There is still hope that the Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan will be included in this month’s Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee agenda, it was reported at the Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council Meeting held at Langside Hall on Thursday 5 April 2012.
The Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan Steering Group met on Monday 19 March 2012 to discuss the Action Plan. Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council Chair, Andrew Montgomery, who attended the meeting, reported that there was cross party support for the plan being submitted to the Executive Committee. Glasgow City Council Deputy Leader Councillor Archie Graham (Langside Ward) was charged with the task of getting it on the agenda.
Montgomery said: – “It is difficult to know whether it will make the final Executive Committee.”
If it is approved by the Executive Committee, who will meet for the last time before the local election on 26 April 2012, a budget will be allocated to the Action Plan. The bid will then go to the Capital Expenditure fund, and it would be unlikely that it would be refused if already approved by the Executive Committee.
Montgomery again encouraged council candidates about their commitment to Shawlands. Concerns for the Shawlands community were first raised by businesses and residents in 2008, and having funds allocated to the Town Centre Action Plan would signify real progress.
Montgomery said that he was very pleased to report that the Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan Steering Group will continue to meet despite initial plans to replace it with a Shawlands Partnership.
Much discussion during this month’s meeting centred on how useful the police report was for this Community Council. The police report statistics for April showed an increase on last month in the total number of incidents of assaults and vandalism in the Strathbungo and Shawlands areas but a decrease in the number of street drinkers and theft in Strathbungo. Also noted was an increase in the number of incidents of drugs, street drinkers, theft and theft from a motor vehicle in the Queen’s Park area.
It was highlighted that the police report focussed on ‘main street’ crimes and left no room for other more minor offences, such as washing being stolen from back lanes, to be reported. Community Council member Tony Halifax added:- ”It doesn’t tell us whether the police are concerned, or whether we should be concerned.”
Montgomery agreed. He said:- “Raw numbers aren’t really helpful. It kind of leaves us to draw our own conclusions. There’s no background to it.” He also thought that a clearer definition of assault and vandalism was needed. He resolved to follow this up, and planned to contact the police and invite an inspector to join the next Community Council meeting.
Councillor Danny Alderslowe presented his Councillor’s Report. In addition to attending the last full Glasgow City Council meeting he had attended a number of residents meetings and had been liaising with private landlords on behalf of residents. He had been trying to get in touch with the landlord of a Niddrie Road flat which had experienced flooding three times and was now affected by dampness. He had also been working on behalf of residents who had to move out of their Allison Street flats and had ended up paying Council Tax on two properties. Councillor Alderslowe had been working to ensure they were reimbursed.
Councillor Alderslowe will not be standing at this year’s Glasgow City Council elections. Mr Montgomery said after his report:-”You have been an excellent councillor. Danny, you go with grateful thanks and absolute best wishes.” Elected for Southside Central Ward in 2007, Councillor Alderslowe has served on seven Committees during his term, including Southside Central Area Committee, Education Children and Families Policy Development Committee and the Sustainability and the Environmental Policy Development Committee. He is also a board member of the Govanhill Baths Community Trust.
Two local candidates standing in this year’s Council elections attended the Community Council meeting and were given an opportunity to speak. Those present heard from Scottish National Party candidate for Pollokshields Norman Macleod and Scottish Labour candidate for the Southside ward Soryia Siddique. Glasgow City Council’s elections will be held next month on Thursday 3 May.
Due to Shawlands Academy being closed for the Easter weekend, April’s meeting of the Community Council was held in a meeting room at Langside Hall on Langside Avenue.
The next Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council Meeting will be held 7pm on Thursday 10 May 2012 at Shawlands Academy.
Progressing last month’s ‘Future of Shawlands’ meeting was of high importance for the members and residents who met at this month’s Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council meeting held last week at Shawlands Academy.
Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council Chair Andrew Montgomery proposed making use of the upcoming Glasgow City Council elections to achieve this goal. There was unanimous agreement to his suggestion that the Community Council write to all parties and individuals running for office asking them what their manifesto would say about Shawlands and the Shawland’s Town Centre.
Montgomery was pleased with the support for last month’s meeting but was keen to maintain the focus on finding a solution. The Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan is due to be finalised by May but there was discussion at last week’s meeting suggesting that the Glasgow City Council early May elections would delay the final document.
Shawlands has been categorised as a Tier 2 or ‘major’ town centre by Glasgow City Council. Montgomery said:- “When you look at it, in the last 10 years Shawlands is the only Tier 2 Town Centre that has had no investment.” He compared it to other Tier 2 town centres in Glasgow which had seen considerable amounts of money invested.
Other people attending the meeting echoed this need for investment. One person didn’t think Shawlands was going to survive without immediate action. Last week three shops shut and three more are set to close soon. Rates and footfall were said to be contributing factors.
A local resident commented that Shawlands was ‘a fantastic area’ and it was ‘what a vibrant urban area should be.’ She had already taken part in many community activities to enhance and clean up the area.
A number of ideas on how to improve Shawlands were said to have come out of February’s meeting. Held on 9 February at Shawlands Academy, the ‘Future of Shawlands’ meeting was attended by Glasgow City Councillors, representatives from Development and Regeneration Services (DRS) and around 90 members of the public. The meeting provided a forum for public concerns and was a chance for the public to comment on the draft Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan. It is thought that DRS are working to distribute the ideas contributed from members of the community.
In addition to Councillor David Meikle‘s report, local police officers delivered the police reports on the Strathbungo, Shawlands and Queen’s Park areas. In response to a resident’s concern regarding the armed robbery at Jim Blair Insurance in late February, the officers said that CCTV footage images had been circulated and they were trying to get a positive identification. They highlighted that there were more officers in the area of Shawlands as a result of this armed robbery and they hoped this would reassure the public.
As part of the Licensing Report an application by Peckham’s V & V Limited was discussed. Peckhams have applied for on and off sales licenced hours in the old Bank of Scotland building at the top of Skirving Street. While there were a couple of people in opposition to this application, many thought that it was a brand that would add value to the area. It was voted that the Community Council would raise no objection to this application.
The next Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council Meeting will be held on Thursday 5 April, 7pm at Shawlands Academy.