It has in parts been a horribly wet week and severely lacking in sunshine. I had hoped for sunshine last Saturday when I - and other elected representatives - joined a litter pick in Summerston organised collaboratively by two of Maryhill’s churches. 

The Church of Scotland and the Church of the Immaculate Conception almost face each other on Maryhill Road.  They came together in great numbers to respond to climate change in the context of COP26 and decided on practical action.

Summerston has long suffered from litter problems. As elsewhere in Glasgow, people, unfortunately, drop litter but local factors make some areas more problematic; bins have not been in the best places so some are empty and those that get full are not emptied often enough; many schoolchildren eat off the premises at lunchtime, and some key areas are subject to wind.

I and other elected representatives have discussed solutions with all interested parties – council officers, housing association, school - over years.  There are now some solutions in sight – mainly about Council staff co-ordinating their roles and efforts with those of the local community, whether residents, school children or other welcome volunteers. 

Glasgow Times:

I hope the results of this and other litter picks – and depressingly the speed at which litter often then appears again- will encourage some litter droppers to resolve not to recreate a littered environment. Also, a litter pick shows, not just how much is dropped, but, from the nature of that litter, we see how we still need to move to materials that can be and are re-used and recycled.  

The rain did not prevent a good turnout at the litter pick but it was, thankfully, easing off as we arrived. But it had not given way earlier in the day for those still getting welcome “toots” of support outside Maryhill library. The library is due to open in January but the longer term future is not being forgotten even if on Saturday it involved damp clothes for humans and a dog alike.  

Round the corner from the library on Lochburn Road, Sapphire Gymnastics was holding an open day. I was pleased to visit and to learn of the success and recent expansion of this organisation which has charitable status. 

From the outside, few would expect the hive of activity and resources inside.  Alongside classes for children and young people are facilities that their parents can use including fitness equipment.  And here hidden in Maryhill I met a tumbler who has just won a silver medal for tumbling in the world games in Baku.

In my last article, I talked about the importance of voluntary organisations and activity – and resident campaigning - in Maryhill and Glasgow North more widely. Last weekend just continued to emphasise this for me. 

If anyone wants to support environmental cleanliness the Council welcomes volunteers. Of course, it is vital that the Council fulfills its role of street and pavement sweeping and emptying bins.  We should not ask for a volunteer effort to replace that and I and others argue for sufficient local government funding to allow good services be provided. But volunteer effort can help and local knowledge can inform where effort will have most impact.  If you want to volunteer please see here.