Simon Community 1

Access to free period products will be much easier as the council announced today the continuing partnership with Simon Community Scotland and an increase period friendly points from 30 to 300 community venues over the next three years to tackle period equity in the city.

Since 2017, schools in Glasgow have provided free period products to pupils – this initially started as a pilot in five secondary schools but has now been rolled out to all 30 secondaries who work with their local primary schools.

Simon Community 1

And for the last year, Glasgow City Council has been working with Simon Community Scotland to extend the access of products in council and community buildings to those in need and some of our most vulnerable citizens.

The pilot has seen the Simon Community Period Friendly Points established in 6 Glasgow Life community centres and 11 community libraries across the north west of the city.

Each point carries a range of ‘Hey Girls’ period products, new underwear and wipes – in the public toilet where women can just help themselves without the need to ask.

The pilot has been an overwhelming success with positive feedback from users, staff and the Simon Community volunteers.

Hanger

To build on this successful pilot, the council will now work with Simon Community Scotland to roll out this important initiative across Glasgow.

Councillor Jennifer Layden, City Convener for Community Empowerment, Equalities and Human Rights, said: “On average a women will spend around £18,000 on period products in a lifetime.  The reality is that this monthly expenditure is just not affordable for a number of individuals and our families in the city.

“Period products are a right, not a luxury.

“No one should ever be in an embarrassing situation that they have to use alternative means or for example, not attend lessons at schools because of their period.

“The pilot has proved really successful and using community venues has been a particularly positive move in order to be as inclusive as possible.

“To expand, we now need volunteers to be able to make sure that any one in need across the city has access at a community venue they are already visiting.”

Vol

One key element will be the recruitment of volunteers to help deliver and restock points in local communities and the event today is to launch is to raise awareness of period equity and the volunteer recruitment drive.

Lorraine McGrath, CEO of Simon Community Scotland said: “At Simon Community Scotland we know that all forms of poverty are key causes of homelessness, we also know that women experiencing homelessness have unique challenges and the most vulnerable women are often the most difficult to reach and connect with. Our Period Friendly Points and our wonderful volunteer Period Friendly Pals provide vulnerable women with a touch point to some personal dignity and a tiny, but vital, element of personal control. Making use of a Period Friendly Point also provides what might just be a critical connection with Simon Community Scotland with a clear message that they matter to us and our partners and that we are here to help and respond. We are delighted and very grateful to be working with Glasgow City Council to create those opportunities across our communities, widening that potential for the too many women who just need that ‘period of dignity’.”

Andrew Olney, Head of Communities and Libraries, Glasgow Life added: “Our community centres and community libraries are at the heart of each and every community in Glasgow providing a free, safe and welcoming space for all.

“Our partnership with the Simon Community ensures that these vital products are made more accessible to women in the community most at need. Glasgow Life is committed to supporting the roll out of more period friendly points across other venues citywide.”

DSC_8938

On a typically rainy day, pupils from Croftfoot Primary School were stars of the show, as they highlighted to a captive audience, their appreciation of brand new outdoor play space and equipment – made possible through a Glasgow City Region City Deal project to reduce flood risk and enhance greenspace in the Kings Park area.

The pupils are now proud custodians of a brand new MUGA pitch, as well as an outdoor amphitheatre – a dramatic feature which combines sustainable drainage with flexible play space. In front of invited guests including council Leader Cllr Susan Aitken and project contractors; the pupils sang, read out poetry and emphasised personally how much they are enjoying their new facilities.

DSC_8938

Glasgow City Region City Deal (funded by both the UK and Scottish Governments) is funding the project through the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP), which is working with partners to deliver a programme of schemes to ‘Sustainably Drain Glasgow’ – targeting areas across the city where rainfall adversely impacts communities.

The works taking place in the Croftfoot, Kings Park, Overwood Drive and Aikenhead Road areas will include installation of improved drainage infrastructure, construction of rain garden features and improvements to public spaces.

As well as the provision of the fantastic play and learning equipment for the school; contractor RJ McLeod and project supervisor/design consultant AECOM will be working to create enhanced amenity space at Kings Park and former golf course by bringing back to the surface, sections of the Spittal Burn which are currently hidden (culverted) underground. A new woodland walkway path network will be created and a SuDS basin installed – a feature that helps to manage rainfall.  There will also be tree planting on the former golf course site to compensate for those removed within Kings Park to accommodate the sustainable drainage infrastructure.

DSC_8951

Community benefits delivered so far in the area include provision of new gardening equipment for the Friends of Kings Park community group and participation in two careers events at St Paul’s High School, with future plans to provide STEM support to local schools and the opportunity for secondary school pupils to undertake work experience roles.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet said, “It’s been an absolute pleasure to visit Croftfoot Primary School and see first-hand what this wonderful new play equipment means to the pupils, parents and staff. The fact that these fantastic new facilities will also help reduce the risk of flooding in the community is really ingenious – and local people are also going to see real day-to-day improvements, with more trees planted and new pathways created that will make walking and cycling much easier.”

Headteacher of Croftfoot Primary School Martine Leitch said: “The children are really proud of the new play areas they have.  We feel the new facilities have given us fantastic outdoor areas now to enhance learning.”

Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson said: “City Region Deals are focused on delivering lasting benefits for individuals, communities and businesses and since 2014 we have committed £1.8 billion through these deals to bring change across Scotland. These new facilities at Croftfoot Primary School will not only improve drainage in the area, they will enhance greenspace and provide the pupils with excellent new facilities to enjoy.”

DSC_8910

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “This new amphitheatre provides a brilliant setting for Glasgow’s stars of the future to play, learn and share their talents in a unique environment. This is also a great example of how the Glasgow City Region Deal is using innovative solutions to make our communities even better places to visit, live and do business. 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.”

Andrew Lindsay, Technical Director, Infrastructure North, at AECOM said: “Working closely with Glasgow City Council, AECOM delivered a programme of schemes to ‘sustainably drain Glasgow’.  By integrating a variety of drainage features into the urban areas as well as parts of the city where rainfall adversely impacts communities, AECOM has helped manage surface water flooding in South East Glasgow. Not only does this scheme aim to deliver wider benefits to local communities through the creation of amenity space and improved ecology but also provide daylighting culverted watercourses and retrofitted SuDS.

“As part of the project, retrofitted SuDS were placed into schools to remove water flows from the combined sewer within the Glasgow City Council estate.  This also included an external amphitheatre as an outdoor learning space for the pupils which is also used for emergency stormwater storage, a sports pitch with surface water attenuation below and the provision of SuDS treatment features.  This was a great opportunity for AECOM to engage with local students to create a fun learning experience whilst ensuring they understood the benefits of this scheme and the positive impact this will have in their community.”

 Allan Donnelly, Site Agent at RJ McLeod said: “RJ McLeod are delighted to have been the contractor chosen to be part of the team to construct the works at SE Glasgow SWMP. We are delighted to be doing our part in reducing flooding risk and improving water quality in the South side of Glasgow. As a local Scottish civil engineering firm, we are grateful for the continuing level of support we have received from the community which is proving vital in the successful construction of the project”

 

The works in the area will continue until later this year.

Both the UK and Scottish Governments are providing the Glasgow City Region local authorities with £500million each in grant funding for the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Bothwell St

To help inform implementation of the second phase of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ), the council is seeking views through consultation on a variety of key aspects including its geographical boundary, enforcement dates and temporary local exemptions – as well as how it might influence people’s future transport choices.

Bothwell St

Glasgow’s LEZ affects local service buses only at present, however its second phase, which is expected to be enforced from 31 December 2022, will apply to all vehicles driving into the city centre zone, including private cars.  A grace period (additional time to comply with the emission requirements) will be considered for individuals whose vehicle is registered at a residential property within the zone.

To reduce levels of harmful air pollution caused by road traffic and to protect public health, Glasgow introduced Scotland’s first ever Low Emission Zone at the end of 2018.  Only vehicles which meet specific, cleaner emission standards are permitted to drive into LEZs.

As well as Glasgow, some other Scottish cities are expected to follow suit; with plans for Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee to introduce LEZs by 2020. The Scottish Government is developing legislation setting out the detail of how LEZs will operate across Scotland, and for national consistency this framework will include matters such as emission standards, penalty charge rate, enforcement and exemptions.

To complement the introduction of Glasgow’s own LEZ, a wide range of work is underway in our city to improve air quality. This would include encouraging higher levels of active and sustainable travel, driving up standards in public transport and reducing reliance on private vehicles.

Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Carbon Reduction and Sustainability said: “The introduction of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone shows our resolute determination to tackle air pollution in the city centre and beyond.

“Given that our LEZ will affect all vehicles by the end of 2022, I’d urge as many people as possible to take part in the consultation. Whilst the Scottish Government will set out the detail of how Low Emission Zones will operate nationally, various local aspects for Glasgow’s LEZ are yet to be set. Participation will give you the ideal opportunity to make your voice heard.”

The Low Emission Zone Consultation is open until 29 March 2020 and the online survey can be accessed through the council’s Consultation Hub webpage, or directly via this link.

Smarts Count 14 Dundee 02-003

The Count 14 tour, set to visit 12 locations across Scotland, will roll into Lidl Tollcross on Saturday 22 February to put shoppers’ knowledge of what 14 units means in terms of alcoholic drinks to the test.

Smarts Count 14 Dundee 02-003

With the UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines stating men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week to reduce the risks of harm, the roadshow will challenge shoppers to estimate how many of their favourite drinks make up the weekly maximum guideline, and staff will be on hand to bring to life how quickly 14 units can add up.

The guidelines also highlight that if people do regularly drink around 14 units per week, it should be spread over three days or more, with some alcohol-free days.

Smarts Count 14 Dundee 02-005

Regularly exceeding the recommended maximum weekly guideline increases the risk of developing a range of health problems, including cancer of the mouth, throat and breast.

The Scottish Government’s Count 14 campaign, backed by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, aims to help people understand how their weekly drinking adds up.

NHSGGC’s Director of Public Health, Linda de Caestecker, said:

“We all know there are recommended weekly guidelines for alcohol and these have been around for many years.  They were updated a few years ago, with no more than 14 units in a week being recommended for both men and women now.  It’s important people know the guidelines and the risks they may face if regularly drinking more than that.

“If you think you are regularly drinking too much and would like to change your drinking habits, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.  Confide in or talk to a friend, colleague or someone you trust about ways you could tackle this.  It’s also helpful to keep a drinks diary for a month to record where, when and how much you drink as you could be underestimating it.

“Lastly, consider laying off alcohol for a while to give your body time to recover and you time to think about your alcohol use and what changes you want to make whether it be drinking less alcohol, drinking less often or maybe stopping drinking completely.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said:

“The alcohol guidelines are based on the clear evidence that as alcohol use increases, so does the risk of a range of health harms.  To keep these risks low it’s recommended that men and women don’t drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

“The 14 unit guideline equates to six pints of medium strength beer, lager or cider; six medium glasses of wine or seven double measures of spirits over the course of a week.

“By increasing understanding of what this means in terms of actual alcoholic drinks, our hope is that adults in Scotland are able to make more informed choices.”

For further information on the guidelines visit count14.scot

HIV test

Rapid new HIV tests which provide results in minutes has been introduced in Glasgow to help tackle the worst outbreak in decades.

john campbell

City addictions workers are using fast new finger prick blood tests as part of work to tackle the spread of the virus among drug users who share needles.

Around 170 people are believed to have contracted HIV in the current outbreak. However, the actual figure may be much higher, as many drug users do not engage with needle exchange services which offer blood tests and harm reduction advice as well as clean injecting equipment.

HIV test

John Campbell, Glasgow’s Injecting Equipment Provision Improvement Manager, said: “Undoubtedly, the current HIV outbreak is due to people sharing drug-taking equipment, often on public injecting sites in the city centre. Glasgow has some of the best needle exchange services in the world, but it is very hard for us to influence people’s injecting behaviour unless professionals are present when they inject.

“Currently people are injecting outdoors in filthy, sometimes, urine soaked alleyways or on derelict ground. This is causing all sorts of harms from ulcers and maggot-infested wounds to HIV and Hepatitis C infections.

“Blood borne virus infections such as HIV are just one of the reasons why Glasgow urgently needs a Safer Drug Consumption Facility to ensure people have a clean, safe place where they can be supervised when injecting and with access to harm reduction advice, running water, wound treatment and clean needles.”

In just one month last year (Nov 2019), needle exchanges in Greater Glasgow gave out 25,000 needles and sheets of foil. Safe sharps disposal boxes are also supplied for free, however, publically discarded needles are concern for the public.

Mr Campbell said: “When public injecting sites on derelict ground are found and fenced off, it often disperses people further into communities. We receive regular complaints about discarded needles. The health risk to the public is low, but it is obviously a concern.

“A Safer Drug Consumption Facility would help address this too. It would reduce the number of publically discarded needles in its vicinity, benefiting communities and businesses.”

Speaking about the new HIV tests, Mr Campbell added: “Previously HIV test results could take up to two weeks to come back from the lab. This was a problem because the people we work with have very chaotic lifestyles, they may not be in the city centre in two weeks. We may get their results back, saying they have tested positive, but we can’t find them to tell them and minimise the risk of further infection.

“With these new tests we have the results in minutes and if they are positive, we can link the person into treatment instantly and if it’s negative, we can provide them with harm reduction advice which will help keep them that way.”

Rapid HIV tests were first piloted by Waverley Care and the city’s Blood Borne Virus team. They are currently available at a number of needle exchanges in the city.

woodside day care arvinder

A new dementia-friendly day care centre is transforming the lives of older people and their relatives in Glasgow.

woodside day care arvinder

Arvinder Kainth, believes Woodside Day Care Centre has improved her 88-year-old, blind and partially deaf, father’s life and given her family peace of mind.

 

Speaking at the official opening of Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership’s new centre, she said her dad, Gurnam Singh Bedi, lost interest in life after his wife died, becoming very withdrawn and quiet.

cake cutting

Arvinder said: “My family were all very worried about my dad after mum died, until a friend introduced us to day care services for the elderly and disabled.

 

“Coming to Woodside has changed my father’s life. His quality of life has improved greatly and he wouldn’t miss a day here – even for a family occasion! He talks about the centre with fondness, and we, as a family, have peace of mind.

 

“Our father is happy, he is in a place where he is safe and is treated with respect and dignity. We also get respite and are able to take some time for ourselves.”

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, officially opened the purpose built centre, and met service users who enjoy activities such as armchair bowls, dominos, bingo, yoga, quizzes, arts and crafts and outings. People usually attend for one, two or three days a week. They are collected from home each morning and driven to the centre in Hinshaw Street where they enjoy lunch and activities before heading home.

 

Eighty-three-year-old service user, Pavittar Majhu, praised the “polite and respectful” staff and the food at the centre which caters for any special dietary requirements. Pavittar told visitors she loves to sing Bollywood songs with friends at the centre as well as being pampered at the in-house hair salon.

 

She said: “The facilities in Woodside are amazing, including the beautiful gardens which are so therapeutic. I enjoy gardening at the centre and having a hairdresser here is wonderful.

“All the staff are polite and respectful and ensure all our needs are met. We enjoy all the cultural celebrations including Christmas and Halloween etc, Asian festivals like Diwali, Vaisakhi and Eid are also celebrated here.

 

“My family have visited Woodside and are very happy with the facilities. My son who is in a band, came and entertained us all.”

 

Cllr Aitken unveiled a plaque and cut a cake to mark the occasion after touring the facility and chatting to staff and service users.

 

She said: “This is really such an impressive place. There is a great atmosphere and everyone is very welcoming, positive and cheerful. The overwhelming feeling I’m getting from talking to everyone, is that you are all delighted with the facilities.

 

“There is so much life about the place, and the dedication and professionalism of the staff is obvious to see. From talking to them and seeing them in action, you can tell how much they care about service users and how they take pride and pleasure in ensuring everyone is looked after and happy.

 

“I’m delighted to declare this lovely day care centre officially open!”

 

Woodside can accommodate 30 older people a day Monday to Friday. Facilities include several activity rooms, a hair salon, a dining room, two sitting rooms, a quiet / prayer room, a hair salon and a treatment room as well as the dementia friendly garden with raised beds.

It provides a registered service for people with complex needs and service users are all assigned their own key worker.

 

Susanne Millar, Interim Chief Officer of Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership, said it was committed to providing services which help people live in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.

 

She said: “This is a fabulous building with all the facilities that go with it. There is a lot of buzz and activity and it feels really homely and safe. I’d like to recognise all the hard work of staff that got us here. Thank you for your dedication.”

The day care centre is located alongside the HSCP’s new Woodside Health Centre.

George Square Conversation

Glasgow City Council has now approved the beginning of work on a design strategy and traffic reconfiguration at George Square, the city’s civic centre and principal urban space.

George Square Conversation

A recent public engagement on the use and future use of the square reinforced the results of similar exercises, and found that the people of Glasgow want more greening, trees and flowers; less traffic and parking; good quality and accessible events; a permanently available public space where people can meet, sit, protest and walk through; and a high quality in design – with public engagement in that design.

 

Today’s approval means that the traffic plan for George Square will be developed as part of the emerging City Centre Transport Strategy, and the statutory process on a new traffic layout to be delivered before the European Championships in June 2020 will begin.  The proposed new layout will involve full closure (or pedestrianisation) of the east and west sides, while north and south will be public transport corridors.  All parking will be removed, and these changes will be enabled through temporary measures like signage and street furniture.

 

The design strategy for George Square – to be achieved through the Avenues programme – will begin in late 2020, when the design team is in place.  The project scope will include Hanover Street and Miller Street, aiming to create a new pedestrian link from Queen Street Station through George Square down to Argyle Street and the Clyde.

 

Glasgow’s hosting of major events in 2020 including the UEFA European Championships and COP 26 – and more in the next few years – has led to the phasing of the redevelopment of the square, with construction works likely to begin after the UCI Cycling World Championships in the summer of 2023.

 

The delivery of the redeveloped George Square will be part of the wider Avenues programme in the city centre, with the design, quality and consistency of both projects are aligned, so the project scope with include the George Street and St Vincent Street Avenues as well as the square.

 

The estimated cost for the proposed George Square works is between £8million – £10million, with the proposed works at Hanover Street and Miller Street estimated at £2 – £3million.  These costs will be met from existing capital budgets, including the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

 

The works will be procured and governed as part of the Avenue’s ‘Block C’ (covering George Square, George Street, Hanover Street, Hope Street, IFSD West, John Street, Miller Street, St Vincent Place and St Vincent Street) design contract, which is going out to tender in April with a contract appointment expected in October this year.

 

There will also be a need for a sustainable solution to the interface between George Square and Queen Street Station, to ensure necessary accessibility and servicing requirements with appropriate public transport and active travel facilities and infrastructure.  The scope of works for all the work around the square will be established as the design process progresses, with detail to be developed through a further process of intensive analysis and public engagement.

 

The design process for the redevelopment of the square responds to the global climate emergency in a number of ways, including the introduction of green infrastructure; tackling poor air quality; promoting and prioritising active travel and public transport; using SMART infrastructure to make this city centre neighbourhood resilient and sustainable; and mitigating against the possible impacts of climate change through surface water management.

 

It is recognised that in all phases of the project that there will be challenges with regards to servicing of various shops, businesses, residential developments, refuse collection facilities, etc.  Local access for residents will still be maintained.  These issues will be fully considered in due course, and appropriate mitigation measures put in place.

 

The design process for the square will include further public engagement as options are developed, proactively consulting with vulnerable user groups and other key stakeholders

 

The delivery of the George Square Area Strategy project will be monitored by a cross-party group which will review the project as it develops.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We can now begin work on the redevelopment of George Square to deliver the changes that the people of Glasgow have told us they want.  Throughout this process, we will continue to engage with everyone with a stake in the square to create a civic space we can all enjoy and be proud of.”

 

Images of how George Square may look after the first phase of redevelopment are available on request.

George Square Conversation

A Glasgow City Council committee today (28 January) considered the findings of the recent public engagement on the future use and design of George Square, the city’s civic centre and principal urban space.

George Square Conversation

The city-wide Public Conversation about George Square – which focused on how people use the square, what they think about it, what it means to the city, and the ambitions people have for it – saw 2,267 submissions received in October/November 2019.  The engagement was carried out online – the website used to host online parts of the conversation was viewed almost 8,000 times – and through surveys at city libraries, workshops, vox pops and other events.

 

The Conversation confirmed that the people of Glasgow feel that change is required at George Square, while respecting its history and the aspects of the square that remain valued.

George Square Conversation

The key themes of the findings from the Conversation – the brief for which was framed by the City Urbanist – include: a reduction in traffic or an element of pedestrianisation; a more sustainable / green space; a place to sit or relax; a mixed response to statues (ranging from retained, altered in layout and removed to new statues, cleaning and conservation); a water feature, fountain or pond.

 

These themes align with previous consultations in 2017 and 2018 on the future of the square, which also called for less traffic; more greening and sustainability; retaining a permanently accessible public space for passing through, sitting, gathering and demonstrating; a managed event strategy as part of a wider city centre event space plan; design quality and public involvement in design.

 

It is proposed – given the clear consensus on the need to reduce traffic – that the preferred option for traffic at George Square is the eventual full pedestrianisation of the east and west sides, with public transport and cycling corridors on the north and south side. This proposed objective would see a reconfigured traffic layout – including the removal of parking – that would be delivered preferably by the summer of 2020.

 

This option would involve temporary features and facilities, with permanent public realm and road infrastructure works to be progressed after summer 2023, when the square will be used for the UCI Cycling Championships. It should be noted that the final confirmation of the traffic arrangements on the square will be shaped by the emerging City Centre Transport Strategy.

 

In terms of the people of Glasgow’s ambitions for the square, the findings of the conversation showed the desire for it to be a place for sightseeing the buildings or monuments, with grass, trees and flowers – an open space to relax, meet or socialise.

 

The delivery of the redeveloped George Square is proposed to be part of the wider Avenues programme in the city centre, with the design, quality and consistency of both projects are aligned, so the project scope with include the George Street and St Vincent Street Avenues as well as the square.  In addition, the intention is to create a high-quality pedestrian connection and public realm on Hanover Street and Millar Street to connect the Argyle Street and St Vincent Street Avenues.

 

The estimated cost for the proposed George Square works is between £8million – £10million, with the proposed works at Hanover Street and Miller Street estimated at £2 – £3million.  These costs will be met from existing capital budgets, including the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

 

The works will be procured and governed as part of the Avenue’s ‘Block C’ (covering George Square, George Street, Hanover Street, Hope Street, IFSD West, John Street, Miller Street, St Vincent Place and St Vincent Street) design contract, which is going out to tender in April with a contract appointment expected in October this year.  The wider design of Block C, and the concept design for George Square will be the responsibility of the external contractors, with detailed and technical design for George Square undertaken by Glasgow City Council.

 

There will also be a need for a sustainable solution to the interface between George Square and Queen Street Station, to ensure necessary accessibility and servicing requirements with appropriate public transport and active travel facilities and infrastructure.  The scope of works for all the work around the square will be established as the design process progresses, with detail to be developed through a further process of intensive analysis and public engagement.

 

The design process for the redevelopment of the square responds to the global climate emergency in a number of ways, including the introduction of green infrastructure; tackling poor air quality; promoting and prioritising active travel and public transport; using SMART infrastructure to make this city centre neighbourhood resilient and sustainable; and mitigating against the possible impacts of climate change through surface water management.

 

It is proposed that the delivery of this, the George Square Area Strategy project, will be monitored by a cross-party group which will review the project as it develops.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The consultation findings echo what our citizens routinely tell us, that something clearly has to change with George Square.  I’m really encouraged that there is consensus on many key elements. The public conversations we have facilitated tell us our people want a greener square with less traffic, a space of high design quality and which continues to function as it traditionally has done, as a space for Glaswegians to gather.  Our task now is to respond to that, respecting the Square’s history and place in Glasgow life whilst delivering a civic space which is both attractive and cherished and reflects our status as a European city.”

 

The recommendations from the report will now go the council’s City Administration Committee on 6 February where consideration will be given for approval to proceed.

 

Images of how George Square may look after the first phase of redevelopment are available on request.

glasgow film office wwz

Glasgow City Council’s Glasgow Film Office (GFO) helped to generate almost £12.5million for the city’s economy in 2019, though film, broadcast and advertising productions attracted to the city by their activity.

glasgow film office wwz

Since its creation in 1997 with the aim of promoting Glasgow as a ‘film-friendly’ city, the GFO has attracted productions that have generated over £320million in economic activity.

 

2019 saw a number of notable productions film in Glasgow, including the award-winning 1917 and Succession, BBC dramas GuiltElizabeth Is Missing (starring Glenda Jackson) and the yet to broadcast The Nest (starring Martin Compston and Sophie Rundle), as well as Bollywood features Saach and 1983.

 

These productions join a long list of major films and broadcast series made in Glasgow, including World War ZUnder The SkinOutlaw KingThe Wife, Hobbs & ShawWild RoseOutlanderStill Game, The Replacement and The Cry.

 

The GFO – the council’s film commission – acts as a ‘one-stop shop’ for productions of all sizes and budgets filming or wishing to film in Glasgow, coordinating meetings with appropriate agencies, location owners and council departments.  This ensures that filming goes as smoothly as possible, delivering the greatest economic impact and minimising the impact on the daily life and operations of residents and businesses.

 

The GFO also markets Glasgow as an attractive filming location through supporting recces for production and location teams, meetings with key producers and decision makers, and working with Screen Scotland in the planning and execution of joint marketing activities.  A grant is also given to productions hiring local facilities and services suppliers, to help support and develop the sector in the city.

 

The GFO leads the Glasgow Film Partnership, a body with over 60 members, with the common goal of making filming on location in the city as simple as possible.  Some of the members of this partnership include Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow Science Centre, the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Airport, Network Rail and SPT.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “These latest figures point to the continuing attraction of Glasgow as location for film production and, crucially, the successes of the council’s Film Office in facilitating that. Major productions like 1917 and Succession not only generate significant economy activity within the city but they profile what Glasgow has to offer to the film and broadcast industry, from our locations to our crews and facilities.  The Glasgow Film Office team are pivotal to making all this happen, while minimising the impact on our residents and businesses.  This approach has been so successful that I am sure we can look forward to hearing some super news about more major productions coming to Glasgow in the very near future.”

 

The film and broadcast sector has paid tribute to the help given to productions in Glasgow in the past, and below are just some examples:

 

Tom Asquith, Location Manager, Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw: “All who we dealt with in the city were enthusiastic and positive about the feasibility of our plans.  I was overwhelmed by the patience, support and the welcome we received from the residents of Glasgow.” 

 

Piers Tempest, Producer, The Wife and Churchill: “Glasgow is a fantastically diverse city to film in. Our experience from filming both The Wife and Churchill in Glasgow was excellent, and the support the Glasgow Film Office was extremely helpful, and echoed the welcome that the city gave us.”                               

 

David Brown, Scottish Line Producer, Cloud Atlas and Producer, Outlander: “The principle reason for coming to Glasgow is the welcome that the city gives to filmmakers. We are overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received from everyone in the city.”

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.