ON Thursday, just as the last council meetings before the summer break were getting underway, a significant event in the lives of many thousands of our citizens finally began to unfold.

The first of three deals to finance our Equal Pay settlement had concluded. And, unlike the battle to get here, the impact was instant.

The signing of that deal with Legal and General marked the moment when hundreds of millions of pounds started to find its way into the pockets and purses of those women who had earned it and who always should have had it.

Payments were issued in the order the settlements had been accepted and that process will continue for some weeks.

Settling Glasgow’s Equal Pay dispute and delivering pay justice for our women workers has been a hugely significant step forward for the council and the city as a whole.

This deal not only means we can start to put right a historic wrong, but we do so while safeguarding the future of the city’s property assets in public use. We haven’t sold the family silver.

I must admit it to finding quite emotional updating the City Administration Committee, that part of the council which earlier this year had unanimously agreed the deal and how we would pay for it.

Through the sometimes fraught negotiations and politics of this process we’ve never lost sight of the burning injustice. But Thursday brought home the reality of what the settlement will mean for so many. And that can mean improving the lives of ordinary, working-class Glaswegian families.

It can mean a

home move or home improvements, a new or maybe first-time car, or the opportunity to visit overseas friends or family.

Some will be able to help their children get a foot onto the property ladder, give their grandchildren experiences they never thought possible or take themselves on what will be a holiday of a lifetime.

And city businesses will benefit. It has the potential to create an economic impact quite unlike any the city has experienced in recent years. Of course, this isn’t about handouts of free money. It is the wages employees of the council family had rightly earned over the years but was denied to them.

I would like to use the opportunity of this column to pass on our thanks to all those involved in the negotiations and striking these deals to make sure we reached this result against a really very challenging timescale.

Of course, the biggest thanks goes to all those who campaigned and fought for this over the last decade and more. You deserve and have earned every last penny.

A vast and varied range of subjects are debated at Full Council; from 20mph zones to the Climate Emergency.

Last week I brought forward a motion calling on Council to support the Scottish Parliament’s right to call an independence referendum. Chants about the “day job” from some opposition councillors were as disingenuous as they were predictable.

The day job as leader of the council involves dealing with the ravages of Westminster’s austerity agenda, welfare reform and the rush towards a catastrophic Brexit. Only the very blind or partisan would dispute that this city and its citizens is impacted by UK Government policy.

Last week the case emerged of Bumi Thomas, an acclaimed jazz artist born raised in Glasgow until the age of three.

Despite this, attending university in the UK and paying taxes here, Bumi is now facing deportation because her Nigerian parents were unaware of child registration changes introduced by the Thatcher government. Bumi considers herself Scottish and British. But the UK Government’s hostile approach to immigration says otherwise.

Bumi is from Glasgow. She should have a right to stay here. These brutal policies are all our business.