As regular readers will know I was born and brought up in the west of Scotland. I lived in a place called Milton of Campsie at the foot of the Campsie Fells. In the 1980s our MP was the excellent Tom Clarke whom I am proud to count as a friend and colleague today. I went to school in the next town which was Kirkintilloch and at this time the MP there was the Tory Michael Hirst. This did mean that teaching unions targeted schools in his constituency for industrial action which meant that we got a few extra days off school!
In the summer of 1987 I became involved in some of my first political campaigning. I didn't do a huge amount but I did deliver a few leaflets in support of Sam Galbraith. I was delighted when he was elected at that election in Strathkelvin & Bearsden. I was really proud to have done my bit in that election. I met Sam Galbraith a few times over the years and I wouldn't say that I knew him well, but it is clear to me that he made a major contribution to the establishment of the Scottish Parliament. He had a remarkable career, especially when you consider the poor health which he suffered from over a number of years.
I was really sad to hear the news of his death today. I share the views of Johann Lamont and Ed Miliband amongst others about Sam's contribution to politics. Obviously, his death will be a very sad loss to his family and I would like to add my condolences.
This evening the City Council held its first meeting after the end of the summer recess. We had a meeting of the Development Management Committee. There was a very brief agenda with the only item seeking planning permission being an application for houses to be built on the site of the former Hillside student residences in Menzieshill. This application was approved unanimously and I think that people will be happy to see some redevelopment of this location.