There's a lot Glasgowing on in 2014

AT this time it is right we learn from the lessons of the past year, while looking forward to the opportunities the New Year will bring.

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In many ways, 2013 saw both the best and worst of Glasgow.

Like other opposition councillors, I watched on with despair and sympathy for the many service users and carers who were abandoned by the council as Labour forced through the closure of five learning disability day centres, despite the pleas of service users, carers and the Carers Champion.

Since being elected in 2007, I have seen a few sham consultations run by Labour but this one stood out for the utter unwillingness to listen to anyone.

The shambolic handling of the George Square fiasco by the council leader was another low point.

Yet some great things happened. The start of investment in our school estate was very welcome. The SNP has been calling for capital spending to be refocused on the education estate for years, so to see this beginning is a boost for all involved in education throughout Glasgow.

The response from the council - and Glasgow as a whole - to the Clutha tragedy helped turn adversity into virtue.

The selfless efforts of so many in assisting those affected by the disaster were a reminder of the unity of our citizens.

Whilst the financial climate will remain difficult, 2014 is without doubt Glasgow's year.

Hosting the Commonwealth Games, MTV Europe Music Awards and the opening ceremony of the Ryder Cup will give us positive worldwide exposure to build on.

The Commonwealth Games will see the eyes of the world on our city.

The Friendly Games will find a warm welcome in Glasgow as competitors and spectators, from across the Commonwealth and beyond, come to Glasgow next summer.

Like a number of other SNP councillors, and thousands of Glaswegians, I volunteered to help as a Commonwealth Games volunteer.

Of course, 2014 is also the year when Scotland decides on our future direction. In September, you can vote for a better future for our city, as the powerhouse of an independent Scotland.

We could see thousands of jobs created in new government departments and corporate headquarters, our manufacturing industry revived and our city centre cemented as the heart of Scotland's financial and retail sectors.

We could see the end of the hated Bedroom Tax, the removal of nuclear weapons from Glasgow's doorstep and the chance to build a society we can all be proud of - one that is more just, fair, prosperous and democratic.

The SNP Group will continue to fight against Labour's attacks on the vulnerable in our city, while helping to deliver investment in education and protecting jobs.

2014 is a year of potential and I hope it will be one that delivers for Glasgow. I hope it delivers for you and wish you all the best for the New Year.

Local government

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