WHILE the nationalists continue to obsess about constitutional reform and independence, my administration will continue to focus on the issues that really matter to people.

Education and giving young people the best possible start in life will always be key priorities for the council.

Before the 2012 elections, Glasgow Labour gave a commitment to rebuild or refurbish every primary and additional support for learning school in the city as part of a £250million modernisation programme.

Children have a right to learn in good quality schools.

Glasgow already has the best teachers and support staff anywhere in the country and soon our school buildings will be among the most modern.

By investing in our schools, we are investing in Glasgow's future - a fact that I am immensely proud of.

Last week I visited Thorntree Primary School as the first phase of our groundbreaking school refurbishment programme was completed by City Building - one of the biggest construction companies in the country and a key part of the Glasgow family.

It was great to see how our schools are being transformed thanks to the council's investment and it is clear that pupils and teachers are enjoying learning and working in these new and improved buildings.

More than 100 schools have now benefited from the works and by 2017 every school in the city will have either been rebuilt or refurbished, bringing much improved learning conditions to our young people.

But the benefits don't stop with there.

City Building has employed 140 time-out apprentices, provided post-apprentice training for 49 newly-qualified tradesmen and women and promoted 17 employees to management roles thanks to this programme of works.

It also includes £20million of contracts using firms who pay the Glasgow Living Wage and employ apprentices.

So not only is the programme improving learning conditions for our children, it is creating and sustaining jobs and boosting the local economy and I am grateful to the leadership shown by my colleague Councillor Paul Carey as chair of City Building in this regard.

It really is a win, win for Glasgow.

GLASGOW has submitted a bid to become a host city for the 2020 Uefa European Championships, reinforcing our position as one of the world's top footballing cities.

The City Council is a key partner in the bid and we very much hope Hampden Park will be among the 13 host city venues chosen by Uefa at its Executive Committee meeting in September.

As a city, we recognise the value of football and major sporting events.

We have a fantastic track record in attracting and hosting some of the biggest global sporting championships - from the Champions League and Uefa Cup finals to the Commonwealth Games.

This is a real opportunity to bring some of Europe's top football stars to Glasgow, support our national game and benefit the economy.