City chiefs from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society have been mobilised to lead Glasgow’s race to carbon net zero by 2030.

The call for joint action across Glasgow came from Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, as she launched the Sustainable Glasgow partnership to tackle the city’s fight against climate change.

Over 400 representatives from major businesses, universities, public sector organisations and environmental campaign groups all gathered at the Scottish Event Campus today to begin work on plotting Glasgow’s path to carbon neutrality over the next ten years.

With Glasgow declaring a climate emergency in May 2019, it is intended that Sustainable Glasgow will provide a focal point for achieving the city’s ambitious target for carbon reduction.

Councillor Aitken warmly welcomed the fact that so many city leaders answered the call to action on climate change as Glasgow prepares to welcome the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in November.

With the backing of such a diverse range of companies, organisations and institutions, she believes that Sustainable Glasgow can be the basis for extensive collaboration on the effort to decarbonise the city in the years ahead.

Councillor Aitken said: “I am delighted there has been such an overwhelmingly positive response to the launch of Sustainable Glasgow. Cities must lead the way to a sustainable future for our planet and Glasgow can become the city of our times, on the issue of our times.

“Cities are where the carbon is emitted, through our homes, our industries, our transportation, and this is where the change needs to take place to achieve carbon neutrality. The launch of Sustainable Glasgow can be a landmark in our race to Net Zero, the start of a collaboration that delivers a sustainable future for our city and citizens.

“Glasgow can match ambition with achievement, combining a green and inclusive urban environment with a green and inclusive economy. But Government, neither local nor national, can do this alone.  As our nation’s largest city, Glasgow is renowned as a centre for innovation and for the new green economy. We have plenty to build upon with genuine partnership working between the local authority, business, industry and our academic sectors already one of our international selling points.

“As hosts of COP26, Glasgow has an opportunity of global significance to promote and accelerate our efforts to secure a just transition to carbon neutrality. Economic growth, improving the quality of life of all of our citizens and carbon neutrality are entirely compatible, but we all must begin planning for it now.”

At the launch event, key speeches were given by Councillor Aitken, George Gillespie, Executive Director for the council’s Neighbourhood and Sustainability department and Michelle McGinty, who is leading Glasgow City Council’s team preparing the city for COP26.

But delegates also heard responses to the climate change challenge from keynote listeners Professor Sir Jim Mcdonald, Principal and Vice Chancellor at the University of Strathclyde; Frank Mitchell, CEO at Scottish Power Energy Networks and Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Glasgow.

The launch also involved panel discussions with:

– Andrew Jarvis, MD at First Bus; Lucy Gillie, Southseeds, Emma Woodham, Glasgow Science Centre and Brian Evans, City Urbanist.

– Fiona Landy, Transport Scotland; Sam Gardener, Scottish Power; Jill Murie, Glasgow Centre for Population Health; Karen Turner, Centre for Energy Policy and Catriona Patterson, Creative Carbon Scotland.

All delegates were asked to say how their sector and organisations can contribute to the city’s carbon reduction targets. How carbon reduction activity can be better coordinated and how to monitor progress were central questions during discussions.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

Glasgow City Council has passed a budget that prioritises frontline services and ensures the city is ready to respond to the climate emergency.

Members today backed a budget plan for 2020/21 which will see Council Tax rise by 4.64% – below the 4.84% cap.

In challenging circumstances, the budget delivers additional cash to support community empowerment and continues funding for valued initiatives including free school meals and ending holiday hunger.

It invests more than an additional £1 million in cleansing – and allows the city to establish a £10 million Climate Emergency Implementation Fund.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: “Our budget proposals protect and, wherever possible, invest in the city’s priorities – from our environment to education, community empowerment and participatory budgeting.

“We are also making sure Glasgow is ready to hit the ground running in meeting the climate challenge facing every community across the country and across the world.”

During the budget debate, City Treasurer Cllr Allan Gow accepted an amendment by the Scottish Green Party, moved by Cllr Kim Long.

This introduced additional savings, including increased charges, and cost-neutral sustainability measures – such as ending the use of air travel for journeys within the mainland UK. It also provided the revenue costs of borrowing to support the Climate Emergency Implementation Fund.

Cllr Allan Young, co-convenor of the Green councillors group, said: “We’re pleased that Glasgow has backed our calls to accelerate climate action ahead of COP26. The climate and ecological emergencies are the defining issues of our age and we have a moral duty to act.

“We’ve also led the case for reform of Glasgow’s budget process so citizens can have a real say in decisions over the future of vital local services.”

Today’s budget pegs Band D Council Tax at £1,386.000 for 2020/21 – an increase of around £1.17 per week. The average bill in Glasgow will be considerably lower.

Due to changes to the national budget-setting timetable, only the city’s revenue budget was considered by members at this afternoon’s meeting. Capital budgets, which typically support spending on infrastructure, will be looked at once the national process is complete.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

Glasgow City Council today (6 February) adopted the Open Space Strategy for the city – a document that will identify and guide how open space can be used to improve health, liveability and the resilience of Glasgow.

 

Open spaces in Glasgow are diverse and include the city’s parks, gardens, allotments, civic spaces, rivers, lochs and ponds.

 

A draft version of the strategy was put out to public consultation, and the overwhelmingly positive response – along with the input of other stakeholders – helped to inform the future response.

 

Through the Open Space Strategy (OSS), there is now the ability to analyse open spaces on a local level, audit existing open spaces and their functions, and use this information to guide engagement on how best to use and manage these open spaces.

 

A process has been identified to help monitor and deliver how the strategy can achieve its aims of enhancing local quality of life and the environment, and this is shown below:

 

  • Establish current and future need;
  • Plan for current and future need;
  • Inform future use; and
  • Deliver future use.

 

Through this process, the strategy’s action plan will help to deliver the aims of a more healthy, liveable and resilient Glasgow.

 

The strategy will direct future decisions on open spaces, such as whether they should be enhanced or used for other open space purposes; where priorities for maintenance may lie; and where opportunities may exist to plant trees or let them regenerate naturally. It will also identify where new open spaces should be created and where using existing open spaces for other purposes may be appropriate.

 

The strategy has responded to the Climate Emergency – open space has a key role to play in providing for both carbon savings and in helping the city adapt to climate change – as well as the council’s recently-published Pollinator Plan, and will be published as an accessible, easy to read document.

 

Discussions with local communities and organisations will take place to establish aspirations for open spaces in their areas, and the council will work with partners – such as the NHS – to deliver mutually supporting aims. The strategy will also help to co-ordinate the roles, policies and strategies of council services with open space responsibilities.

 

Delivery of the strategy will also see the council supporting community groups to manage open spaces through asset transfer, participatory working and/or co-production; identifying options for maintaining open spaces less intensively – for instance, growing trees can reduce grass cutting that generate benefits for biodiversity; investigate where our open spaces might be able to generate income – e.g. by generating renewable heat or energy; and identifying whether there may be open spaces that are not needed to meet current or future need and where income may be generated from their sale.

 

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Our open spaces are enormously important to us, socially, economically and environmentally, and considering how we can best use them is crucial to our future quality of life and success.  The Open Space Strategy for Glasgow will guide us in our efforts to make the city more healthy, liveable and resilient.”

A Glasgow City Council committee today (6 February) approved almost £70,000 ENV2 funding towards the creation of a children’s play area and a woodlands community space in the North Toryglen Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA).

 

Both the play area and the community space will be built on council-owned land.  ENV2 funding for these comes from contributions from the building of the Crudens’ housebuilding.

 

North Toryglen is one of Glasgow’s eight Transformational Regeneration Areas, with extensive demolition of unpopular housing stocks clearing land for new housing, with 100 socially-rented homes for GHA tenants displaced by demolition and 104 homes for sale (by Crudens) built.  Another 127 for sale are either on site or planned.  The area also now has a 120-bedspace elderly care home.

 

Although North Toryglen has benefited from these developments, the surrounding quality of open space and standards of connectivity with other areas need to be improved.  To address this, a greenspace group was set up though the local delivery group.  The main partners of this sub-group – Glasgow City Council, Clyde Gateway and Urban Roots – have now drawn up proposals for improvements, following public consultation events.

 

These proposals include the delivery of new public space, parkland and a network of sustainable transport routes with the intention the area will become more permeable, raising the profile for local residents, visitors and those using the through routes on bikes and other non-motorised transport.  The creation of the children’s play area and the woodlands community space will be important part of these proposals to come to, and will be delivered by the summer of 2022.

 

Both projects sit within the wider greenspace strategy for the area, which aims to attract a capital budget of almost £3.35million.  The greenspace group is attracting funding from Glasgow City Council; the Scottish Government’s Vacant & Derelict Land Fund; Scottish Natural Heritage’s Green Infrastructure Fund, SUSTRANS and Transforming Communities: Glasgow.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “While the standard of housing in North Toryglen has been transformed in recent years, there have been issues with the quality of open space, accessibility and connections to surroundings areas.  The new children’s play area and woodlands community space will be the first of a series of projects to tackles these issues, allowing the community the chance to fully enjoy their local spaces.”