FROM electing a new Lord Provost to an impending adolescent mental health crisis, Glasgow councillors have seen their fair share of political drama during 2020.

In January, I had the privilege of interviewing new Lord Provost, Philip Braat, who said it was an honour to become the civic head of the city where he was born.

Mr Braat said: “I know there is a lot of responsibility and I will work every single day to repay the trust that my colleagues have placed in me.”

Glasgow Times:

During the budget meeting in February the administration announced they would close Blairvadach Outdoor Education Centre, despite it being fully booked until the end of 2021.

A successful campaign followed to save the facility after the SNP administration, backed by the Greens, voted to close it to help balance the books.

By the end of March, Glasgow was suffering the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Following a string of concerning emails, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) embarked on an investigation to see which businesses were following the guidelines or refusing to close down when they should have.

In April, some waste collection services were suspended to prevent the spread of coronavirus throughout the city.

Glasgow Times:

A campaign to raise awareness of the changes to waste collections while providing guidance and up-to-date information was launched by Zero Waste Scotland.

Mental health awareness week takes place in the UK every May. This year I decided to open up on the challenges I have faced with depression and anxiety.

Over the years, I have had to accept my fate with the “black dog” and speaking out about this was hard, but I am grateful to everyone who supported me in doing this.

Where pupils would normally be waiting in anticipation of their summer holidays, this June, students across the country had been learning from home for three months.

It still hadn’t been decided how schools would approach learning from August and Glasgow pupils had raised concerns.

Senior students were worried about how part-time learning might affect them in the future, particularly when it came to exams and submitting university applications.

In July, passengers who used the number 31 bus service connecting Glasgow and East Kilbride reacted to the news that part of that service would be withdrawn.

First Bus announced that the route would be suspended after it was found there was not enough demand for travel from Carmunnock Village.

Campaigners claimed the decision was premature with residents more likely to go to school and work in East Kilbride than in Glasgow city centre.

In August, it became a requirement for Glasgow school children to wear a face mask on school transport.

On August 31, Stagecoach West Scotland issued eight guidelines to children aged five and over who were required to wear a face covering, unless exempt, while travelling on dedicated school transport.

A five-year initiative to turn Sauchiehall Street into a premier entertainment zone was deemed a success in September.

Members of the Business Improvement District (BID) group for the area, informed Glasgow City Council that they would not be seeking a re-ballot for a second term.
In October, almost £10 million was granted to Glasgow City Council to help regenerate Sighthill and complete the development of the pedestrian bridge in late 2021.

November saw Glasgow forming its first official partnership with the American city of Pittsburgh in a bid to tackle climate change, racial injustice, and social inequality.

A virtual signing ceremony was held to formalise the long-valued relationship between the two cities as they took the next step in creating a strong connection.

Pittsburgh and Glasgow are both situated on rivers, forged in industrial pasts and are poised to lead the way on their shared goals.

Figures released by Public Health Scotland in December revealed that the number of young people waiting more than 18 weeks to be seen for their mental health sat at 52.4% with 1451 youths treated within the target period.

Young people who value the service have described the figures as “ridiculous”.