Glasgow City Council Agenda - 26 October 2023, 11:00 Help

A meeting to be held at City Chambers, Glasgow at 11:00 on 26 October 2023.

Number Item
1Minutes of Council meeting of 7th September 2023 (Print 4, pages 1 to 28). View Papers
2Committees' minutes - Submitted for information and approval as a correct record only (page 29 onwards). View Papers
3Changes to committees etc. View Papers
4Representation on outside bodies.  View Papers
(a)Provan Hall Trust - Remove Maureen Burke and appoint Sharon Greer.
5Correspondence - Letter from Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression. View Papers
6Questions. View Papers
7Notice of motions.
(a)Motion by Councillor Ruairi Kelly:-

"Council notes Challenge Poverty Week 2023 earlier this month and recognises that for Glasgow City Council challenging poverty is a whole systems, long term commitment as set in our 2022-2027 strategic plan Grand Challenge to "Reduce poverty and inequality in our communities" and "Increase opportunity and prosperity for all our citizens"

Council further recognises that Glasgow is now in the worrying business of helping put food onto tables and heat homes, which is seeing financial and physical capacity diverted from the long-term work of improving life chances and outcomes towards the day-to-day support of the increasing numbers of citizens in financial crisis.

Council notes that poverty is a complex and multi-layered and multigenerational problem which has no simple solutions but wide ranging and long lasting consequences for individuals, families and communities.

Council believes that ending poverty, including child poverty in the city requires significant leadership and urgency from all levels of government, UK, Scottish and local government, and the use of a myriad of different approaches to resolve ingrained poverty and bold long term action must be taken to increase people's income and ensure everyone can afford the essentials.

Council welcomes the increase to the Scottish Child Payment which it is estimated will lift 50,000 children in Scotland out of poverty and reduce child poverty by 5 percentage points.

Council condemns the UK Westminster Government who have inflicted over a decade of austerity on the people of Glasgow. Council believes that these policies are both deliberate and vindictive against our citizens. Council agrees that Brexit continues to have a negative impact on our citizens and is a direct contributor to the cost-of-living crisis being worse in the UK than it is elsewhere in Europe.

Council further believes that the two child limit is a scar on the soul of society directly responsible for plunging over a million children into poverty (or deeper poverty) and the two child limit is the worst example of these punitive, pointless and unproductive policies; and, that the objective of reducing child poverty cannot be achieved without scrapping it, and that abolishing the policy will have an immediate beneficial impact on children suffering hardship.

Council calls on all parties to commit to repealing the two-child limit on benefits immediately. Council calls on all political parties to pledge in their forthcoming UK election manifestos to not only immediately repeal the two child benefit cap, but also the bedroom tax, the five-week wait for Universal Credit and sanctions and payments deducted at source from Universal Credit, as well as demanding restoration of ringfenced funding for devolved governments and local councils to provide crisis support for families." View Papers
(b)Motion by Councillor Soryia Siddique:-

"Considering the current housing shortage in Glasgow, increasing homelessness and the scale of the predicted housing demand increased by accelerated decision making process for asylum applications.

The Council calls for a Homelessness and Housing Taskforce to be incorporated into the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan to ensure membership of the Wheatley Group and other RSLs, the Health and Social Care Partnership, West of Scotland Housing Forum and other relevant Third Sector Partners. This Taskforce should prepare a Homelessness Action Plan to be presented to the relevant Policy Committee in early 2024. Its remit should include the evaluating the effectiveness of the joint working arrangements and procedures operating between housing associations and the HSCP Homelessness section, with a view to learning lessons to potentially optimise the process for current and future demands.

Action Plan to include a feasibility study to explore alternative forms of temporary housing which could be utilised as an alternative to the current reliance on bed and breakfast providers. This could include looking at good practice elsewhere in the UK, including the consideration of relocatable, modular, and prefabricated buildings and other forms of temporary housing given the scale of potential demand. Also, to include sourcing, costing and identifying sites.

Council notes the decision made by the Scottish Government to modify local authority powers under Section 33 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, removing the need for a homelessness application to have a local connection to be successful. This has not been adequately funded by the Scottish Government.

It would be unacceptable for the UK Government and the Scottish Government to expect Glasgow to bear the additional projected pressures alone.

The council calls on the Chief Executive to write to the UK Home Secretary and to the Scottish Government urging both Governments to work together with the local authorities affected and urgently look at how both governments can assist local authorities and HSCPs to secure the additional funding and support required." View Papers
(c)Motion by Councillor Holly Bruce:-

"Council believes the availability of public toilets is an equality issue, a public health issue and human right.

Council believes that access to clean, accessible toilets, which meet the needs of people of all genders and abilities is a basic requirement of health, hygiene and personal safety. Council believes that access to a toilet is about social inclusion, being part of a community and being able to move around the city barrier free.

Council notes there are only four toilets operated by the council's operator Healthmatic and only four toilets maintained across the city's parks. Council notes that Glasgow Life operates venues with accessible public toilets, but these aren't operational twenty-four hours a day and many residents are unaware of their right to use them.

Council also notes that relieving oneself in public is a criminal offence in Scotland and residents should be provided with abundant opportunities for avoiding this situation.

Council believes that taking a strategic look at provision across all council services would have a positive impact on many people's experiences of enjoying parks and public spaces. This could be particularly true for pregnant people, people with children, young people, disabled people and people with underlying health conditions, all of which may require more frequent use of a toilet.

Council also believes adequate public toilet provision is a feminist issue with research showing women feel the lack of provision more acutely.

Council recalls the public toilet petition submitted back in 2021 by Patricia Fort, this petition received one of the highest number of signatures in recent times and thanks all residents that engaged in the conversation. Council regrets that no further action was taken

Therefore, Council agrees to develop a public toilet strategy within the next 12 months, that includes but is not limited to:-

- Carrying out a mapping exercise on public toilet provision and its proximity to public parks and civic spaces
- A review of public toilet opening hours, signage and potential use of technology at public toilet sites
- Working in collaboration with Glasgow Life, community venues, transport providers and businesses on a public toilet awareness programme
- Exploring options of developing a Comfort Scheme small grants fund, similar to Highland Council
- Engaging with vulnerable users, like women, children, disabled and elderly people on their experience of using public toilets
- Outlining how Glasgow City Council are improving accessibility for people with mobility issues and people who care for young children who need changing facilities or larger cubicles
- Outlining how Glasgow City Council is complying with requirements of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 relating to public toilet provision
- Investigating how the City Development Plan can play a part in increasing public toilet provision
- Investigating that all in-house and private suppliers of public toilets are free of charge, removing the 20p cash only charge." View Papers
(d)Motion by Bailie Thomas Kerr:-

"Council notes its continuing ambition to encourage tourists and visitors to come to our city to enjoy attractions such as our world class museums, art galleries and music venues in addition to appreciate Glasgow's leisure and hospitality offerings. Council further notes the positive economic impact that such visitors bring to our city.

Council recognises that those who visit our city do so using a variety of transport methods including train, plane and coach. Council notes that due to its decision to close parts of George Square to traffic, many coach operators are no longer able to utilise the large parking spaces in front of the City Chambers as a set down and pick up area and, as a consequence of closing this area to traffic, there is no longer a similar area within the City Centre.

Council notes its concern that the removal of this area, without a replacement, may be discouraging those using coaches and impact adversely on vital city centre footfall.

Council further recognises that many city centre retail, leisure and hospitality businesses are continuing to face significant business challenges and that it is essential to the city economy that all measures are taken to encourage visitors - by whatever mode of transport they arrive - to visit the city centre.

Therefore, Council agrees to instruct the Chief Executive to explore replacement set-down/pick-up areas for coach visitors for the City Centre and to bring a paper to the relevant City Policy Committee setting out what changes may be required to policies and infrastructure to encourage tourists/visitors to visit the city centre when visiting Glasgow by whatever mode of transport they use." View Papers
(e)Motion by Councillor Sean Ferguson:-

"Council acknowledges the forthcoming centenary of the death of John MacLean, teacher and campaigner on behalf of working people and their families. Maclean was born in Pollokshaws, then part of Renfrewshire, on 14 August 1879, and died on 30 November 1923, at the age of just 44, also in Pollokshaws, which had been incorporated into Glasgow in 1912. Council recognises that MacLean closely identified with this city, whose boundaries he expressed a wish to see expanded further to match the economic and social challenges facing residents across the Clyde valley.

Council recalls that both MacLean's parents had relocated to the West of Scotland because their families were forced from their homes by highland and island landowners and that his father died of an industrial disease when MacLean was just 8 years old; Council acknowledges that MacLean's personal commitment to education was a defining feature of his life, from his early engagement as a founder member of the Pollokshaws Progressive Union through many years of organising and delivering classes in economics across the West of Scotland and beyond.

Council also recognises that, despite living his whole life in and around Glasgow, MacLean's commitment to and actions on behalf of working people have been recognised around the globe and immortalised in many songs, plays, and books.

Council recalls that a memorial committee was established in 1973 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of John Maclean's death resulting in the erection of a memorial cairn, funded by public subscription, which was unveiled by then Lord Provost Sir William Gray and watched by MacLean's daughters, Nan and Jean; notes that the site of the cairn is adjacent to the Old Town House of Pollokshaws, at which location MacLean had held many public meetings, and is within the Pollokshaws Transformational Regeneration Area; further notes that the cairn may be removed temporarily to permit works to proceed and affirms the Council's support for the return of the cairn to a fitting and prominent site in a regenerated Pollokshaws; Council also acknowledges that the transformational improvements underway across Pollokshaws should seek to reflect the areas past and its famous son and asks the TRA to consider how MacLean's contribution to his home city can be best commemorated within those changes, allowing Council time to respond to those proposals and properly recognise the contribution of the 'bonnie fechter' and 'fighting dominie' John MacLean to the life, character, and history of the city of which he was such an important part." View Papers
(f)Motion by Councillor Eunis Jassemi:-

"Council notes the findings that in Scotland, an estimated two-thirds of the children in poverty live in working households, 10% of all employees are stuck in low-paying jobs and 72% of that group are women. Council further notes the TUC endorsement of Labour's New Deal for Working People includes plans to ban zero-hours contracts, outlaw fire and rehire practices, and raise the minimum wage to tackle insecure work and to make sure that work pays as a key route to ending poverty.

Acknowledge findings from One Parent Family Scotland that showed that nearly 40% of single-parent households are living on average 116 per week below the poverty line. Notes the findings found 27% of children are currently living in poverty and accepts the 2030 target of less than 8% of children in Glasgow living in poverty.

Council notes Joseph Rowntree Foundation condemnation of the Scottish Government for not doing enough to reduce poverty, saying statutory child poverty reduction targets are unlikely to be met without significant additional Scottish Government action.

The council agrees that it must seek assurances, plans and definite timelines regarding the introduction of 'poverty proofing' our jobs market, as it is one of the only ways that we can sustain a downward trajectory of poverty in our city, for continuous improvement of the lives of our citizens.

The Council endorses the Joseph Roundtree Foundation's October 2023 paper, Poverty in Scotland, 5-point plan and instructs Council Officers to liaise with their counterparts in the Scottish Government to report progress on the response to the relevant City Council Committee within 3 months of Full Council.

Council accepts that the only way to cut poverty and increase worker protections and rights is by a change of Government at the next UK General election." View Papers
(g)Motion by Bailie Anthony Carroll:-

"Council notes disappointment that Glasgow Life have once again failed to plan a Fireworks Display at Glasgow Green. The Council understands that the fireworks were cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions, that COP26 caused the cancellation in 2021 but that 2022 and 2023 have just not been organised.

Council notes that the annual Fireworks Display at Glasgow Green was a highly anticipated annual event that the whole city was able to attend for free and was the only event of this type and that it would be a significant cultural loss to the city.

Council further notes that local communities face considerable disruption during this period with individual fireworks displays and that council have instructed work on the new legislative powers for 'no fireworks zones'.

Council finally notes that fireworks generally cause significant hazard to animal health and for the fire service and as we move forward to consider restriction of private fireworks displays - a public, free to access fireworks display is essential for Glasgow.

Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to Glasgow Life to ask them to urgently reconsider the decision to abandon the public Fireworks display in Glasgow Green." View Papers
(h)Motion by Bailie Annette Christie:-

"Council welcomes the celebration of the United Nation's International Day of the Girl Child which takes place annually on 11th October and notes our strategic plan commitment and other commitments which promote the empowerment of women and girls in line with Sustainable Development Goal 5, and as a continued legacy of Glasgow's international award-winning 'Girls@COP26- the Solutions Are Feminist'. Council recognises that since then, as a legacy, Girls4 Equality groups meet regularly in schools across Glasgow and come together throughout the year to identify collective action on subjects which have ranged from anti-racism to women and girls in sport. Council also notes and supports Glasgow's participation in the United Nations HeForShe initiative to promote male action and allyship to advance gender equality and supports the use of its toolkits by Glasgow Education Services to complement the work of Girls4Equality.

Council further recognises the positive impact this has made prioritising and helping shape and inform the participation and visibility of girls and women in (a range of matters including) physical activity and sport in the UCI World Cycling Championships and European Capital of Sport 2023; ensuring transformative funded initiatives such as the Drumchapel High School intensive 10-week multi discipline cycling programme and Glasgow Afghan United Women's Empowerment and cycling project to support mental health and well-being, improving mobility and reducing barriers to getting active.

Council notes that Glasgow was highlighted by Eurocities for inclusive best practice as part of its advocacy in advance of the imminent EU cycling policy.

Council further notes Glasgow's ongoing work with Vienna and our role as Vice Chair of the Eurocities Taskforce on Gender and believes that feminist leadership can lead to innovative solutions for urban challenges such as violence against women, access to education and healthcare, mobility, and sustainable urban planning as recently highlighted by Glasgow at the UNECE 2023 Forum of Mayors and UNITAR's 2023 SDG Summit "What if Women Designed the City".

Council commends the cross-Council work at the recent Girls4Equality event "Her City" which built on the COP26 'Place' themed day during which author Sara Sheridan asked 'Where are the women?" and girls were reintroduced to the Place Standard Tool which has shaped the strategic plan commitment to: "Embed gender equality into council impact assessments, budgets, data collecting and strategies, including, but not limited to, the new City Development Plan. Ensure approaches are intersectional and incorporate women's lived experience".

Council believes, as demonstrated by our female pupils at the Girls4Equality "Her City" event, that there is a proud history of females in Glasgow's civic and cultural life, from Mary Barbour and Margo MacDonald to Margaret and Frances Macdonald, and agrees that as part of Glasgow's 850th anniversary celebrations in 2025 steps should be taken to recognise the contributions of eminent women, such as June Almeida who discovered the first human coronavirus, to increase their visibility, and honour women's achievements and memorialise their contribution to this city.

Council commends Education and Planning Services joint work to date and instructs them to continue to work with Girls4Equality groups and Glasgow Life to implement a symbolic renaming of civic spaces and selected streets in 2025; and investigate street art and murals in each ward which celebrate women and girls, such as the Cardonald mural of the pioneering female aviator Winnie Drinkwater, and addresses the historical and democratic imbalance of women in the representation of Glasgow's dynamic culture and heritage.

Council considers it right that we should consider other ways to recognise the contributions of "forgotten" women and asks that work is undertaken as part of the 850th celebration of the city, as well as through the new City Development Plan, to see how else we could recognise these contributions in our public realm so that we can truly say that People Make Places."  View Papers
(i)Motion by Councillor Jon Molyneux:-

"Council notes the Circular Economy Bill is at stage one consideration in the Scottish Parliament and that it includes proposed powers for Scottish Ministers to introduce charges on single use items, such as takeaway beverage containers.

Council understands that around 380 million such containers are used within Scotland each year and that a 25p-30p charge was recommended by the Expert Panel on Environmental Charging and Other Measures to encourage consumers to switch to reusable alternatives. Council further understands that the Bill proposes the net proceeds of a charge must be used "to the advancement of environmental protection or improvement." Council welcomes and agrees to support the Bill's proposals, which will help to reduce litter and encourage a more circular economy.

Council notes that local councils bear most of the costs of cleaning up litter and refuse and believes they are best placed to understand the priorities for these issues at a local level. Council also believes that it would be in the spirit of the Verity House Agreement for there to be a mechanism by which councils could either directly benefit from the funds raised in their local areas, or to have a role in deciding how they are dispersed, in order to meet local priorities.

Council agrees to write to the Circular Economy Minister and to the Scottish Parliament's Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee asking that they consider bringing forward amendments to the Bill which would give effect to this proposal."  View Papers
(j)Motion by Bailie Anthony Carroll:-

"Council recognises the inequality in our UK voting system, which elects through a First Past the Post (FPTP) system. FPTP originated when land-owning aristocrats dominated parliament and voting was restricted to property-owning men.

Council notes that in Europe, only the UK and authoritarian Belarus still use single-round FPTP for general elections to their national parliaments. Internationally, Proportional Representation (PR) is used to elect the parliaments of more than 80 countries. These countries tend to produce more equitable, stable, and accountable governments.

PR ensures all votes count, have equal value, and that seats won match votes cast. Under PR, MPs and Parliaments better reflect the age, gender and protected characteristics of both local communities and of the nation.

Council recognises that PR is currently used to elect the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senedd and Northern Ireland Assembly, as well as local councillors in Scotland.

Council also notes that as more people feel represented through a wider spectrum of voices elected through PR, disenfranchisement is reduced, as well as skewered results such as majority-rule of the UK Government on 35% of the vote in 2005 and 36% in 2015.

Such unrepresentative results have led to consequential policy changes with limited public support, including upon the democratic process. Council expresses its opposition to the UK Government's new policy of mandatory voter photo ID and the detrimental effect it will have on voter turnout, especially in more marginalised communities, for an electoral process that already disenfranchises many through its voting system.

Council echoes the call for proportional representation for elections to the House of Commons which has been made by Trade Unions such as Unite, UNISON, and the CWU, and which was recently passed by the UK Labour Party's Annual Conference, the SNP, Scottish Greens, and other political parties within the UK.

Therefore, Council requests the Convenor for Open Government writes to the Minister for the Cabinet Office urging support for fairer UK Elections, by commencing consultation on a proportional representation system of voting and reversing the restrictions put upon voters by the introduction of mandatory voter ID.

Council will also instruct the Council Election Office to investigate opportunities to enhance awareness of the new Voter ID requirements and to maximise uptake of postal ballot applications from as many people as possible who may otherwise be disenfranchised by the new voter ID law." View Papers
8Emergency motion by Councillor Susan Aitken:-

"Council unequivocally condemns the terrorist attacks by Hamas, calls for the unconditional release of all hostages and recognises the right of Israel, in common with all nations, to protect itself from terror. Council shares the sorrow and outrage of Glasgow's Jewish community and offers our deepest condolences in particular to the family of Glaswegian Bernard Cowan, who was murdered in the attacks.

Council recognises that a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Gaza. Council agrees with the comments on Saturday 21st October 2023 by the Secretary General of the United Nations calling for a "humanitarian ceasefire" and demanding "action to end this godawful nightmare".

Council further recognises that civilians can only evacuate if there is an open border crossing to allow them to leave and they can travel safely without the risk of being caught up in military attacks; further recognises that many people, including the very young, very old and the infirm, cannot leave. Council supports calls for a humanitarian corridor, protected by a ceasefire, to be agreed to allow people to leave and civilian supplies, including food, fuel, water and medical supplies, to reach those who cannot leave.

Council further believes international law must be respected, rejects collective punishment, believes that innocent people must not pay the price for the actions of Hamas and is appalled by the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza.

Council recognises that many families and communities in Glasgow are affected by violence in the region; offers condolence to all those who have suffered as a result of this horrific conflict; and resolves to be alert to, and to stand up against, discrimination and hate crime; and resolves that there is no place for antisemitism, Islamophobia or hatred of any kind in Glasgow.

Council calls on the UK Government to support a ceasefire and humanitarian corridor, to commit supplies and aid to mitigate the human tragedy unfolding in Gaza and to be prepared to offer sanctuary and support to Palestinian refugees."  View Papers
9Emergency motion by Councillor Jon Molyneux:-

"Council notes the announcement on 17th October 2023 of proposals by the First Minister to freeze Council Tax next year.

Council believes that the way the policy was announced at SNP Conference, without the agreement of CoSLA, was unacceptable and not in line with the principles of partnership, trust and mutual respect which underpins the spirit and letter of both the Verity House and the Bute House Agreements. Council believes that Council Tax is a local tax and it should always be decided by local councillors and that failure to respect this damages trust between local and national government.

Council also reiterates its belief that Council Tax is an inherently regressive tax and acknowledges that freezing Council Tax disproportionately benefits those who are better-off at the expense of the less well-off, who rely more on local services.

Council notes that the First Minister has said the freeze will be "fully-funded" but also recognises that there is not yet an agreed definition of what that means, creating considerable uncertainty for Councils in the context of their respective medium-term financial strategies.

Council therefore agrees to write to the First Minister urging him to step back from this announcement and engage constructively with local government, in line with the values of the Verity House Agreement, to agree an overall, fair financial settlement which ensures Councils can autonomously make appropriate choices on Council Tax and funding for local services, in the context of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Council also agrees to ask the First Minister to guarantee immediate and meaningful progress on the long-overdue reform to local taxation by setting out a timetable for finally replacing the council tax." View Papers