WHEN the City Government was elected in May we did so on a platform focused on no more pressing or important a cause than confronting head on those challenges Glasgow has faced for too long; the need to reduce poverty and to promote social justice. These principals underpin our programme for how we intend to run this city for the next five years.

On Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the programme for government for the whole country. Her vision for Scotland clearly matches ours for Glasgow. It’s time now to roll up our sleeves and work together to build on this bold plan for the citizens of the country and our city.

What has particularly excited me, as I have also taken on the lead for economic development in the City Government, is the announcement for a National Investment Bank. Matched with the pioneering entrepreneurialism in the city, this has the potential to elevate Glasgow to the forefront of digital innovation. The funds available will also help our SMEs, too often denied access to financial and practical resources, to flourish and allow our social economy, another of our key priorities, to take the next step.

Make no mistake. Brexit is one of the greatest challenges this country will face for generations. Its disastrous consequences become clearer by the day. Immigration has not only given Glasgow its distinct character, it is crucial to our well-being, from the vitality of our hospitality sector to our thriving universities. The First Minister has set out why it is vital to our economy to be able to attract talent from across Europe and the world and why current UK Government policy is so harmful to Scotland’s interests. A more flexible approach to immigration, with more power for the Scottish Parliament, is in our national and civic interests.

Having to miss school, college or university because you can’t afford sanitary products is against a women’s human right to access education.

The First Minister’s announcement will put a stop to this and means that any girl in our schools, regardless of their personal circumstances, will never have to be suffer the stigma of this again.

We will now work with partners to ensure that we can implement in our schools as quickly as possible. We will also be looking to see where this can be expanded into community and other Glasgow City Council facilities

The Citizens Basic Income Fund, a pioneering idea with so many social ramifications, is something Glasgow has already been exploring and last week’s announcement means we can take this early work to the next stage.

And the £50million to tackle child poverty over the next five years again reflects the values of the City Government and will assist in our Glasgow-wide efforts to tackle this issue head-on. So too does the plan to empower communities to take greater control over local budgets, with an extension of the Empowering Communities Fund. In the coming months Glaswegians will see the detail on how one of our most radical schemes, devolving funding to local communities to decide on their specific priorities, will work in practice.

The First Minister announced investment to the Burrell Collection and The Citizens’ Theatre, two of the south side’s most cherished attractions, as well as measures to bring vacant and derelict land, one of Glasgow’s great blights, in to productive use.

From expanding early learning and closing the attainment and opportunities gap between our wealthiest and poorest pupils to reducing prison population, improving air quality and ending rough sleeping, this is a programme which talks very much to Glasgow, our needs and ambitions.

Did you know that a birth is registered in Glasgow every 20 minutes? And did you know that every new-born in the city has the offer of a library card once they officially become a Glasgow citizen?

To be honest I hadn’t but each Friday over the next few weeks I’ll be out on work experience with our staff on the floor and the frontline. The scope of what the council family does has been a real eye-opener.

On my first session I saw at first hand the work of the team which monitors the levels of the Clyde 24-7. Thanks to their vigilance and expertise we had an early sight of the impact of the recent broken weir at Glasgow Green which allowed our emergency plans to swing into action.

I’ve seen at close quarters the work our housing and building standards teams do to ensure where we live, work and socialise are safe and secure environments and some cutting edge laser technology which does 3D readings of council properties.

Last Friday I had the pleasure of welcoming to the Glasgow family babies Jude and Alessio, whose parents made them official citizens at the registrars on John Street.

And in the weeks ahead I’ll be an attendant at the Riverside Museum, filling potholes in the road in the East End, joining our operatives at waste and recycling at Polmadie and maintaining the Rose Gardens for the trials at Tollcross Park.

The series will round off with a visit to our schools on Halloween. I’ve said in this column before how our staff are our greatest assets, ambassadors in our communities for all we do. But the sheer breadth and scale of what the council does touches onto every aspect of our lives, from cradle to the grave.