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Scotland’s First Heroin Assisted Treatment Unveiled

herion centre

Scotland’s first addictions service treating patients with pharmaceutical grade heroin has been unveiled in Glasgow.

The pioneering Enhanced Drug Treatment Service (EDTS) will treat patients with the most severe, long-standing and complex addictions issues.

herion centre

The EDTS will focus on people whose addictions impact most severely on their own health, as well as on their communities, public services and the city centre.

It is aimed at people whose addiction persists, even after they have received conventional treatment and care services, which can include methadone, support from community addictions services and residential rehabilitation.

Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership’s (GCHSCP) new service aims to help save lives by reducing the risk of overdoses and the spread of blood borne viruses such as HIV. It will also help reduce public injecting by those receiving this treatment.

The new £1.2million facility is licensed by the Home Office and based in Glasgow’s city centre alongside existing homelessness health services. Patients will not only receive treatment for their physical health, including any infections, wounds or abscesses, there will also be a holistic assessment of their social, legal and psychological needs. They will then be helped to access other GCHSCP services to tackle any other problems highlighted.

The new service will operate between 9am and 5pm daily, and will be delivered by a specialist multi-disciplinary team, supported by other health and social care services.

Independent evaluation will be carried out on the pilot project which is expected to treat up to 20 patients in its first year and up to 40 patients in year two.

Patients must be totally committed to the treatment and will have to attend the centre twice a day, seven days a week. Injectable opiate (or heroin assisted) treatment will only be available to patients who are already involved with Glasgow’s Homeless Addiction Team. People’s suitability for the treatment will be assessed and those who meet the criteria will receive a prescription for pharmaceutical grade diamorphine injections.

The diamorphine must be injected in a secure clinical room under the strict supervision of, and observed by, trained nursing staff. Doses will never be dispensed for use elsewhere and patients will be continually monitored.

Evidence from similar services in Vancouver and Zurich, indicate that once stabilised, patients will gradually progress from diamorphine injections to oral treatments. This means more patients are able to be treated over time.

Susanne Millar, Chair of Glasgow’s Alcohol & Drug Partnership and Interim Chief Officer of GCHSCP, said: “Sadly, Glasgow suffered a record number of drug related deaths last year and there was also an increased number of non-fatal overdoses. This challenging social issue demands innovative treatments and this Gold Standard service is leading the way in Scotland.

“It is aimed at people with the most chaotic lifestyles and severe addictions who have not responded to existing treatments.

“People might question why health services are spending money providing heroin for people with addictions – the answer is ‘we can’t afford not to’. Not only are we are striving to save the lives of individuals themselves, we also aim to reduce the spread of HIV and to reduce the impact of addictions on Glasgow families and communities.

“Successfully treating a person’s addiction not only helps them, it reduces pressures on frontline health and criminal justice services while reducing antisocial behaviour and drug related crime in communities.”

Glasgow also plans to open a Safer Drug Consumption Facility to help prevent more loss of life. The facility would be a safe, clean place where people could use their own street drugs in the presence of trained medical staff who could react in the event of an overdose. Addictions experts also believe this type of facility would safeguard the wider public by reducing the number of publically discarded needles in the city.

A report by the Scottish Affairs Committee recently concluded that there was “a strong evidence base for a safe consumption facility in Glasgow which would be a practical step to reducing the number of drug-related deaths in Scotland.”

Dr Saket Priyadarshi, Associate Medical Director and Senior Medical Officer, Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services welcomed the new Enhanced Drug Treatment Service.

He said: “This is a much needed and welcome addition to the comprehensive treatment and care services already existing in Glasgow. We have known for a number of years that there are people who continue to experience harm despite receiving conventional treatment. It is only appropriate that, as in other branches of medicine, we can offer addictions patients the next line in treatment.

“Heroin Assisted Treatment is a highly evidence based intervention and it will be delivered with intensive psycho-social support to address the wide range of harm and social care needs that this population experiences.”

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Development plans for Govan, Partick and the Clyde Corridor taken forward

riveside museum

A Glasgow City Council committee was today (19 November) advised that Strategic Development Frameworks (SDFs) for Govan, Partick and the Clyde Corridor will be submitted to Scottish Ministers as supplementary guidance to the City Development Plan.

riveside museum

These SDFs have been informed by public consultation, with both the Govan-Partick and the Clyde Corridor draft frameworks going out to consultation between December 2018 and February 2019.


The Clyde Corridor SDF gives a spatial vision for the river corridor over the next 30 years, and has identified three main priorities:

  • Recognising the Clyde Corridor as a major regeneration project of national significance;
  • Unlocking sustainable development along the river corridor by addressing immediate challenges, and developing a long-term, responsive approach to managing the predicted increase in flooding in future years; and
  • Promoting a design-led, placemaking approach to enhance and protect the townscape, heritage and environment of the River Corridor while delivering a well-connected and liveable city.


The Govan-Partick SDF provides a spatial vision for the future regeneration of Govan and Partick over the next decade.  During this period, Govan and Partick will benefit from the availability of Glasgow City Region City Deal and Strategic Housing Investment Plan funding.


The council will continue to work with partners to deliver the vision for Govan-Partick, addressing the complex challenges and taking advantages of these connected but distinct neighbourhoods to ensure the maximum social, economic and physical benefit.  Regenerating these neighbourhoods is key to the regeneration of the river and the wider city.


These frameworks will now be presented to a meeting of the council’s City Administration Committee, and if approved, will then be submitted to Scottish Ministers for consideration, and will – unless significant modifications are proposed – be adopted as supplementary guidance to Glasgow’s City Development Plan.

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Update on regeneration of Govan given to Council


Progress made on the regeneration of Govan was outlined at a council meeting today (19 November).


There are a number of regeneration projects currently ongoing in Govan or contributing to the development of the area, including:

  • The Central Govan Action Plan and the Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative (which have together delivered £88million in targeted regeneration since 2006);
  • The £114million Glasgow City Deal West End & Waterfront Innovation Quarter, with key local projects delivering public realm improvements in Central Govan, the forthcoming Govan-Partick bridge, active travel schemes, and a mixed-use development at Water Row;


In addition, Govan has benefited from significant levels of housing investment and development frameworks for both the Govan-Partick ‘district’ and the river corridor points the way to ensuring the area maximises its potential as part of a revitalised Clyde waterfront.


The council is working with the University of Glasgow to develop the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID), a riverside quarter connecting the University, Central Govan and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.  The aims behind the development of the GRID are the attraction of high-value tech businesses and an educated workforce, and inclusive economic growth, social innovation and civic renewal for Govan.


As part of the GRID, the University of Glasgow is being supported by the council in the development of the Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus (CWIC) on areas of vacant and derelict land at Linthouse Road and Holmfauld Road.  The campus will be a centre of excellence for a range of new industries, co-locating industry and world-class research.


Other ongoing projects in Govan that the committee was told about included the redevelopment of the former Old Govan Parish Church (overseen by Govan Heritage Trust), the first stage repair works at Elder Park Library and the interest – led by Govan Housing Association – in converting the B listed former Lyceum cinema into a community-owned music venue.

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Condition of pre-1919 homes in Ibrox and Cessnock to be improved


A proposed partnership between Glasgow City Council and Govan Housing Association will aim to tackle the condition of pre-1919 housing in the Ibrox and Cessnock areas.


Glasgow has 76,000 pre-1919 homes – around 23% of the city’s housing stock – and 70,000 of these are tenement flats. These homes are a key part of Glasgow’s built heritage, and the council aims to develop a repair and maintenance strategy with registered private landlords and private owners for such properties.


The council has allocated grant funding to assist private owners who carry out works on such properties on a voluntary basis.


For some time now, the council has been working with local housing associations in the Cessnock and Ibrox areas to identify pre-1919 tenement blocks most in need of rehabilitation.  As part of this process – which saw action taken to safeguard four tenements in Harley Street and Ibrox Street were declared dangerous – it was established that a partnership between the council and Govan Housing Association was the best way to deliver the required programme of works.


The partnership strategy will cover 295 pre-1919 buildings in 33 blocks in Ibrox / Cessnock, and has the following objectives:

  • Tackling disrepair within the pre-1919 tenements stock;
  • A programme of preventative maintenance, including promotion of factoring more properties through Govan Housing Association;
  • Eliminating poor private landlord practice to ensure high levels of compliance, with the council using new legislative powers;
  • The creation of a sustainable tenure balance through targeted acquisitions;
  • Empty homes and abandoned ground floor shops brought back to use for social housing; and
  • Addressing environmental issues.


The local community will also be partners in this work, to encourage participation, maintain improved property and help shape future improvements.


The council will use Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers to facilitate essential repair works or bring back empty shops and flats into use.  The council has already used such powers to promote CPOs (four vacant flats and two empty shops) in the area.


As part of city-wide monitoring of pre-1919 properties, 50 tenements in Ibrox / Cessnock were surveyed using drones and thermal imaging, with the findings informing future work programmes.

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Empty Homes Strategy proposed for Glasgow

empty homes

A Glasgow City Council committee today (19 November) examined the proposed Empty Homes Strategy for the city.  The three-year strategy – a part of the wider Glasgow Housing Strategy – aims to bring long-term empty homes back into use, as part of the council’s commitment to increasing the city’s housing supply.

empty homes

Glasgow currently has 2,687 homes listed as being empty for six months or more, and this figure does not include second homes.


The most common reasons for homes becoming empty for a long time include: mortgage default and repossessions; deceased or untraceable owners; property title issues; and properties which have fallen into a poor state of repair.


Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010, local authorities can now use Council Tax records to identify vacant homes and bring them back into use, and from 2018, a surcharge of up to 100% Council Tax can be charged to owners of empty homes which are not being marketed for sale or rent.  Glasgow is the only Scottish local authority which alerts home owners prior to this application of the premium charge, with 433 owners notified of this up to eight weeks before it was applied.


The Glasgow Housing Strategy – now halfway through its five-year life – had set a target of 475-570 long-term empty homes being returned to use by end of that period, and this is ahead of schedule, with 380 homes now back in use, most of which are now socially rented.


The aims of the proposed Empty Homes Strategy include:

  • Increasing the availability of housing stock to meet demand, providing good-quality accommodation for those who need it;
  • Offering home owners information and advice to help bring properties back into use;
  • Identifying opportunities for suitable housing for particular groups, such as larger families, homeless people, and those with a variety of support needs;
  • Tackling environmental and neighbourhood blight;
  • Safeguarding the interest of tenement flat owners to facilitate common repairs work; and
  • Working closely with registered social landlords to deliver key housing strategies.


If approved, the strategy will see council officers aiming to bring between 200-250 empty homes back into use annually over three years.  In addition, they will promote the reporting of empty homes in local areas to help develop a city-wide database of such properties.  Compulsory purchase powers will be used, and the council will work with registered social landlords to provide assistance to buy empty homes through its acquisition strategy.


The report will now be referred to the council’s City Administration Committee for a decision on approval.

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Joy of Adoption Highlighted in New Podcasts

Glasgows Health and Social Care Partnership

Mum, Anna, describes the “fierce, amazing love” she feels for her adopted son and daughter in one of three new podcasts by Families for Children.

Anna adds that it was “fate” when her and husband James adopted the unrelated children as toddlers.

Glasgows Health and Social Care Partnership

The family’s emotional story features in new podcasts aimed at anyone considering adoption in Glasgow. The interviews give people information about the adoption process and how it can transform lives.

Anna said: “Adoption has worked very well for us. It has been a positive experience and we have two absolutely brilliant kids, who have really bonded as siblings. You get such lovely moments, for example if we’re driving along in the car and I look in the mirror and see my children holding hands in the back.

“When we met both our daughter and son, it was about gradually falling in love. At first, you feel a bit like a babysitter, you think someone is going to grab you and say ‘this isn’t your child’, then your confidence grows and you gradually start to feel like more of their parent. You notice all their amazing features and you become their biggest fan and, before you know it, it’s this fierce, amazing love.”

In a separate podcast, adoptive dad, James, describes his joy at adopting two boys, aged 18 months and 3 years, with his husband.

He said: “Adoption has been everything we hoped for. We have been very lucky, the boys settled in really, really well and we love them to bits. We’ve had them in nursery and the eldest started school last week.

“At first it was challenging, but any new parent will tell you that. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of time. You don’t get a minute, but that is family life. There’s always new things happening – we took the boys on their first holiday in May this year.”

Claire, a Glasgow social worker, talks about her job and explains how children are matched with approved adoptive parents. She reassured anyone interested in applying that they don’t need to be “perfect” to adopt.

Claire said: “We are not looking for perfection. I do not know if the perfect parent exists. We are looking for people to go through a journey, from phoning us and learning about the process and learning about children and their backgrounds to understanding what a child actually needs.”

Anyone open to adoption is invited to attend an information event at Glasgow’s City Chambers on November 27th from 6pm – 8.30pm.

The Families for Children podcasts are available at  http://www.podfollow.com/adoption-glasgow

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Council evaluates Glasgow’s City Centre Strategy and looks to future plans


Glasgow City Council has considered the progress made through the City Centre Strategy 2014-19, and the development for the strategy for 2020-25.


The current City Centre Strategy was developed in response to the economic crash of 2008 and its legacy, changes in the retail and commercial office sectors, and the universal impact of online retailing, and key identified aims for the city centre included issues such as increased investment, development, footfall and inclusive growth.


Two major proposals arose out of the City Centre Strategy 2014-19, which was delivered by the council and public and private sector partners:

  • The creation of a District Regeneration Framework for the city centre’s nine districts, to develop and build on the unique identity, characteristics, opportunities and constraints of each; and
  • The £115million Avenues programme, a major investment in public realm made possible through the allocation of Glasgow City Region City Deal funding.  Additional recent funding from Sustrans and Scottish Natural Heritage means that 21 Avenues will be developed in the coming years.


A range of projects has been delivered so far through the strategy, including Sauchiehall Avenue; the City Centre Mural Trail; the High Street Area Strategy; the City Centre Commercial Waste project (which saw over 1200 unsightly waste bins removed from the area’s streets); the Autism Aware City Centre, City Centre Child Safe, Changing Places and Nite Zone projects; the Next Bike cycle hire scheme; improvement works at Garnethill Park; the Good Food Glasgow street food initiative; the Sauchiehall & Garnethill District Regeneration Framework; the annual Style Mile Christmas Carnival and the Glasgow Loves Christmas Campaign.  A City Centre Manager has also been appointed by the council to act as a point of contact for businesses and residents.


Other ongoing projects developed through the strategy include the George Square Conversation to inform its future design; the plan to redevelop High Street Station; the City Centre Lane Strategy; the City Centre Living Strategy; a Contemporary Art Trail; a Begging Strategy; and district regeneration frameworks for a number of the city centre districts.


Consumer research has shown that key benefits of Glasgow city centre are the range and quality of shops; its atmosphere; and the food and drink option available.


Glasgow Chamber Of Commerce carried out research in mid-2018, which found that the city centre strategy and the officers working on it had developed projects that will deliver better infrastructure and operational improvements; better utilise space; and increased the ability to deal with issues such as cleansing and anti-social behaviour.


Key city centre statistics in recent years include an 11% population and 7% employment increase between 2014-17; a 19% increase in local enterprises, a 36% increase in business administration and support services, an 18% increase in professional, scientific and technical services but 30 fewer retail enterprises and 75 fewer local units used for retail – although the city centre continues to perform relatively well in this sector; an increase in annual tourist visitors of around 210,000 between 2014-18; the night-time economy continues to be successful; and hotel development increasing at a rate eight times the UK average between 2014-19.  The city centre retains its position as the UK’s biggest shopping destination outside London’s West End.


There has been a steady increase in development in the city centre during 2014-19, with notable examples such as the City of Glasgow College campuses, 110 Queen Street, St Vincent Plaza, the Scottish Power HQ, and Douglas House on Waterloo Street.  A number of on-site and in-development projects include Barclays in Tradeston, Custom House, the expansion of the St Enoch Centre, 177 Bothwell Street and the Love Loan scheme at the former Parish Halls block at George Street / North Frederick Street.


The development of a city centre strategy for Glasgow between 2020-25 is still in progress, and this will be refined through feedback on resident, business and visitor priorities and in response to local and national strategic objectives.   The scale of development activity gives strong grounds for optimism during this period, and the transformation of the city centre’s physical environmental is expected to yield benefits in terms of footfall, dwell-time, visitor activity, and investment.


The strategy is likely to continue to focus on promoting sustainability and resilience alongside inclusive economic growth, maintaining a broad approach that supports all sectors in the city centre.


More information on Glasgow City Centre Strategy projects is available at: https://www.glasgowcitycentrestrategy.com/city-centre-projects.

Glasgow’s City Centre Living Strategy aims to double area’s population

Glasgow City Council today (19 November) considered its draft City Centre Living Strategy, a document which proposes how the area’s population will double in size to 40,000 over the next 15 years.


A 10-week public consultation on the draft strategy will begin on 29 November.


While the city centre is currently home to a growing figure of just over 20,000 people, Glasgow lies behind cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham in terms of the numbers living and moving to live in the centres of those cities.  While Glasgow is now seeing a significant increase in both investor interest and planning approvals for private sector rent developments, the need to accelerate this trend has been identified through the City Centre Living Strategy (CCLS), which aims to establish a city centre population of 40,000 by 2035.


Population density is now considered crucial to the success and sustainability of city centres.  These areas have traditionally been home to a thriving retail sector, and while Glasgow remains the biggest shopping destination in the UK outside of London’s West End, the rise of online shopping and shifting investor demand means that new uses have to be found for redundant floorspace, and residential development offers a good opportunity to repurpose this space.


The number of people living in UK city centres almost tripled between 2000-2011, as young, single and highly-educated millennials choose to live in urban areas and – while both Glasgow‘s city centre strategy 2014-19 and city development plan have contributed to making a more mixed-use (combining leisure with retail) city centre that is more attractive as a residential location – the CCLS will further guide the growth of this population is Glasgow and the provision of all the supporting infrastructure and services that will be required.


The city centre strategy 2014-19 had proposed a number of measures to make area a ‘place to stay and live’, including:

  • Encouraging new developments and the conversion of vacant properties into residential properties, to attract professionals, families, down-sizers and students;
  • Providing appropriate services such as schools and open spaces; and
  • Creating quality spaces and environments – now being made a reality through the Glasgow City Region City Deal Avenues project.


Glasgow does have advantages over other city centres in terms of attracting a wide demographic to live there, due to its atmosphere, vibrancy, connectivity and the scale of its shopping and leisure facilities, but there are also challenges around meeting supply and demand for residential development, such as a high proportion of listed buildings (possibly difficult and expensive to convert) and pre-1945 properties.


Research and public engagement by Savills over the past couple of years generated some key findings on the issue, including:

  • A lack of residential availability and choice, and unmet demand;
  • Social housing plays a key role in some districts, providing affordable and secure accommodation;
  • A perception that private housing in the city centre was expensive, and calls for more variety in housing cost and types;
  • The greatest demand for city centre housing was in the Merchant City, Broomielaw and Sauchiehall Districts;
  • Different types of infrastructure – community, social, smart and green – and tackling cleaning and anti-social behaviour issues are needed to make the city centre liveable; and
  • Developers look for information on the local authority’s priorities on issues such as the vertical separation of uses, ie retail on ground floor, residential above.


The draft CCLS has six key objectives:

  1. To increase the city centre’s population from just over 20,000 to 40,000 by 2035;
  2. To find productive outcomes for vacant commercial space, with a particular focus on upper floors;
  3. To provide a quality city centre environment that is cleaner, greener, more sustainable and better connected;
  4. To deliver quality in design across all development;
  5. To offer a responsive, innovative approach to investment opportunities that support this strategy; and
  6. To enable resilient, empowered and socially cohesive neighbourhoods.


The vision statement for the CCLS is as follows:

‘The City Centre Living Strategy will enable a sustainable, inclusive, diverse and growing population, supported by a physical and policy environment that enables its liveability objectives.’


A draft action plan has been produced to deliver these objectives, some of which focus on specific city centre districts, others on social infrastructure and environmental improvements.


To find out more about the draft City Centre Living Strategy, please visit: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=47302.


The CCLS will inform planning guidance for future city centre development and strategy.


3rd Annual STEMFest at Glasgow Science Centre


Nearly 1,000 secondary school pupils from across the city are descending on the Glasgow Science Centre over the next couple of days to learn all about STEM careers from a variety of employers who will be highlighting the benefits of their industries.


stemfestThe young people will also get the opportunity to take part in 71 special industry led workshops being led by more than 45 employers.

A special STEMFest19 Family day will also be held at the Science Centre this Saturday, 16 November and sponsored by the Glasgow Science Centre, DYW Glasgow and First Bus.

The event, now in its third year, is supported by Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow (DYW) which is hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and specifically focused on STEM careers and pathways.

As Alex McLaughlin, STEM Development officer at Glasgow City Council explains: “It’s really important that we highlight the many different pathways into a career in STEM – there’s so many industries that are a very attractive prospect to our secondary pupils – and what better way to find out that meeting and seeing these employers in action.

“We are targeting girls and boys in S2 and S3 as this is when our young people are starting to think about their career pathways and their subject choices.

“The aim of the event is to provide awareness to young people and their families of the wealth of STEM opportunities available.

“Over the two days young people will learn about the key skills required for the world of work and how this supports the DYW agenda.”

STEMFest19 aims to build on the success of the last couple of years and raise awareness of the wide-ranging opportunities in STEM – and breaking myths about these jobs only being for boys!

Alison McRae, Senior Director, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce echoes Alex’s sentiments about how important it is to raise awareness and said today: “We are delighted to support the festival and marketplace where more than 45 businesses will be available to inspire and advise Glasgow pupils.

“It is really important for our young people to have access to the wide scope of possibilities which are available to them. The sky’s the limit! This important partnership will help enable young people to make an informed decision about their career options.

“This is about widening access to all families across the city – and we know families are such an important influence – so that everyone is afforded the same opportunities.”

First Bus will be transporting target groups and families from across the city to the Glasgow Science Centre event this Saturday who will get free entry to STEMFest.


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Hopes distinctive design for life belt throw ropes will thwart thieves and vandals


A new distinctive design for throw ropes attached to River Clyde life belts has been introduced with the aim of thwarting thieves and vandals.

Unique to Glasgow following consultation with rope makers, the yellow, orange and purple ropes are being added to city centre life belts following a successful campaign by Duncan and Margaret Spiers. The Glasgow couple have been pushing for enhanced river safety measures after their son Christopher accidently drowned in the Clyde in January 2016.


Adding ropes to lifebelts makes the belts easier to use in emergency situations and increases their life saving potential, but the throw ropes are regularly stolen while lifebelts are also routinely vandalised.

In April this year the council trialled the addition of standard throw ropes to 22 city centre life belts, but following a spate of thefts in July only seven remained in place. Since July a further 30 standard ropes have been attached to city centre lifebelts but at the most recent count, 23 had been stolen.

By adopting a unique and distinctive design for throw ropes, it is hoped that thieves will be deterred from taking a readily identifiable piece of life saving equipment from the banks of the Clyde. In total 70 ropes have been installed on to lifebelts between Albert Bridge at the east of the city centre and Bell’s Bridge in the west.

Andy Waddell, chair of the multi-agency Glasgow Water Safety Group, which has helped to steer the introduction of the ropes, expressed his disbelief that anyone could compromise the rescue of someone in distress in the water.

He said: “It is truly staggering that anyone could steal a life belt throw rope, knowing that it could put someone’s life at risk. Sadly this is an issue that has historically dogged Glasgow and shame should be heaped upon those who undermine the city’s river safety.

“But by creating a distinct and recognisable throw rope, is intended that anyone who takes one of these ropes is identifying themselves as a thief. We hope the design of the throw rope deters the thieves. Otherwise anyone spotted with one of these ropes fully deserves the scorn that comes their way. If anyone sees someone with one of these ropes they should contact the police as it’s been stolen.”

Following the campaign by Duncan and Margaret Spiers, purple thread was added to the rope in memory of their son Christopher, who was only 28-years-old when he died. Duncan and Margaret both joined Andy to install the first of the new throw ropes at a lifebelt station on the walkway next to Clyde Street. In total 70 ropes have been installed on to lifebelts between Albert Bridge at the east of the city centre and Bell’s Bridge in the west.

Duncan said: “The death of Christopher is something that we have to live with every day. But we have wanted to turn our loss into something positive and we are doing everything we can to make our rivers as safe as possible.

“Christopher was only in the water for a matter of minutes and emergency services were right there at the time. So every second counts and adding the throw ropes to the lifebelts can make all the difference. Even if the life belt doesn’t reach the person in the water on the first throw, the rope means they can try again until the person hopefully makes it to safety.

“But if a rope is missing and you then have try another lifebelt, it is very easy to lose sight of someone in the water and in that short time that person could easily lose their life. A throw rope is cheap, but a life is precious. Taking ropes or lifebelts is costing lives and people need to think twice before doing this.”

“We are really grateful to the Water Safety Group for the backing they have given our campaign. If the ropes are successful in Glasgow then we hope they can be used by other local authorities too.”

As part of the throw rope initiative, enhanced CCTV support is also being put in place in an effort to identify the culprits who steal the ropes.

New buoyancy throwbags are also being introduced along the river, which are lighter and easier to throw to someone in the water.