THE council is still in recess but the work of the councillors never stops, because the needs of our city and our citizens never stop.

This week I attended a great workshop set up by councillors Robert Mooney and Pam Duncan-Glancy (Glasgow Labour MSP) which was looking at the issues in the city faced by those with disabilities – particularly those with visual impairments.

It was harrowing to learn about the daily plight suffered by people who are visually impaired as they discussed being knocked over by cyclists, trying to work out if pedestrian lights were working, travel problems and potholes causing them to fall over and hurt themselves.

This is Glasgow in 2023. What became clear at this meeting was the fact that no one in Glasgow City Council leadership is listening to this group of people and their needs.

We heard about how new planning developments, street redesigns, the introduction of cycle lanes and floating bus stops had little or no regard for people who have sight issues, with changes to pavements causing all sorts of chaos.

The SNP/Green Glasgow City Council not listening to people? Surely not.

This is the SNP/Green alliance which has allowed our city to go to wrack and ruin, is charging sky-high rental prices and penalising city centre drivers with its ill-conceived LEZ.

Last December, a group of councillors – including some of the SNP and Green councillors (none of whom deigned to turn up to the event this week, despite all of them being invited) – spent some time in Glasgow city centre with special glasses on to let them understand what it was like to be visually impaired. One of them was councillor Ruairi Kelly, who is the convener for neighbourhood services, he said at the time: “We need to consider the competing priorities of road and path users.”

That doesn’t really sound like any commitment to me about how much the council are going to take these real concerns into consideration.

What we actually need is these voices being heard and considered in every single part of our city plans.

That is why the Labour Group have appointed a Disabilities Champion, who will be instrumental in ensuring that any policies that we introduce and implement are not detrimental to the lives of our visually-impaired citizens. This is the kind of thing that will make a real difference to policies, will make a real difference to our politics and make a real difference to our city.

One of the participants said this week that he doesn’t expect the city centre to be designed around him, but it would be good if it didn’t make his life even harder.

And let’s be honest, it’s not like the city centre can afford to be a turn-off to people. It seems every day now that some other recognised establishment is being closed. Last week we saw Brian Maule at Le Chardon d'Or close its doors after 22 years of trading successful in our city.

Why? Rising costs, lack of night-time economy, difficulties for people accessing the city to give but a few reasons. How many more of these landmark establishments are we going to see close down before Susan Aitken and her cronies are held to account for their mismanagement of our great city?

The meeting this week just showed again to me how out of touch and arrogant our city leadership is. In the meantime, people with visual impairments are being knocked over, breaking ribs and limbs and being turned off from travelling into the city centre. Soon, they will stop visiting altogether.

So I have one really important question today – when will the leadership listen to our citizens?