We held our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 25th October and looked back on a year with record fundraising and spending and good progress on our top priorities. Thanks to everyone for continued engagement. Here is the Chairman’s report:
Chairmans Report – Mount Florida Community Council – 25th October 2016
Community Councils are the most local tier of democratic representation in Scotland. Their influence depends on their being in touch with the community they represent, and building constructive relationships with partner organisations.
Last year I reported that we had four priorities for the session ahead.
The first priority was to press ahead with Letherby Triangle project that came of out the Grow Mo Flo project, seeded with a grant of £2400 from Langside Area Partnership. Since then we have carried out a thorough consultation on design options for the Letherby Triangle. The aims are to create a civic space that will be well utilised, and to address concerns with pedestrian safety. MoFloCoCo was awarded £13,520 over the last 12 months by Glasgow City Council to support this project. This included £3200 from the first Langside Community Budgeting process.
The funding went towards a series of consultation events including school events, evening idea sessions, fun days, street play, online questionnaires and a traffic impact assessment. Several hundred people participated in the consultation process which determined a preferred option linking the Triangle to the shop fronts on Carmunnock Road. The next steps are i) design the specific road layout ensuring pedestrian safety concerns are addressed, ii) door-knock immediate neighbours to ensure their opinions are respected, iii) detailed design, iv) apply for planning permission, v) raise the estimated £500,000 -£800,000. The immediate next step of detailed design will likely cost £10-15,000 and we are currently awaiting the outcome of funding applications. We have always intended that the funds for the project should, as far as possible, be new funds and not diverted from council expenditure commitments.
The second big priority is to resolve the long outstanding complaints about parking. The plan, including optimisations on Bolton Drive, Clincart and Cathcart Roads has been agreed in principle with the Roads Department. We must finalise the plan for Letherby before the supporting legal process can go ahead, allowing implementation of the changes.
The third big priority concerned Hampden event management. Although people who choose to live near to a national football stadium expect some disruption on major match days and around concerts, we need to push for consideration towards residents. After following up with Hampden, Police, licensing, parking enforcement and LES on our list of 21 deliverables,
we can claim some achievements. These include representations to the licensing board which resulted in toilets outside the stadium for concerts and much better information on the website. We will continue to push for greater consideration of residents.
The fourth priority was our concern for the future of the old Victoria Infirmary. We wanted to ensure there was meaningful community consultation before the site is redeveloped. This is one of the largest redevelopment sites in the southside. MoFloCo is one of the 5 local community councils that makes up the Victoria Forum which has the express purpose of campaigning for a community consultation process that arrives at a development plan which is well integrated with the neighbourhood.
It was known for several years that services would transfer out of the old Vicky to the new Vicky and then in 2015 to the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Nonetheless, and despite a concerted pressure campaign by the Victoria Forum, the NHS board made no serious attempt to consult the community, only asking tendering developers to be considerate to community concerns. The sale to Sanctuary Group was announced on the 2nd of August, 12 weeks ago, and no form of Community consultation has been announced. So it is very disappointing and alarming that demolition of some parts of the site is to commence this week. MoFloCoCo and the Victoria Forum have always taken a fair-handed and constructive approach with NHSGGC and then with Sanctuary. However, unless Sanctuary changes its approach very rapidly we will need to take a much more confrontational and obstructive approach.
A minority of anti-social individuals continue to spoil our environment with littering, dog mess and fly tipping. If we can find some additional volunteers to support such a programme, I expect MoFloCoCo can co-ordinate a plan of action that would encourage more civil behaviour.
In this past year, MoFloCoCo has developed further as an organisation. We have learnt a great deal about how to advocate on behalf of our community; learning about the licensing and planning processes and about community consultation. The 9 current members each give up a significant part of their time, unpaid, to advocate on behalf of their community. We each have clear responsibilities and this has taken considerable pressure of me. Last year I said I would step down as chair at this point. However, with our stronger devolved organisation I feel I would be in a strong position to lead the Council if selected, if selected.
I’d like to thank everyone who contributes to the positive community spirit of Mount Florida, and who make it the lovely little urban village that we are all proud to call home.