If 100 random people on Glasgow’s streets were asked what the city council is responsible for, no doubt the vast majority would say bins, roads, and parks.

Of course, local government does so much more than just this, but it is these neighbourhood services which are often the most visible and impacting on our day-to-day lives. And this is doubly so when issues emerge.

The impact of the global pandemic over these past two-and-a-half years have created unprecedented challenges for the delivery of all public services and the council is far from immune.

We know that the look and feel of our communities has suffered. Few areas of what the council delivers have been as badly impacted as neighbourhood services.

Now though, as we re-emerge from the hardships and restrictions of Covid, there is a renewed focus on addressing some of the issues in our communities. Issues like potholes, weeds and streetlighting, which affect the look and feel of our neighbourhoods.

As Glasgow recovers, we have to make sure that’s reflected in every corner of the city.

Talking to voters during the election campaign it was clear they understood the impossibility of business-as-usual during the pandemic and that there had been consequences.

The people of Glasgow are not daft, no matter how some political parties might treat them. But what was clear was that people expected us not simply to catch up but to deliver improvements in their local communities. And they wanted to be involved and to have their say.

In anticipation of the full resumption of services, the SNP/Green budget in February devolved £1m to each of the 23 wards in Glasgow, giving local residents and grassroots organisations an opportunity to determine how that is spent.

This is the largest council investment in our city’s neighbourhoods in many years and the biggest opportunity for residents to have a direct say in how that money is spent.

Over the next year there will also be a programme of deep cleans and weeks-of-action.

Every community in the city will have dedicated resources so that an immediate impact is noticeable. This will include parks and cleansing staff, gully cleaning teams, graffiti removal and enforcement, along with our housing association partners and local police officers.

The first of these weeks-of-action recently took place in Craigend and the difference after days of intense working is night and day. But we have to ensure that once the areas have been cleaned that they are maintained at this level. That involves working with communities, better coordinating resources and tackling fly-tipping and littering.

Every dumped mattress or kitchen is time away from the jobs we all want our hard-working and dedicated staff to be doing.

The council will do its bit and that includes the deployment of new enforcement officers to help identify those who treat our neighbourhoods with such disrespect. Environmental crime is just that, a crime.

I’m confident that with the investments we’ve made and the programme of works in place we will see huge improvements in all of Glasgow’s local neighbourhoods in the weeks and months to come.

Glasgow is all our city and we are determined that the pride and resilience of our residents is matched by the commitment of their council.

Provand’s Lordship restoration

Glasgow Times:

It is great to see work beginning on the restoration of Glasgow’s Provand’s Lordship museum with an investment of £1m from the Glasgow City Council Capital Fund.

The much-loved museum and will undergo repairs to the roof, chimneys and down pipes, treatment to stop and prevent rising damp, and a new lime harling render which will better preserve the fabric of the building and return it to an authentic 15th century appearance.

The interior will benefit from structural improvements, and replacement windows and doors.

Work is expected to take around one year and Glasgow Life plans to reopen Provand’s Lordship to the public in summer 2023, allowing citizens and tourists the opportunity to visit this cultural and historical asset once again, for the first time since March 2020.

With Provan Hall in my own ward I may not be ready to cede the title of Glasgow’s oldest house to Provand’s Lordship, but it will be fantastic to get both these historic buildings open to the public again.

Inspiring project

One of the best parts of being a councillor has been working with inspiring communities as they take the initiative on what they want to see in their neighbourhood.

Flourishing Molendinar is one such project, led by St Paul’s Youth Forum and Blackhill on Bikes, they are redesigning the streets and active travel network in the north-east.

This is one of the largest and most ambitious community-led design projects the country has seen, and we are now at the point of seeking funding for delivery.

The project will be a testament to community power, beginning with sketches and a Minecraft project with local children and resulting in millions of pounds of local infrastructure.

With our 20-minute neighbourhoods, locality planning and extensive active travel development under way the co-design of our built environment will be more important than ever.

Local politics is something we do with communities, not to communities.