An overview of the current state of affairs in Glasgow! Check out the city’s current policies across a range of issues.
Current Glasgow City Council policy on issues of sustainability and environmental justice lacks the vision, urgency and commitment required to bring about the changes necessary to tackle the problems facing the city and the rest of the world. The signature strategy of incentivising corporations to adopt greener investments and behaviours holds no guarantees of a truly green or just transition. What is needed is significant public investment and reform.
- Clyde Mission
- Glasgow Open Space Strategy:
- Climate Emergency Implementation Plan:
- Glasgow’s GreenPrint for Investment Project Portfolio
- Glasgow Transport Strategy Policy Framework 2022
- Glasgow’s Green Deal Roadmap
- Affordable Warmth Strategy
- Glasgow Food Growing Strategy 2020 – 2025
- Glasgow’s Strategic Plan for Cycling, 2016- 2025
- Resource and Recycling Strategy 2020-2030
- ‘Our Resilient Glasgow’ City Strategy
HEALTH AND HOMES
Glasgow has, unfortunately, a significant reputation for poor health and profound health and poverty inequalities. It is clear that current and past policy responses to the underlying issues which create and exacerbate the conditions of inequality and impact on the social determinants of health have proved ineffectual. Austerity and the prevalence of insecure, poorly paid work along with the impact of ‘welfare reform’ continue to create serious threats to health and wellbeing among significant sections of the population. Poor quality public and private housing which is often cold and damp add to this burden.
SOLIDARITY AND JUSTICE
Glasgow City Council’s policies on social justice and international solidarity don’t always line up with people’s experience of living in the city. Despite a comprehensive strategy for hate crime prevention, we have seen ‘white power’ salutes go actively unpoliced in George Square. Despite playing an active role as a Nuclear Free Local Authority, the city hosts offices and operations for almost a dozen arms companies, several of which profit from producing parts and technologies for nuclear weapons systems. And while the Council enjoys the city’s reputation as world’s friendliest city, they have presided over the illegal eviction and inhumane detention of our refugee and asylum seeking brothers and sisters from around the world.
Glasgow is the 5th most indebted local council in the UK. The Council’s spending strategies during austerity have seen cuts and the delegation of democratic accountability of vital public services. Public funds have been demonstrably used to fatten private profits throughout the city, justified by an uninformed narrative that making the city more attractive for massive corporate investment will somehow make the city more livable for its residents.
POWER AND DEMOCRACY
There is a deficit of democratic accountability over many of the public services that Glaswegians rely on in their daily lives. The City Council has become far too reliant on ‘Arms-Length Organisations’ (ALEOs), to the point that the management and sustainability of key spaces and services in the city – including some of the venues on the abysmally short list of spaces on Glasgow’s ‘Common Good’ register – have been handed over to unelected bodies, leading to them being redesigned in such a way that favours profits over public benefit, and also places them at risk of being collateral damage when such bodies struggle to fund them. ‘Community Engagement’ has become a tick-box criteria in bids for private funding, and tends to fall far short of the necessary dialogue and negotiations required to empower community actors.
EDUCATION AND LEARNING
Glasgow City Council’s current Education strategy reflects that of the Scottish Government and since 2015 has been transfixed by the Attainment Challenge which Glasgow renamed as the Improvement Challenge. The policy aligns with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence which was refreshed in 2019. Community learning and development work in the city has been decimated. Significant investment and development is needed to bring adult learning, youth work and community development work in the city to a level which allows it to appropriately address the huge level of need in the city. Continued cuts to the Integrated Grants Fund which many community and third sector organisations rely on must be reversed.