A 20mph speed limit policy has been agreed for the vast majority of roads across Glasgow.

Following a decision of the council’s City Administration Committee, the council will aim to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all of the city’s residential streets, the city centre, other main shopping areas or where there are high levels of walking or cycling.

Under the policy, all other streets in the city would generally remain at 30mph, although final arrangements would be subject to careful assessment. Over 1400 km of the city’s 1900 km of roads are considered to be in residential areas.

With 288km of city streets already subject to a 20mph limit, it is intended that lowering vehicle speeds more widely will improve road safety but also reduce noise and congestion.  Recent national guidance indicates that a 20mph limit could be widely introduced without the need for expensive traffic calming measures.

A widespread 20 mph limit was also recommended by the Climate Emergency Working Group as part of Glasgow’s effort to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said a widespread 20mph limit would keep Glasgow in step with many other cities across the UK and help to promote active travel.

She said: “First and foremost a city wide 20mph speed limit is about improving road safety. It’s well known that lower speeds reduce the risk of accidents but also reduce the severity of any injuries suffered by those involved. Our own initial research on the impact of 20mph zones already in place Glasgow is indicating a 31% reduction in incidents, which is hugely positive.

“Safer roads will make walking and cycling a much more attractive option for getting around the city. Building a greater reliance on more sustainable forms of transport is vital if we are to achieve our target of Glasgow becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“Many cities across the country are introducing a widespread 20mph limit and the evidence that’s being gathered shows that the impact on journey times for cars and buses has been minimal.”

It is estimated that introducing a widespread 20mph limit with traditional traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps and raised tables, would cost around £25m.

But a recent relaxation of the rules on traffic calming means that a 20mph limit could be supported with the use of appropriate signage and road markings, which is estimated would cost around £4.35m. Physical traffic calming measures may still be required where traffic speed or incidents create specific concerns.

Proposals for a city wide 20mph limit will be subject to the statutory Traffic Regulation Order process, but, if approved, could implemented over the course of a four year programme.

The decision by the City Administration Committee followed a recommendation by the Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Policy Committee to introduce a 20mph policy and implementation will be subject to funds becoming available.

Further information can be found in the paper presented at the City Administration Committee.

Glasgow is set to phase out single use plastics by 2022 and become free of all unnecessary plastic by the year 2030 following a decision by the council’s City Administration Committee.

Driven by concerns over the harmful impact plastic is having on the natural world, the Plastics Reduction Strategy has set out a 22-point action plan for preventing and reducing the amount of plastic used and then disposed of in Glasgow. This follows a public consultation on plastic reduction earlier this year that received over 1500 individual responses and provided overwhelming support for work to reduce single use plastic consumption, in particular.

The long term objective of the strategy is to end the use of plastic where that can be avoided or an alternative reusable version of the plastic item exists.

But given the scale of the issue and the need to advance quickly, the 22-point plan is solely focused on delivering progress in 2020 with further actions to be updated and renewed on an annual basis over the course of the strategy.

Some of the key points of the initial action include a feasibility study on a city-wide ban of certain single use plastic items, developing Glasgow’s first plastic-free shopping zone, extending the number of free top-up taps for refilling reusable water bottles, supporting projects that remove plastics from the city’s water ways and exploring the possibility of Glasgow’s first plastic free school.

But the plan also includes a call to tighten up legislation on single-use plastics, such as plastic bags and plastic packaging, and looks at how the council can lead by example on reducing the use of unnecessary plastics. A communication and education campaign on how to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic would be integral to achieving the 2030 target.

The strategy further highlights plastic-reduction possibilities in relation to school catering and council-family operated cafes, reforming the council’s procurement procedures to ensure they are fully engaged with the plastic-reduction agenda and continuing to roll-out the Glasgow Cup Movement, which recycles and reduces the use of single-use cups for hot drinks.

One of the first actions proposed by the strategy is that Glasgow becomes a signatory to the Eurocities commitment to curb plastic waste and littering, which was recently led by Oslo.

Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said the strategy was built upon the basic principles of the ‘waste hierarchy’, which places the emphasis on prevention, reuse, recycling and recovery with disposal always as a last resort.

But even with rapid technological advances taking place in relation to plastic, she indicated that the city would have to move quickly to achieve an end to the use of unnecessary plastic by 2030.

Councillor Richardson said: “Plastic has become ever present feature of modern life and it has any number of vital applications. It’s important we do not demonise plastic. From medical equipment to car safety features, computers and wheelie bins, plastic shows it usefulness time and time again.

“But we do live in a throwaway society and we do take for granted the impact that flows from treating so many plastic products as instantly disposable. The Plastic Reduction Strategy is therefore about seeking alternatives to plastic but also an alternative approach to how we use plastic itself.

“Plastic clearly has its place, but aiming to end the unnecessary use of plastic will have a significant positive impact on the environment. There is already a huge amount of scope for our habits to change and technology is evolving so quickly that our norms will be transformed in the years ahead.

“The action plan sets a course for rapid change in the initial stages and we intend to update our plans on a regular basis. This will help us gather momentum but also refine and strengthen the strategy over its lifespan.  The action set out in the strategy can help Glasgow maintain its position in the UK and across Europe as a leading local authority on sustainability issues.”

Producing a plastic reduction plan was one of the recommendations made in the recent report by the Climate Emergency Working Group.

Further information on the plastics reduction strategy can be found in the paper presented to the City Administration Committee.

Glasgow City Council today (23 January) gave its approval to a public consultation on the Blythswood District Regeneration Framework (BLDRF).  The consultation will begin on 31 January.

 

This is the fifth in a series of nine DRFs (for the city centre’s nine districts) that will guide the future development of Glasgow city centre over the next decade.  Previously approved DRFs include those for the Sauchiehall & Garnethill and Broomielaw districts, with the St Enoch and Central Districts previously also out to public consultation.

 

The DRFs for the nine districts are plans for short, medium and long-term actions that will bring economic, environmental and social improvements to the city centre.

 

The  BLDRF’s boundaries are the M8, West Campbell Street, Argyle Street, and Sauchiehall Street, and the draft DRF has been developed by a multi-disciplinary team led by Austin-Smith: Lord and MVRDV, working collaboratively with local residents and businesses, local organisations, developers and other stakeholders, and the consultation period offers the chance for any interested local parties to contribute.

 

Like each of the other city centre districts, the Blythswood district has some unique characteristics, including a largely retained Georgian grid structure, and important examples of built heritage, such as the former Glasgow High School, the Mitchell Library, St Vincent Street Church and the Willow Team Rooms, with notable new developments the Scottish Power HQ and St Vincent Plaza.

 

The development of the draft BLDRF led to the emergence of six strategic themes:

 

    • (Y)our Updated Mobility: This theme incorporates proposals to enhance the city centre’s public transport and active travel networks to create a sustainable, walkable city, and will include consideration as part of the City Centre Transport Strategy in the context of the BLDRF objectives and the recommendations of the Connectivity Commission.

 

    • (Y)our Urbanised M8: This investigates issues arising from the form and function of the M8 with a view to identifying ways to maintain the benefits of an urban motorway whilst reducing or mitigating against the negative impacts associated with it. It also explores these issues on national, city, city centre, and local levels.

 

    • (Y)our Great Streets and Spaces: This theme seeks to optimise Glasgow’s street grid and address issues arising from the shortage of quality greenspace and other public spaces within the BLDRF.  In particular, it looks to identify broken connections and gaps in the urban form needing to be addressed, as well as opportunities for essential investment in public spaces and the physical environment. It also focuses on connection and re-connection to further develop the BLDRF’s diverse and distinctive character.

 

    • (Y)our Great Buildings: This seeks to ensure that Glasgow’s historic built heritage is protected and that it continues to be recognised as some of the greatest urban architecture in the UK. Consequently, it is imperative that new developments respect this legacy whilst striving to achieve the highest quality in contemporary design.

 

    • (Y)our Vibrant Blythswood: This theme explores ways to address the lack of local neighbourhood amenities which might prevent people from choosing to live within the Blythswood District area. It is therefore important that increased community infrastructure should accompany increased city centre residential development and achieve higher densities of working populations. Not only should the locations of attractions and destinations inform the alignment of key routes across the city centre but the city centre should become more lively, with more night-time economy, more viable amenities, better connections to the existing cultural and creative infrastructure and a more sustainable, walkable and activated district.

 

    • Transforming (Y)our Blythswood: This focuses on the creation of agile policies and shared objectives to attract investment, secure funding and foster collaborative working in the district. Transforming this district cannot be delivered by the council alone; this must be a truly collaborative partnership between all stakeholders. Despite the lack of public ownership, GCC will look to identify and work with partners to develop masterplan strategies as appropriate.

 

Through this earlier consultation, a rationalised, draft action plan has been produced for consideration as part of the public consultation. Some of the key priorities here – such as the Improved West George Street, which will help to provide connection and environmental enhancements within the BLDRF – as well as supporting similar projects being undertaken elsewhere as part of the City Deal Avenues Programme, already have funding in place.

 

Other priority projects, such as the Improved Blythswood Square, will rely on the cooperation of external partners to fully develop.  The outcome of this latest public consultation may alter the composition and/or timing of the action plan.

 

The BLDRF will also play its part in responding to the climate emergency by developing sustainable initiatives such as the introduction of green infrastructure, prioritising active travel and public transport, and enabling the re-use of buildings.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The district regeneration frameworks are key to the development of the city centre over the next decade, and to help shape the area in a way that reflects what we all want, it’s important that as many people as possible take part in this consultation on the Blythswood district.”

 

The consultation – which will reveal which proposed projects for the Blythswood district have most support, and what actions should be prioritised – begins on Friday 31 January, continuing until 20 March.  Participation is possible through an online survey, by email or by post.

 

A summary of the draft Blythswood DRF can be found here: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=47698&p=0.

 

The BLDRF will become Supplementary Planning Guidance once it is approved by the council, providing criteria against which development proposals will be assessed.

Glasgow City Council today (28 January) approved a partnership strategy with Govan Housing Association to tackle the condition of pre-1919 homes in the city’s Ibrox and Cessnock areas.

 

A key part of Glasgow’s Housing Strategy is the increase in supply and improvement of quality of housing, with a priority of managing, maintaining and improving the existing housing stock.

 

Tackling the condition of the 76,000 pre-1919 homes in the city (almost a quarter of Glasgow’s housing stock), 70,000 of which are tenement flats, is therefore important in meeting some of the aims of this strategy.

 

The council has in recent years been looking at the condition of a number of pre-1919 blocks in Ibrox Street and Cessnock Street that have been declared dangerous, where it was recognised that – in order to deliver the programme of necessary works – a partnership between the council and Govan Housing Association was required.

 

Through the partnership, a number of strategic objectives have been agreed:

 

  • tackling disrepair within the pre-1919 tenement stock;
  • a programme of preventative maintenance via promotion of Govan Housing Association’s factoring services;
  • eliminating poor private landlord practice to ensure high levels of compliance;
  • creating a sustainable tenure balance through targeted acquisitions;
  • bringing empty homes and abandoned ground floor shops back into use for social housing; and
  • addressing environmental issues

 

The partnership’s work will cover an area of 33 blocks of 295 pre-1919 tenements, bounded by Midlock Street (west) Brand Street (north), Harley Street (east) and Paisley Road West (south) – with these blocks prioritised for funding or statutory action. More than half of these homes are privately rented.

 

The council will use compulsory purchase orders in the area to acquire some properties, transferring ownership to Govan Housing Association, and will also target empty homes with a view to bringing them back into productive use.

 

Landlord registration will be essential to this work, and the council will use regulations from the Private Landlord Registration (Information) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 to ensure that landlords provide information on fire, gas and electrical safety, smoke and heat detection, energy performance, and building insurance in their properties.

 

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Tackling the condition of pre-1919 homes in Glasgow is an essential part of our work to increasing the supply – and improving the quality – of homes in the city.  This partnership between the council and Govan Housing Association will see us working closely with owners, landlords, the local community and other organisations to ensure the area has the housing and environment it deserves.”

pollock park

The heart of Pollok Country Park is set to become a pedestrian friendly zone as part of a new £5.4m sustainable transport improvement plan for the park agreed by the council’s City Administration Committee.

With over 70% of trips to Scotland’s largest urban country park made by car, the park often becomes congested with traffic and widespread, uncontrolled parking.

pollock park

But extensive consultation with local communities, interested parties and other stakeholders identified a broad consensus that hopes the impact of car use upon the park can be reduced to improve the park’s environment and give visitors a better experience.

Under the plans, Pollok Avenue, which runs between the two major fields that are home to Glasgow’s famous fold of Highland Cattle, will cease to be a through road to private vehicles, freeing it up for easier use by pedestrians and cyclists.

The £5.4m plan also envisages a new car park being built on a disused blaes pitch on the eastern edge of the park, reconfigured entry and exit routes for vehicles, the introduction of a zero-emissions shuttle bus, an improved network of paths that will help keep pedestrians and cyclists separate from other vehicles and the introduction of electric vehicle charging points.

With the reopening of The Burrell Collection in Spring 2021 expected to attract up to 800,000 visitors each year, it is intended the new arrangements will encourage greater use of public transport by those coming to the park.

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, backed the £5m sustainable transport plan as a key element in wider work to improve and rejuvenate Pollok Country Park.

Councillor McDonald said: “Pollok Country Park is undoubtedly one of Glasgow’s crown jewels. It is home to a superb range of attractions but is also a place of great beauty and calm.

“With the completion of the renovations at the Burrell still over a year away, there is a huge amount of work on-going to transform the park as a whole into a top class visitor destination that appeals to both local citizens and tourists.

“But sadly, while parts of this fantastic public space are often under used, other parts are overrun by cars.  Time and time again the issue of the impact of traffic and car parking has come up in our consultations as an issue people want to see addressed.

“How people get to Pollok Country Park is therefore critical to the future of the park.  These plans will make it easier and more attractive to people to use more sustainable forms of transport to travel to the park. But the plans will also allow for far more effective management of vehicles within the park.

“By prioritising walking and cycling at the very heart of the park, a visit to Pollok Country Park will become a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. These plans are good for the environment and great for people who come to Pollok Country Park.”

Under the plan, revenue from the new car park will be used to pay-off a £3m loan borrowed upfront by the council to invest in the proposed infrastructure. Any excess revenue will be reinvested back into the park as a whole. Public consultation indicated a significant majority of people supported car parking charges in the park.

The car park’s flexible design will also allow it to have alternative uses, such as an event space, and overall, Pollok Country Park’s car parking spaces will reduce by 35%.

The sustainable transport plan is part of a wider project named Transforming Pollok Country Park, which includes refurbishment of Pollok House, extending South West City Way along St Andrew’s Drive to the park, upgrading the children’s play area, creating opportunities for outdoor learning and enhancing the service to the adjoining railway station at Pollokshaws West.

Full details of the plan can be found in the paper presented to the City Administration Committee.

sighthill

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Aileen Campbell MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, were today (22 January) joined by Beth McNeil, Regional Managing Director of Keepmoat Homes from Keepmoat Homes and Bernadette Hewitt, Chair of Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), to mark the start of work on a transformational development of 824 new homes in Sighthill to be delivered by home builder Keepmoat Homes.

sighthill

The development, to be known as NorthBridge, is part of the £250million Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) – the biggest such scheme in the UK outside of London – and will feature a mix of exclusively designed, two, three, four and five-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments when it is completed.  NorthBridge is being delivered by Keepmoat Homes in partnership with GHA and its sister organisation, Lowther Homes, which are both part of Wheatley Group. Lowther will manage the 198 homes for mid-market rent on the site.

 

Once the (50 hectares plus) Sighthill TRA is complete, an enhanced neighbourhood – immediately beside the city centre, just 15 minutes’ walk from George Square – will have been created for existing members of the local community and for the residents of the new development, with almost 1000 new homes of various tenures.

 

Some of the other features of the regenerated Sighthill will include the recently-opened community campus school, and a new road bridge over the Glasgow-Edinburgh railway line now improves the connections between Sighthill and neighbouring communities.  The parkland and the greenspace of the area are being significantly improved, and work will shortly begin on a landmark new pedestrian and cyclist bridge connecting Sighthill to the city centre.  In addition, a new public square, new shops and businesses will come to Sighthill, and the area will be reconnected to the Forth and Clyde canal at the Pinkston basin, with a canal terrace transforming the area.  Land remediation – now complete – funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal has made the delivery of these new features possible.

 

In addition to the new homes, Keepmoat has made long-term commitments to benefit the surrounding community including training, employment and engagement programmes to be delivered throughout the lifetime of the project.  As part of this, Keepmoat has partnered with Morgan Sindall, Glasgow Kelvin College, TIGERS Training and Sibbald Training to create BUILD North Glasgow, a unique consortium offering training to 180 participants, including 90 ex-military staff, to kick-start their career in construction.  BUILD North Glasgow received £1.2m funding from CITB in order to deliver the programmes, the largest amount of its kind and the sole winning bid in Scotland.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is another important step in the delivery of the £250million Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area, with these new homes set to attract people to a new neighbourhood located close to the city centre. Sighthill is now home to a great new community schools campus, improved connections to the areas around it, and will have fantastic greenspace immediately besides the new housing.  Alongside the huge range of regeneration activity taking place on and beside Glasgow’s Canal, and with new neighbourhoods and housing to come in areas such as Cowlairs, Dundashill, Hamiltonhill and Ruchill, the future is bright for those living and wanting to live and invest in North Glasgow.”

 

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “This £250 million development is an exceptional example of what can be achieved when Scottish and local government, partners and the local community work together to deliver real transformation.  As well as creating new jobs and training opportunities, Sighthill will promote integrated community living in the city and deliver high-quality homes, including 198 affordable homes funded by almost £10 million from the Scottish Government.  Housing is embedded in so much that we want to achieve, including eradicating poverty and homelessness, tackling the effects of climate change and promoting inclusive growth. The Scottish Government is investing more than £3.3 billion over this parliamentary term to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 for social rent.”

 

Beth McNeil, Regional Managing Director of Keepmoat Homes commented, “We are delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government to the launch of our exciting new development in Glasgow.  We are very excited to be starting work on the NorthBridge development, which we believe firmly is a once-in-a-generation project which will transform the area. This development means more to us than just delivering quality new homes to the area, which is why we’re proud to be working with partners including Morgan Sindall, Glasgow Kelvin College, TIGERS Training and Sibbald Training to invest in the community to ensure the impact of this development goes beyond bricks and mortar and delivers real value to real people, whether through training and career opportunities or supporting local community groups.”

 

Bernadette Hewitt, GHA Chair, said: “GHA tenants are already enjoying living in the smart, new energy-efficient homes built as part of the first phase of Sighthill’s transformation.  This next stage will see us bring almost 200 more homes for affordable rent to what is fast becoming a fantastic place to live.  Both GHA and our sister organisation, Lowther Homes, are delighted to be part of these exciting plans.”

 

Once the (50 hectares plus) Sighthill TRA is complete, an enhanced neighbourhood – immediately beside the city centre, just 15 minutes’ walk from George Square – will have been created for existing members of the local community and for new residents choosing to move to Sighthill, with almost 1000 new homes of various tenures.

 

Some of the other features of the regenerated Sighthill will include the recently-opened community campus school, and a new road bridge over the Glasgow-Edinburgh railway line now improves the connections between Sighthill and neighbouring communities.  The parkland and the greenspace of the area are being significantly improved, and a new public square, new shops and businesses will come to Sighthill.  Sighthill will be reconnected to the Forth and Clyde canal at the Pinkston basin, with a canal terrace transforming the area.  Land remediation – now complete – funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal has made the delivery of these new features possible.

 

For more information about the development visit: www.keepmoat.com/northbridge.

 

For more information on mid-market rental properties visit: www.lowtherhomes.com.

 

For more information on the Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area, being delivered through Transforming Communities: Glasgow, a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association, and the Scottish Government, visit: www.glasgow.gov.uk/sighthill.

care home

Residents of two former Glasgow care homes are settling into a stunning new facility built as part of an £112.5million investment programme.

care home

Victoria Gardens is a new 70 bed care home built on the site of the former Blawarthill Hospital in Knightswood.

Provided by Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership, it is one of five new care homes built across the city to replace old, outdated facilities.

Complete with its own cinema and hair salon, the home is a stylish, contemporary facility which sets the standard for residential care.

More than half the ground floor rooms have direct access to beautiful, level and secure gardens. Light floods into the building through double-glazed, floor-to-ceiling windows and residents’ rooms have underfloor heating, en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers, fridges, safes, TVs, built-in storage, individual thermostats and landline phones with free local calls.

Entry to rooms is via swipe cards and, as well as a bed, each room also has a leather armchair which can recline fully flat if residents fancy a snooze. And, given the range of activities on offer, that wouldn’t be surprising!

Chair aerobics, bingo, choir, Tai Chi and an intergenerational project with youngsters from a local nursery all keep the residents, aged 70 to 101, busy. There’s internet access in the activity rooms and movies in the on- site cinema (which can also be viewed remotely if residents want to watch the film or enjoy a church service from the comfort of their own rooms.)

Many of the residents have dementia and the décor is designed to stimulate memories and spark conversation. The cinema walls are adorned with images of movie icons such as Humphrey Bogart, Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Trendy watercolour railway posters depicting holiday destinations such as Skye and the Highlands are on display in the hallways and framed images of old Glasgow are everywhere.

Even the crockery has been chosen to make life easier for residents with dementia who can have problems with their sight and perception which makes recognising food on white plates difficult. Lockable memory boxes are sited outside each room where residents can display photos, ornaments and keepsakes to personalise their room’s entrance.

Residents were involved in choosing the home’s tasteful décor including the paint colours and types of furniture, carpets and curtains. The results resemble something from the pages of an interior design magazine. Duck egg blue, pale green, lilac and mauve abound.

Each of the five wings in the home are named after flowers – Rose, Crocus, Lily, Tulip and Azalea. A self-cleaning Jacuzzi bath is available if anyone wants a soak instead of a shower and there’s an overnight room where relatives can stay if their loved one is receiving palliative care or end of life care.

Victoria Gardens replaces outdated facilities at Rannoch House in Kelvindale and Drumry House in Drumchapel.

New resident, Ann O’Neill, aged 82 years, had her hair blow-dried in the on-site salon earlier today and is thrilled with her new “flat”.

It’s raining outside, but she jokes about wanting to play bowls in the gardens, and says: “I think my flat is terrific! I really like the curtains and the hairdresser is great.”

Robert Robertson aged 71, used to work at the Pavilion Theatre and still loves going to see a show with his aunt. The football fan likes his new room and also enjoys a singalong with other residents.

He said: “I love my new room, it’s bigger than the one I had at Rannoch House. I didn’t have an en-suite bathroom there, so I love my new shower room, because I can use it without help. It has helped me become more independent.

“My auntie says this place is so lovely, she wants to move in too! I’m looking forward to the summer when we can get out into the gardens.

“I like it here, because I can relax and watch TV in my room. The staff are great too, they take good care of you.”

Yvonne Scroggie, Operations Manager, said: “The residents and their families love it here. Relatives are delighted that their loved ones have such lovely surroundings. We’ve seen a transformation in some of the residents since they moved here.

“One person used to spend a lot of time in their room, but now they are mixing with the other residents and accessing all the communal areas. The move went really smoothly and the residents have really blossomed – I think it was because they were involved in planning the move and in decisions about the new facility.

“It is a lovely environment for residents and staff and when the better weather comes and we can make use of the gardens and balcony area, it will be great!”

 

Thousands of children in Glasgow enjoyed fresh food, nutritious meals and activities during the school holidays thanks to the Children’s Holiday Food programme.

The programme, which was introduced in 2018 to address poverty in the city, specifically children’s holiday hunger, helped serve 290,845 healthy meals and snacks to more than 19,000 youngsters last year.

A report to the council’s Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee showed that during last year’s six-week school summer holiday, 19,196 children aged 0-18 years participated in projects being served in every ward in Glasgow.

The Children’s Holiday Food Programme is funded by Glasgow City Council and delivered by charities, third sector organisations and community groups.

Funding of more than £1.4m was given to 78 organisations already delivering holiday programmes, to upscale and expand their usual activities to include food and spaces for more children to attend and take part during the summer period.

During 2019/20, the Children’s Holiday Food Programme ran during the Spring, Summer and October holidays. Organisations provided a variation of meals and, depending on the project and activities, there was a mixture of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks served. The programme will run again in February.

Feedback shows the programme also has many other benefits for the children and their families as well as the wider community.

It’s part of the council’s on-going work to tackle food poverty and inequality; where people cannot afford or do not have access to nutritious food.

Glasgow’s City Treasurer, Councillor Allan Gow, welcomed the report.

Cllr Gow said: “The Children’s Holiday Food Programme has gone from strength to strength and the number of people benefiting has increased.

“The start of the school holidays is an exciting time for many but it creates additional, unwanted pressure on people experiencing food poverty – which is why our holiday hunger programme is such an excellent initiative.  It provides positive support to families and gives young people in the city a chance to socialise, build confidence and self-esteem, do more physical activity and learn new skills.

“We remain committed to tackling food poverty and look forward to working with third sector organisations to deliver this invaluable programme again this year.”

The report to committee can be viewed here

In 2018/19 the Children’s Holiday Food Programme ran during the Summer, October and February holidays. An evaluation report on the Summer 2018 programme can be viewed here.

georgesqu

Glasgow City Council today (16 January) approved the award of a contract to BAM Nuttall Ltd to deliver a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the M8 connecting Sighthill and Glasgow city centre.

georgesqu

The contract – worth £18.468million – is funded through the Glasgow City Region Deal, which sees the Scottish and UK Governments each providing £500million for infrastructure projects in the Glasgow city region.

 

The new bridge will connect Sighthill and communities in North Glasgow to the city centre, with Sighthill a walk of 15 minutes or less from George Square. Given that there will be almost 1000 new homes in Sighthill once the regeneration is complete, it is important – for reasons such as active travel and simple access to the city centre – that such a connection is developed.

 

This new bridge – a ‘street in the sky’ – will replace the current one with a structure that is far more attractive and fit for purpose, with landscaping on both the northern and southern approaches forming new civic spaces that allow free-flowing movement for cyclists and pedestrians with special places to pause and enjoy the environment.

 

This is a key stage in the £250million Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) – the biggest such scheme in the UK outside of London.

 

The bridge project will begin in February, with completion expected in late summer 2021.  BAM Nuttall Ltd will demolish the existing North Wallace Street Footbridge and an existing high mast light, and then build the new footbridge over the M8 including wing walls and ramps on both approaches; retaining walls on the south approaches; will complete landscaping (with a five-year maintenance programme) and construct two new high mast lights.

 

The bridge span will be just over 58 metres (191 feet), and its width varies between 20 – 7.5 metres.  It will weigh 2420 tonnes (420 tonnes steel, 2000 tonnes concrete) and its structure is a steel box girder with a reinforced concrete composite desk slab.

 

The approach taken to its design means that the bridge will need minimal maintenance and will also not require painting therefore minimising disruption to the motorway.  The parapets are designed to emphasise key views across the city skyline yet obscure direct lines of sight to the motorway below.  The paved bridge deck is an hour-glass form that varies in width from 20 metres at the widest to 7.5 metres at its narrowest.

 

Final funding of this contract will be considered for approval at the Glasgow City Region Cabinet.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: “This new bridge will transform and encourage connectivity to and from Sighthill and will very much be a symbol of the emerging regeneration and revitalisation of the North of Glasgow.

“Communities like Sighthill are so close to the centre of Glasgow but have for far too long felt remote from it, physically, socially and economically. The new bridge will connected a vibrant new community to the benefits of its wonderful location and to the wider city.”

 

Michael Matheson, Scottish Government Infrastructure Secretary, said: “I welcome this new bridge, which will provide quick, easy and environmentally-friendly access to the city centre for the people of Sighthill and the surrounding area.
“Including our additional investment, the Scottish Government has now committed to more than £1.8 billion in City Region and Growth deals, helping to bring improvements like this to communities right across the length and breadth of Scotland.”

 

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “It’s great to see another milestone being hit at the hugely important and ambitious regeneration of Sighthill.  The Glasgow City Region Deal is essential to ensuring the future prosperity of residents and local businesses.”

“The UK Government is investing more than £1.4 billion in City Region and Growth Deals across Scotland.  This programme is creating thousands of jobs and opportunities and we will continue to work with the Scottish Government to make sure these reach every part of Scotland.”

 

Once the (50 hectares plus) Sighthill TRA is complete, an enhanced neighbourhood – immediately beside the city centre, just 15 minutes’ walk from George Square – will have been created for existing members of the local community and for new residents choosing to move to Sighthill, with almost 1000 new homes of various tenures.

 

Some of the other features of the regenerated Sighthill will include the recently-opened community campus school, and a new road bridge over the Glasgow-Edinburgh railway line improving the connections between Sighthill and neighbouring communities.  The parkland and the greenspace of the area are being significantly improved, and a new public square, new shops and businesses will come to Sighthill.  Sighthill will be reconnected to the Forth and Clyde canal at the Pinkston basin, with a fantastic canal terrace transforming the area.  Land remediation – now complete – has made the delivery of these new features possible.

 

Find out more about the Glasgow City Region City Deal here: http://www.glasgowcityregion.co.uk/.

40% bus compliance

Bus operators have marked the start of year two of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which will see a significant increase in the proportion of city centre bus journeys that must be made on low emission vehicles.

As part of the phased implementation of Glasgow’s LEZ (which presently affects local service buses only) at least 40% of journeys through the city centre will now be made by buses that meet the required emission standard, and follows significant investment by operators into their fleet.

40% bus compliance

Introduced in December 2018 to reduce emissions and protect public health, Glasgow’s LEZ is Scotland’s first, and is modelled to reduce levels of harmful air pollution from road traffic that particularly impacts upon the very young, the elderly and those with existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.

This latest investment by the main city operators follows on from the initial year one LEZ requirement that not less than 20% of bus journeys through the city centre are made by low emission vehicles; and will contribute towards improving air quality, ensuring our vibrant city centre is a cleaner, healthier and more pleasant place to be.

By the end of 2022, 100% of buses travelling through Glasgow city centre are expected to meet LEZ emission standards, at which time the LEZ will broaden in scope and become applicable to all other vehicle types, including taxis and private cars.

Cllr Anna Richardson, Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said; “I’m delighted that the bus operators have reached this low emission milestone as part of the phased introduction of Glasgow’s LEZ. It’s a testament to their commitment to improving air quality and providing an improved experience for passengers that they have made such a substantial investment in their fleet. We’ve introduced a range of measures to tackle city centre congestion, for example new bus gates, that encourages a shift towards alternative travel options such as bus, offering it up as a convenient and sustainable alternative to the car. The council has worked very closely with bus operators to phase in the LEZ and we’ll continue to work in partnership to improve services that are vital to the lives of Glaswegians.”

Paul White, Director of CPT – Scotland said; “Bus is an enabler of better air quality. It is responsible for less than 5% of Scotland’s road transport emissions and one bus can replace 75 private cars. Operators have accelerated fleet investment to further improve the environmental credentials of Glasgow’s bus network. In turn the sector hopes to see the council continue to invest in bus infrastructure and limit car use in line with the objectives of the National Transport Strategy. Closer partnership working, supported by the Government’s £500m Bus Partnership Fund, will not only improve air quality, but deliver a quicker, more reliable, more comprehensive bus network for Glasgow. Thereby making modal shift from the private car to more sustainable modes not only viable but appealing.”

Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for First Glasgow, said: “We are delighted to have met the challenge of getting our fleet 40% compliant ahead of the Hogmanay deadline this year. I would like to praise our highly skilled staff for their professionalism in delivering not only the new bus roll outs across the last 12 months, but also a complicated retrofit programme which has seen us transform a total of 40 mid-life buses that go through the LEZ into Euro 6 compliant vehicles. This is an achievement that has taken a significant amount of investment from operators to reach and the requirement will only increase as we enter the next phase. New government support for retrofitting vehicles is awaiting approval from the European Commission and the delay is stalling further retrofit investment. I am sure all partners would agree that clarity on this support is eagerly awaited.”

Fiona Doherty, Managing Director at Stagecoach West Scotland, said: “At Stagecoach West Scotland we are committed to reducing our environmental impact and are proud to be playing our part in supporting Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone. It’s extremely satisfying to have surpassed Glasgow’s low emissions target this year and 2020 is set to see Stagecoach West Scotland provide even more environmentally friendly and sustainable ways to travel. The current standard requires 20% of our vehicle journeys to comply however we already have a compliance level of 75%. We know that some of our customers make choices on how they travel based on carbon footprint and reaching a 75% fleet compliance level for our buses ensures minimal environmental impact. Some people may be surprised to know that buses in Glasgow account for only 3% of carbon emissions and the bus industry is proud to be at the leading edge of low carbon transport.”

Sharon Morrison of West Coast Motors (owners of City Sightseeing Glasgow and Glasgow Citybus) said; “As a transport provider we’re fully committed to investing in cleaner, greener vehicles and shall continue to work in partnership with Glasgow City Council to improve our local environment and encourage more people out of cars and onto bus. We are in a state of climate emergency and it’s important to recognise bus offers the smarter and more sustainable way for both locals and visitors to commute and explore Glasgow. Cars in our city are a major contributor to the growing level of damaging congestion. One double decker could easily take up to 75 cars off and help reduce our city’s issue with congestions. We would ask car users to give bus a try, they might be pleasantly surprised.”

 

The Scottish Government has pledged to introduce Low Emission Zones into Scotland’s four biggest cities; Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee by 2020.