BY the end of this working week Glasgow will have provided the Scottish Government with all the relevant details it has requested on the extent to which Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) has been used in privately-owned residential properties in the city.

This has been a very large piece of work, involving the study of dozens of architectural and building control records, in some cases going back years.

It is deeply regrettable that what emerged last week was a premature and incomplete picture, which led to alarm levels being raised unnecessarily. No evidence has emerged that any building in Glasgow is a potential Grenfell or poses an unacceptable fire risk. But the safety of our citizens is paramount, which is precisely why the council is undertaking the detailed level of work that will allow us to provide reassurance.

I apologise again that information emerged in the extremely unhelpful way that it did. And again, I must emphasise there was never any intention to keep the presence of this material secret: it will be shared with all residents of any affected buildings as soon as investigations are complete.

Our task in the days ahead is to ensure we can provide as full a picture as possible and then begin to assess what the implications may be for residents and their properties. City council officers are working in tandem with colleagues from the Government to compile this information. They have also been liaising with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service over what assistance can be provided around inspecting the affected residential properties.

I hope we can secure the full cooperation of architects, factors and property owners in compiling this information. It is vital for the reassurance of all residents and indeed the wider public that this information is thorough and accurate.

The safety of citizens will always be our overriding priority. If the council has learned anything over the past week it is the importance of communication, on any number of fronts. There is also the need for improved cooperation and clear lines of understanding when something as crucial as fire safety is the issue.

I have instructed council officers to ensure that by Friday the Government will have all the information it needs to assess where the use of ACM may be an issue. We will have a degree of certainty on whether this small number of affected properties require further investigation and how the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council will proceed together to ensure that people get the information they need to protect their homes and themselves.

‘Partnership working’. It‘s one of those phrases which for the most members of the public doesn’t really mean anything. And for those at delivery services to the public it has become one of things we’ve been obliged to say for a decade or more.

But a new project officially opening this week really sums up this way of working and how it has real impacts on our citizens, the outcomes we want for our children and those seeking skills and opportunities.

Early learning and childcare across Scotland is going through a period of real change over the next few years. The Scottish Government has a commitment to almost double the number of funded hours for families, from 600 hours to 1140 per year by 2020. This expansion in affordable, flexible childcare will not only support more families to give their children the best start sin life, it is also essential to allow parents - and especially women - to pursue employment and training opportunities.

One of the pioneering projects at the forefront of this major change is the coming together of Rising Stars Childcare and Glasgow Kelvin College. Situated in the historic heart of Easterhouse at Blairtummock House, it will provide nursery and after-school care for 70 children and Early Years and Childcare teaching space for 85 students at any one time.

Glasgow’s vision for early learning and childcare puts the needs of the child and family at the centre of our services, from the earliest years of a child’s life and onwards in to school years. These are the crucial foundations for better outcomes in later life. And it really is all about outcomes. As we know, a child’s earliest experiences can shape the rest of their lives.

The extra hours will be available to all children aged four or four years and for some two year olds and it will all be about flexibility for families.

Once in place, families will have more choice in how they use services in the city - including whether they use all of their child's funded hours during school term-time or spread throughout the year.

Achieving the 1140 hours within the next two years presents a major challenge requiring significant investment at a time, when as we all know, there appears to be no end to the financial constraints flowing from the austerity agenda.

But with these challenges also comes opportunity. We will need an increased early learning workforce - as much as another 1,150 full time staff in addition to the existing estimated figure of around 1,650 childcare posts.

This visionary scheme at Blairtummock is ideally placed to build on that. Around 230 local people will have the chance to put themselves in pole position for these new early learning jobs by accessing the training provided there.

Elsewhere we have the Approved By Dads programme, encouraging more male role models in early years, specifically fathers and male family members who are looking for a career pathway into early years and childcare.

At Blairtummock, Glasgow has a project at the vanguard of the revolutionary approach to childcare in Scotland, providing further flexibility for families and giving our young people the training opportunities for a career in an expanding sector.