgow Guarantee scheme comes during Challenge Poverty Week. All week the council has been taking the opportunity to raise awareness of how poverty affects our citizens in different ways, engage with individuals to gather their views on what works and doesn’t work when looking at ways to tackle poverty and how we need to work with partners to make a meaningful impact.


Other events through the week include a Young Person’s debate on poverty, Get Heard community conversations with lone parents and black and minority ethic women, a Poverty Leadership Panel meeting and a focus on the support offered in our universal credit hubs.

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E-bikes powered up for Glasgow’s nextbike hire scheme


More than 60 electric bikes will be hitting the streets of Glasgow this week as the city’s nextbike scheme becomes more accessible than ever.

The fleet of 63 e-bikes and 21 electric stations launched on Wednesday (Oct 9), when the public will be able to see the bikes in action for the first time in George Square.


E-bikes are a combination of a conventional bike with a motor that take some of the effort out of pedalling for the rider. With top speeds of 25km per hour, the e-bikes can cover greater distances faster and with less effort.

The e-bikes, which will join the existing Glasgow fleet of 650 standard bikes, were made possible by a joint funding initiative from Glasgow City Council and the Transport Scotland eBike Grant Fund, delivered by Energy Saving Trust.

Glaswegians have made more than 830,000 bike rentals since nextbike launched in the city in 2014, cycling an incredible 1.4million km around the city – the equivalent of cycling to the moon and back almost four times.

Electric bike rental will not currently be covered by current memberships. Customers will be able to rent the e-bikes using their existing nextbike accounts. Rides will be charged on a pay-as-you-ride basis at £2 per 20 minutes or £30 per day.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction expressed her delight that e-bikes have taken their place in the city’s nextbike hire fleet.

Councillor Richardson said: “E-bikes are growing in popularity and having them available for hire in Glasgow is a fantastic option for getting about the city. Electrically-assisted bikes provide a boost to those who are building up their fitness, make longer trips by bike more manageable and open up cycling to people who may have not considered it before

“I am especially pleased to see the twenty-one new charging points spread so evenly across the city, from Possil and Shawlands in the north and south to Dalmarnock and Maryhill in the east and west.

“Adding e-bikes to the hire fleet is another clear demonstration of our commitment to pursue more sustainable forms of transport in Glasgow and add to the effort to decarbonise how we travel across the city.”

nextbike MD, Krysia Solheim, said she was excited to be bringing e-bikes to the city.

Krysia said: “E-bikes are not only great for reducing journey times and taking on steep hills – of which Glasgow has plenty – but they’re also a great way of increasing inclusivity and getting people of all abilities and fitness levels into cycling.

“Glasgow is one of our flagship schemes, so it’s fitting that the city will get our first significant fleet of e-bikes. We’d like to thank our partners for their support in making this ambition a reality, including Glasgow City Council, Transport Scotland, Energy Savings Trust and Bike For Good.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased that Scottish Government eBike Grant Fund has enabled the introduction of 63 e-bikes to Glasgow. Over £176,000 was provided to increase e-bike options across the city through the accessible nextbike service.

“This initiative provides access to the benefits of e-bikes and I am certain that people who live, work and visit Glasgow will be delighted to have this additional active travel option. It’s an exciting way to get around for everyday journeys which will encourage people to leave the car for a more sustainable mode of transport.

“Through the eBike Grant Fund, we’ve funded over 600 e-bikes across Scotland, which is an important step forward in improving our air quality, improving individual health and meeting our ambitious climate targets.”

Ellie Grebenik, Senior Programme Manager, Scottish Transport at Energy Saving Trust said: “The eBike Grant Fund awarded Glasgow City Council £176,623 and this contributed 50% of the budget for the purchase of 63 bikes and 84 docking stations at 21 charging points. This fleet of ebikes will be a great addition to the existing provision, enabling people cost effective access to sustainable and active travel across the city.”

“The eBike Grant Fund is still accepting applications from public and third sector applicants, full details at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/grants-loans/ebike-grant-fund

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Glasgow’s Conversation about George Square begins


Tomorrow (4 October) sees the beginning of a conversation in which all Glaswegians can have a say in the future of one of the city’s most familiar landmarks, George Square.


This city-wide engagement will continue until 30 October.



One of the key questions that will be asked in the conversation will be: George Square, is it time for a change?  The use of George Square has changed throughout its 232-year history as it has been shaped by previous generations of Glaswegians, and it is now time to look at both how it is currently used and how we should use it in the future.


To get a true picture of what Glaswegians think of and want from George Square, there is an invitation to everyone in the city to take part in this conversation.


There are a number of ways in which to take part:

  • Online at www.george-square.com, where people can submit their perspectives and book for eight different workshops – booking online or on 0141 287 8592;
  • From Saturday 5 October, paper forms and return boxes will be in all 32 Glasgow Life libraries;
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit) – use @GeorgeSqGlasgow and #GeorgeSqGlasgow;
  • The engagement team will hold vox pops across the city to gather views.

Once the results of the conversation are collected, they will be considered by the city council and a decision will be made on how best to implement what the people of Glasgow have said about George Square.


Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “George Square is part of the very fabric of Glasgow, an essential part of our civic life which has hosted so many of the most important days and events in the city’s history.  We now need to think about the equally important role it can play in our future.  We are opening up this conversation to find out about what Glaswegians really think and feel about George Square and what we all want from it.  It’s crucial that we don’t impose anything, so to get as full a picture as possible I’m encouraging everyone in the city to get involved with this important conversation.”


More information on George Square, including the story of its key features and its history, can be found at: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=32315&p=0.

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First ever hate crime art competition draws in hundreds of entries


A new art competition introduced this year as part of the city’s annual Hate Crime Awareness Week (HCAW) drew hundreds of entries from schools all over the city.

Young people were invited to submit entries representing what hate crime means to them.  Two winners – a primary and a secondary school – were selected by a panel of judges.


Both schools will receive a £250 prize and their winning artwork will be on display, alongside a selection of entries, in the City Chambers during HCAW which starts on Monday, 7 October.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills and Early Years, welcomed schools involvement this year, and admitted he had a difficult time picking the winners.

He said: “The competition has been a fantastic opportunity to engage with school children of all ages and their participation in competition has been fantastic.

“Improving public awareness of hate crime and how to respond to it is at the heart of this campaign. This includes educating our young people about diversity, equality and inclusion.

We had such a good response from schools and the level of creativity shown in the entries was very impressive – it was not easy picking the two winners. I’m delighted the public, and visitors, to the City Chambers during Hate Crime Awareness Week will have the opportunity to see the selection of entries on display.”

Glasgow was the first city in Scotland to mark HCAW.  Now, in its fifth year, the weeklong event encourages the public – victims and witnesses – to speak out and report hate crime incidents.

A hate crime is any crime motivated by prejudice or hate against a person because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

There are a number of ways in which people can report a hate crime. Glasgow has more than 60 Third Party Reporting Centres where staff have been trained by Police Scotland to provide help and support to victims. They include housing associations, Victim Support, Glasgow Disability Alliance, LGBT Youth Scotland and many more.

The two winning schools will be announced soon.


Council Pledges Further Action to Tackle Harm Caused by Gambling

The council today agreed to hold a summit on the negative impact of gambling, that will inform a citywide response to prevent harm and provide treatment.

The summit, to be held in the New Year, will bring together a range of partners including academics, third sector, health professionals, youth workers and those with lived experience of the destruction caused by gambling problems and addictions, to examine the current challenges and develop a framework for action.

Acknowledging the changing landscape of the gambling sector; in the way that people bet, who plays and the myriad of associated health and financial problems linked to gambling, a new approach is needed.

Remote or online gambling – the fastest growing sector of the industry – has become more accessible in the digital age and marketing and advertising spend increased, making it easy to use and more appealing.

The Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement Policy Development Committee also discussed paying particular attention to the impact of problem gambling on young people. As evidence shows that gambling now causes more problems in adolescents than smoking or drinking alcohol and this group are particularly vulnerable to its negative effects.

The summit will seek to discuss the development of a whole systems approach to both prevention and treatment of individuals. This means identifying where there are linkages and interdependences in relation to how gambling impacts a person and their family and social network and look at developing a coordinated response, with partners.

The plan follows a cross party development day where attendees heard from Dr Michelle Gillies, public consultant for the Scottish Public Health Network, who presented her work on reducing gambling harms and set out the case for a whole systems approach and Laura MacDonald from the University of Glasgow who also highlighted evidence of the clustering so-called ‘environmental bads’ such as alcohol, fast food, tobacco gambling outlets, particularly in areas of deprivation.

Bailie Annette Christie, said: “The city has had a longstanding problem with gambling, but now we need to acknowledge that traditional approaches just aren’t working. The gambling sector has changed over recent years and therefore how we tackle the problems that arise from gambling addiction and how it impacts other areas of a person’s life, needs to change too.

“We need to treat gambling the same as alcohol and smoking addictions have been treated in the past – as public health problems. We need a new approach and to look at all the different policy areas including health, education, planning, licensing, and financial inclusion that could be used to treat and support people and prevent the harm in the first place.”


Council approves £2.5million funding to relocate Parkhead Library in new East End Community Hub

Glasgow City Council today (26 September) approved £2.5million in funding to relocate Parkhead Library from the existing the Grade B-listed building to the proposed East End Health and Social Care Partnership Hub (HSCP) building.


This funding comes from the Community Hub Fund, and will cover the increased capital cost of incorporating the library within the proposed new hub that the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is preparing to design and build in Parkhead.


The opportunity to include additional council services that could be delivered from the new hub – at the former Parkhead Hospital and Health Centre site – that would house several different parts of their services, was explored by council officers.


A proposal to relocate the existing Parkhead Library to the new hub was then presented to the HSCP, with their Governance Board agreeing this would be a good strategic fit for the hub and that this proposal should form part of the New Project Request to be submitted for consideration.


The existing Parkhead Library building was completed in 1906, and is a key feature of Parkhead Cross, with the two-storey building with dome standing at the corner of Tollcross Road and Helenvale Street. This is one of the city’s Carnegie-funded libraries, and is well-used with almost 70,000 visits in 2018.


In addition to the adult and children’s library sections, Parkhead Library also hosts services from Clyde Gateway, Macmillan, Jobs and Business Glasgow, and Citizens Advice among others.


A number of advantages would be delivered by locating the library in the proposed hub, including offering the public a ‘one-stop shop’ for services from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and the HSCP, with the opportunity for local people to benefit in health, productivity and wellbeing terms.


Issues around accessibility in the current building would also be addressed in the new hub, and placing the Hub Café in the new library would attract even more visitors and contribute both to its sustainability and increased engagement – particularly for those who rarely enter libraries – with its range of services.


The existing library building is one of a number of Grade B-listed buildings at or near Parkhead Cross, such as the adjacent ‘The Steamie’ and the nearby four-storey former Primary School (currently occupied by the HSCP).  The relocation of the library would then offer to the opportunity to develop a Masterplan – incorporating these notable buildings – for the redevelopment and regeneration of Parkhead Cross, in discussion with local partners and stakeholders.

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Parkhead Library is a well-loved and well-used feature of the area’s community life, and the opportunity to move to a new building offers the chance to ensure that even more people use its services.  Community Hubs such as the one proposed for Parkhead will allow local people to access the services they need in one location, with the benefits that this brings.  Given the great quality and heritage of these buildings at or near Parkhead Cross, a Masterplan for the area will define how best they can be used for the local community.”


Council Sets Target Of Carbon Neutral Glasgow by 2030

Glasgow has been set a target of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030 following a decision of the council’s City Administration Committee.

The decision marks the council’s formal acceptance of a key recommendation in the recent report by the city’s Climate Emergency Working Group, which set out 61 recommendations on how the council and the city as a whole should tackle climate change.

It follows the council’s declaration of a climate emergency in May this year and also means that a previous target of net zero carbon emissions has been brought forward by seven years.

Councillors also agreed that an implementation plan that outlines how the council intends to respond to the 61 recommendations made by the working group should be delivered by April next year.

Established in February this year in recognition of the need to respond to the growing concerns of the climate crisis, the Climate Emergency Working Group was given just six months in which to draw its conclusions and report back to the council.

The group, which included representation from all four political groups at the council, citizen activist groups and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, delivered a broad ranging set of recommendations that have the potential to affect all council departments and cover broad ranging issues such energy use, roads and transport, development, infrastructure and planning, waste management, food and pensions.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, endorsed the report from the working group and expressed her gratitude to the group’s chair, Councillor Martha Wardrop. But Councillor Richardson also indicated that the hard work to transform the recommendations into tangible actions must begin now.

She said: “The working group was given a significant task with a short timescale, and so I must thank Councillor Wardrop for providing thoughtful leadership and focus throughout.

“To receive a report with over 60 recommendations is daunting, but it highlights the breadth and depth of the response that will be required if we are to address the climate emergency. As a city we are already heading in the right direction, which is shown by having met our 2020 targets early, and also we have many projects already underway that will advance our efforts to decarbonise.

“What this report gives us is a route map of what we need to do to accelerate our work and to now aim for a far more ambitious target. It is clear that there is cross-party support within the council for carbon neutrality by 2030 and to reach that target date we need to turn this route map into achievable actions

“This is a landmark decision on how we move forward as a city, and also an opportunity to show leadership globally. The cross party collaboration that has enabled this report to be written shows that we are all up for the challenge. Now we need to get on and make it happen.”

Work already underway to advance the council’s effort to decarbonise includes a strategy for all council vehicles to be zero emissions by 2029, the introduction of a low emission zone for Glasgow city centre, development of a plastic reduction strategy, an electric vehicle strategy, a circular economy route map, a food growing strategy, a wide range of active travel projects and a new local transport strategy.

Full details of all the recommendations can be found via the paper presented at the City Administration Committee.


New art competition sees schools tackle hate crime

Schools across Glasgow have been invited to take part in a new art competition ahead of the city’s annual Hate Crime Awareness Week (HCAW) next month.

Young people are being asked to submit entries representing what hate crime means to them. There is a £250 prize for the winning entry in each category – Primary School Award and Secondary School Award.

A selection of the entries will go on display in the City Chambers during HCAW which runs from 7 – 13 October.

Glasgow was the first city in Scotland to mark HCAW.  The city took up the campaign to encourage activity to address hate crime and to educate and raise awareness of the harm and devastation it causes.

Now in its fifth year, HCAW encourages the public – victims and witnesses – to speak out and report hate crime incidents.

The council has a team of ambassadors who deliver training and foster support around hate crime awareness. It encourages agencies to work alongside partners in both public and voluntary sectors as well as in communities affected by hate crime.

A hate crime is any crime motivated by prejudice or hate against a person because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills and Early Years, welcomed schools involvement this year.

He said: “Improving public awareness of hate crime and how to respond to it is at the heart of this campaign. This includes educating our young people about diversity, equality and inclusion.

“We all have a responsibility to stand up against hate crime in all its forms. It’s important that we all work together towards creating a society where everyone feels respected and valued.

“I’m delighted to have our schools – both primary and secondary – involved this year and look forward to seeing what young people think about hate crime and what it means to them through their submissions.”

Schools have until Thursday 26 September to submit their entries.