Tackling anti-social behaviour in Kelvingrove Park

Sandra White MSP shocked at drink fuelled crime

Residents of Glasgow Kelvin were today appalled to learn of a violent attack that took place in one of Glasgow’s most loved public parks.

With the recent warm weather many have taken the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine outdoors. While the majority of Glaswegians have been able to do so in peace and quiet, the residents surrounding Kelvingrove Park have had to bear witness to an “unprecedented” spell of public disorder and violence.

In response the local MSP, Sandra White, has sought to tackle this anti-social behaviour head on and was today liaising with senior Police Officers for the West of Glasgow.

Commenting, Sandra White, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said:
“The safety of constituents is always a primary concern for elected members. To therefore learn of the recent binge drinking and subsequent violent attacks in Kelvingrove Park has left me shocked.

“The extreme nature of the violence reported, and in conjunction with the fact that public drinking is an offence in the first place, led me this morning to liaise with the local Chief Inspector. CI Lister has assured me in the strongest possible terms that Police Scotland are taking the disorder of the recent days extremely seriously. 

“Police Scotland have been monitoring the situation in the park for some time and have deployed greater resources this year than ever before to try and tackle the unprecedented level of anti-social behaviour reported. In response to the completely unacceptable levels of violence and public drinking, CI Lister has informed me that today yet further resources have been  authorised from her superiors to ensure public order is maintained. This will see mobile CCTV units, the mounted division, dog unit, and a greater number of patrols on the ground in order to prevent and dissuade illegal behaviour, as well as take action should any offence occur.

“The vast majority of the reports are resultant of public drinking, the associated behaviour this leads to, and also the fact that many individuals presenting as drunk and disorderly would appear to be under legal drinking age. As such Police Scotland will be continuing to work with GCC to ensure licensed premises only sell alcohol to those of age & the officers on patrol will not hesitate in taking appropriate action should they witness any public drinking in Kelvingrove Park.

“When we are lucky enough to have some good weather it is right that people should be free to enjoy our public parks – but only if they are willing to act in a respectful & law abiding fashion. I look forward to the rest of the summer and after speaking with Police Scotland I am reassured that Kelvingrove Park will be the friendly and welcoming place once more that I have always known it to be.”



Thursday 31 May 2018

Freedom to Run

05.18 Freedom to RunI was delighted to host the participants from Freedom to Run and Palestine based Right to Movement in the Scottish Parliament this week.

They are a collaboration of Scottish and Palestinian runners brought together to film a documentary highlighting the barriers Palestinians face on a daily basis even doing something as simple as attempting to run a marathon.

Both groups participated in the Palestine Marathon in March of this year and the Palestinian runners joined the Scottish runners at the weekend to participate in the Edinburgh Marathon.

In order to complete the documentary Freedom to Run have set up a crowdfunder here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/freedom-to-run-sports#/ if you would like to find out more about the partnership and their journey please visit the site and if you can please make a donation.


Stage 1 of the Planning Bill was debated in the Parliament this week and I took the opportunity to participate highlighting the issue of developers and the huge rise in the number of student accommodation developments across the constituency.

As many of you will know this is an issue which I have been campaigning on for quite some time. I understand we have a huge student population across the constituency and there is a need for suitable accommodation. However, we also have a need for good quality affordable housing and with limited supplies of available land the current situation is making this impossible to realise.

You can read my full contribution here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11566&i=104862

Play Scotland

05.18 Play 1I was delighted to meet up with representatives from Play Scotland when they made their annual journey to the Scottish Parliament this week.

I was a little disappointed that they hadn’t brought along their trampoline which I tried out last year however I did have a go at hopscotch!

Play Scotland works to deliver and promote Article 31 in Scotland which states “Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities”.

Play Scotland works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people, and campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community.

From promoting play for families, learning through play, play for health and encouraging children to get out into their local communities and play.

They have a huge amount of creative play ideas on their website and you can check them out at http://www.playscotland.org/


Great news this week with Glasgow’s bid to home Channel 4’s National Headquarters in Scotland and a Creative Hub reaching the shortlist. To mark this success, I lodged the following motion in the Scottish Parliament:


G4C4 Bid That the Parliament welcomes the news that Glasgow has made the shortlist for the location for establishing a national headquarters for Channel 4, as well as a creative hub to be established in 2019; understands that this will be home to 300 Channel 4 jobs, including key creative decision makers, with the intention to grow over time; commends the board, which includes Glasgow City Council with support from the Scottish Government, as well as high-level representation from the city’s creative industries, and encourages everyone to sign up and back the bid at http://www.g4c4.tv

This would be an incredible achievement for the city with an estimated 300 jobs coming to Glasgow if the bid is successful.

The board led by Glasgow City Council with support from the Scottish Government and many other high profile representatives from the creative industries are to be commended on making it to the shortlist and I will certainly be giving my full backing to the bid.

You can find out more and give your support here www.g4c4.tv

Drugs Forum

05.18 SDFI was delighted to attend the Scottish Drugs Forum Addiction Worker Training Project Completion Ceremony in the Scottish Parliament this week.

This was a fantastic event celebrating the achievements of the trainees and the success of the project with contributions from Scottish Drugs Forum CEO David Liddell (pictured).

The project which started in 2004 is a unique initiative which supports, trains, and prepares individuals with a history of problematic drug and alcohol use to work in Social Care.

Scottish Drugs Forum works in partnership with accredited learning providers and alongside drug and alcohol services throughout Glasgow to provide the training for the students, who include people who were formerly homeless and ex-offenders who have previously experienced multiple barriers to employment.

I was privileged to be part of the awards ceremony and commend the determination and commitment shown by the trainees. I wish them all the very best of luck. 


A new way of monitoring and recording bullying in Scottish schools will be introduced this autumn.

The standardised approach will make it easier for teachers to identify trends and address the problem.

Updated guidance will be issued to schools and local authorities setting out how to consistently record information about the type and prevalence of bullying, to help them further support pupils.

To support the roll out of this guidance, the Scottish Government funded anti-bullying service ‘respectme’ will continue its work with local authorities and other organisations working with children and young people to build confidence and capacity to address bullying effectively.

Discover EU

Great news for young people living in the EU with the DiscoverEU initiative, which will provide young people from across the EU with an opportunity for a funded travel experience to explore Europe.

The scheme will enable free rail travel in up to four countries between 9 July and 30 September 2018. The applications are open for people from all 28 EU member states who are aged 18 on 1 June 2018 and they have from 2 to 26 June to apply.

You can find out more here: http://www.youdiscover.eu/faq





New Investment in NHS Diagnostics and Care in Glasgow

£50m to Support Treatment Across Scotland

The NHS in Glasgow is set to benefit from a share of a £50 million Scotland-wide investment to help deliver swift treatment and diagnostics.

The extra funding is part of a package of measures to help reduce waiting times – and which will also see two independent diagnostic leads appointed to improve co-ordination across the country on specialist tests.

Scotland already invests more per head of population than anywhere else in the UK. Tory-led England and Labour-led Wales continue to lag behind Scotland, including on A&E waiting times where Scotland has had the lowest waiting times for over 3 years.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White MSP said:

“The staff of Scotland’s NHS do a fantastic job day in day out. This funding boost will support a package of measures to help further improve performance in Glasgow, including new independent experts being appointed to speed up diagnostic tests.

“The Scottish Government has already committed to invest an extra £2 billion above inflation by the end of this parliament – the highest funding offer of any party at the last election – and we already invest more in our NHS per head of population than anywhere else in the UK, supporting frontline health services across Glasgow.

“That’s one of the reasons why Scotland’s A&E’s continue to have the best performance of anywhere in the UK for the last 3 years.”

Glasgow Harbour developers agree to cover £10m cost of removing Grenfell-style cladding

The MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Sandra White, has welcomed news that residents of a west end apartment complex are to be spared a £10 million bill to remove Grenfell-style cladding.

Taylor Wimpey, the developer who built two multi-storey blocks within the Glasgow Harbour complex, were contacted by residents, elected officials, and GCC in a bid to encourage them to pay for the removal of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy. ACM is the same cladding which accelerated the Grenfell Tower fire where 71 people lost their lives – as such fire wardens have been patrolling the residential complex for months, at a considerable cost, which Taylor Wimpy will also cover.

With over 300 properties at Castlebank Place and 350 Meadowside Quay comprising the two residential blocks, the news that Taylor Wimpy would cover the much disputed costs was warmly welcomed. On average each household will now be spared finding £31k to contribute towards their share.

Commenting, Sandra WhiteMSP said:

“I am delighted that Taylor Wimpy have stepped up and taken responsibility for this situation. Having spoken to many affected residents the concern and distress this situation has caused has been considerable.

“To therefore learn that Taylor Wimpy will  meet the direct costs of removing and replacing the cladding, as well as the associated fire safety measures imposed by Glasgow City Council, it is welcome news indeed.

“With the works still to commence I am sure everyone associated with the development is now eager for the ACM to be removed ASAP, finally bringing this matter to a close”.


Thursday 24 May

Pensioners Forum

05.18 SPF SSA BillI was delighted to sponsor and address a joint event in Parliament this week with the Scottish Seniors Alliance and the Scottish Pensioners Forum.

The event was held to celebrate the contribution older make within society and concentrated on the work that the Scottish Pensioners’ Forum and the Scottish Seniors Alliance have carried out over the years on older people’s issues, within communities across Scotland.

I’m pictured (right) with representatives from the Scottish Seniors Alliance (SSA). They were formed in 2007 to act as the umbrella body for local senior forums and unattached older people’s groups located throughout Scotland.

05.18 SSA SPF MinisterThe Minister for Social Security Jeane Freeman MSP also addressed the reception pictured here with Bill Johnson, Rose Jackson and myself.

The Minister welcomed the contribution of organisations dealing with issues affecting older people.

The Minister also spoke about the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum set up by the Scottish Government and the progress made to date.

The Scottish Pensioners Forum was set up in 1992 as an umbrella organisation for groups and individuals working and campaigning for a better deal for older people. It was initiated by the STUC Pensioners Committee to allow pensioners to speak on behalf of pensioners.

05.18 SPF and SSA Age ScotlandAge Scotland were also in attendance at the event. They had some very interesting information on their helpline for older people for MSPs to highlight to their constituents. This helpline provides information, friendship and advice through a confidential freephone number.

The service is available for older people, their carers and families in Scotland and advises on local services and opportunities, benefit entitlements, care rights, housing options and heating and legal issues such as Power of Attorney.

You can find out more about Age Concern at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/scotland/

Information on the Scottish Seniors Alliance can be found at http://www.spanglefish.com/scottishseniorsalliance/

And finally the Scottish Pensioners Forum have more information on their website at http://www.scottishpensioners.org.uk/

Child Poverty

Communities and charities with new ideas to tackle child poverty will be given the opportunity to bid for part of a new £7.5 million Innovation Fund.

Announced as part of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, the fund, financed by the Scottish Government and the Hunter Foundation, is now open for applications from communities, local charities, health boards and councils.

A panel with membership from across the sector will judge the applications, which will support new or existing projects that will have an impact on reducing child poverty by 2030.

The Innovation Fund will support both new and the expansion of existing approaches that will have an impact on reducing child poverty by 2030 in a way that helps families to remain out of poverty for a minimum three year period and are viable and sustainable practices for public sector/third sector.

Guidance on the fund and application process can be found at http://www.thehunterfoundation.co.uk/

Applications open this week and will close at midnight on 29 June 2018 with awards being made, subject to final diligence and shortlisted interviews/project visits, no later than 17 August 2018. 


05.18 UnicefUnicef held a reception in the Scottish Parliament this week and I took the opportunity to meet with their representatives.

The reception was held to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the Unicef and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games partnership.

In 2014, Unicef and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games came together, united by a groundbreaking ambition:

To transform children’s lives by reaching children in every part of Scotland, and in every Commonwealth Country by the next Games.

For the first time in history, a global organisation dedicated to saving and changing children’s lives teamed up with a global sporting institution dedicated to humanity, equality and destiny – to deliver change on an international level.

The partnership has reached 11.7 million children including more than 500,000 children in Scotland.

NHS Anniversary

This year marks the 70th year of the NHS and the Scottish Government is encouraging people across Scotland to share their stories and memories of health care throughout the years at the launch of the celebrations to mark the run up to the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

National events to mark the anniversary include a civic reception for frontline NHSScotland staff, with local NHS board events including afternoon teas, photography exhibitions and services of celebration and thanksgiving.

Contributions from public, patients and staff will form part of the campaign leading up to the anniversary, with seven stories selected to feature in a short film of NHS memories across the decades.

For further information on the NHS in Scotland at 70, visit www.ournhsscotland.com

People can share their memories of the NHS by emailing: nhs70@smartscommunicate.com.


An independent report detailing improvements to police call handling has been welcomed by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson.

The report, published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, follows an independent review of call handling systems directed by Mr Matheson in 2015.

The review resulted in 30 recommendations, all of which have been discharged. The Justice Secretary has updated Parliament that the work to improve the system has delivered:

A revised staffing model for police call handling, ensuring the service has the right number of people at the right time;

An improved approach to training, ensuring staff have the skills needed to support the public, often in the most critical of circumstances;

Improved stability of key IT systems;

Controls to ensure Police Scotland maintains the highest standards, including the implementation of a “notable incidents” process which allows the service to learn from the few calls that haven’t been handled as they should have been.

The final report contains eight more recommendations, which aim to guide further improvements.