April 2012 Archives
THE upcoming Local Government elections are your chance to choose your City Councils priorities for the next five years.
Only six days away, these elections will decide our City's future direction, how we build on our successes and how we deal with the challenges that still remain.
In Glasgow, Labour has a proud record of delivery and a positive offer for the future. By putting you first, we want to make sure that the Council's priorities match your concerns and aspirations.
GLASGOW goes to the polls next week. You've probably had lots of letters about the elections - but there is something specific I want to say.
I am privileged to have been the Labour leader of Glasgow City Council for two years.
The decision on whether I continue in that role rests in your hands. So I want to tell you why I am seeking re-election.
In Glasgow, Labour has a proven record of achievement - the only major city where unemployment fell last year, the first place to pay a living wage, the largest apprenticeship scheme for school leavers, new secondary schools for all, free childcare for three-year-olds, better school results and winning the Commonwealth Games.
And we've done all this while freezing the council tax for the last seven years.
WHY would the Labour controlled Council in Glasgow complain about the £40m extra money provided by the Scottish Government and COSLA to plug the gap of the reduction in Council Tax and not be grateful of the slice of pie that they would receive?
At a time when low paid working families are suffering due to tax credit cuts, housing benefit reductions and excessive fuel charges, you would think Mr Matheson, Labour Council leader, would be smiling in his office when he can offset the money he will get to help the families of this city to feel the pain a little less.
GLASGOW used to make a third of all the ships in the world but much has changed.
The Clyde has been succeeded by South Korea's Port Ulsan, where a vessel is completed every four days. But we still build ships and there are reasons to be proud.
Right now, on the Clyde and in Rosyth in Fife, thousands of men and women are building two enormous aircraft carriers - each three times longer than a football pitch.
Other countries wanted the contract but the previous Labour government were clear we wanted to build these ships at home.
In our Manifesto before the last Scottish Parliament elections the SNP made a clear commitment to hold a referendum on Scottish Independence.
In January of this year the Scottish Government published its consultation on an Independence Referendum inviting people to have their say on what it should include; when it should happen and who should be able to vote.
The consultation runs until the 11th of May and I would encourage as many people as possible to have their voice heard in what I believe is a very important decision for the people of Scotland.
YESTERDAY saw the launch of the SNP's manifesto for the council elections in Glasgow.
I'm very proud of our manifesto - proud of the way it was developed and proud of the fact that every single word was written here in Glasgow by our councillors, our candidates and our members.
BUSES have been high profile recently, and it's about time.
Just before the latest hike in fares, my own campaign for Better Buses in Glasgow was launched with the aim of giving passengers a stronger voice.
Half of Glasgow's households don't have access to a car so it's essential that we have a bus service that meet people's needs.
Motorists have plenty of powerful organisations to represent them, but far too often Glasgow's bus users get ignored, or taken for granted by the big bus companies.
At the moment nobody is holding those companies to account for the standard of their service, so I've set up an interactive website and I'm urging passengers to become 'Better Buses Inspectors' and share their opinions on how we can improve bus services.
LAST week I watched Meet the Carers, a documentary following two families who care for children with mental and physical disabilities.
I was touched by the devotion of the carers to their children and struck by the great sacrifices these carers make which so often goes unnoticed by wider society.
Watching the programme, I was reminded of the day I shadowed a carer, who is the mother of two autistic children.
As an MSP, I work long days and often take work home at weekends but I can honestly say that I have never been as exhausted, both physically and mentally, as I was after those 12 hours.
I left with an appreciation and admiration for the work of carers across the country.
I HAVE spent many years fighting against serious and organised crime in our city.
Whilst the Scottish Government and Strathclyde Police have had some success tackling this, much of the SNP Government's recent successes have been by reducing crime more generally across the board and deploying a 1,000 additional police officers in that battle.
Now let me be clear, some of our communities continue to suffer from crime rates that are too high, and at times operational policing needs to use greater use of intelligence and make greater inroads into breaking the cycle of crime in some of the more deprived communities I represent.