We held our Annual General Meeting on 22nd October and the Chair gave the report below.
Mount Florida Community Council had a good year fulfilling its constitutional objectives, which are to ascertain the views of local people, to act as a voice on local matters, and to pursue other projects in the interest of the area.
Our most significant project is the redevelopment of Letherby Triangle into a civic space – a focal point for the community and celebration of its location as a Gateway to the city and to the national stadium. Judith and Gavin are leading with tenacity, and we hope to engage consultants on the detail design as soon as Sustrans gets round to issuing a legal agreement.
We have made stuttering progress to drive continuous improvement in Hampden event management, with Alex playing the co-ordinating role. Our participation process, Glasgow’s first ever under the 2015 Community Empowerment has had limited success so far largely because there are so many organisations involved most of which are outside the control of Glasgow City Council.
It was disappointing to see the insensitivity with which the SFA scheduled two semi-finals to be held at Hampden on the same day, especially after we had put ourselves out to support Hampden’s bid to remain the home of Scottish football. Such a double-header was widely expected to have been a logistical mess and caused unnecessary disruption to local people. Sense prevailed in the end and the matches were rescheduled.
We will demand that the UEFA Championships Local Organising Committee engage with the community ahead of the matches in June 2020. Our first step has been to give evidence to a parliamentary committee scrutinising the Bill that intends to protect UEFA revenue. The design and operation of the event revenue protection zone and security cordon are crucial to ensuring a sensible balance between local disruption to residents and businesses, compared to national benefit largely felt elsewhere.
The work of community development and representation comes in all shapes and sizes. The ‘Big Lunch’, organised by Gillian, for which we closed part of Carmunnock Road was a success. We have also helped local groups organise street play events.
Gillian has also taken on the important role of board member for Queens Park Arena, restoring – after a long interregnum – Mount Florida’s place among the nearby community councils that are responsible for the stewardship of the community resource.
We responded quickly to the alarm raised by residents who had heard of Mount Florida Bowling Club’s intention to close and sell to residential developers. Well-attended public meetings confirmed strong opposition to the privatisation of the grounds and club house which were gifted to the community by the landowner 110 years ago. Judith and I supported the establishment of Mount Florida Community Trust which aims to preserve the site and increase access for community use.
Our very long running project that aims to alleviate parking restrictions on Cathcart Road has made progress after a draft Traffic Regulation Order passed public consultation with only one minor adjustment requested by a bus operator. Our principle is that our streets are for us to use, and not to provide a high-speed highway into the city centre for out-of-towners.
Mark continues to represent us in the Community Planning Partnership and we look forward to the day it becomes more of a partnership and less of a one way information cascade.
Mark also took the lead in the innovative Battlefield street design project, highlighting potential unintended consequences for Mount Florida. That project which itself came out of the pressure that we applied, along with other community councils, for careful consideration around the redevelopment of the Vicky.
This year we welcomed a new member – Gillian Katungi – and said thank you and cheerio to Joan Perry. We also managed to hold some social events, something we community councillors too often deprioritise.
Looking forward to the year ahead, we would like to build stronger links with the primary school and hope to find constructive ways to spend some money that we have set aside for pedestrian safety projects.
A big focus in the next 8 months will be the Euro 2020 championships. Alex is pushing to ensure we are at the table when local plans are drawn up.
Colour will be brought to the area this winter with a Window Wanderland being organised by Nicola.
We always welcome new suggestions and we’ll look into ideas for investment in Queens Park Recs brought to us by Hannes, a local resident.
As always we encourage anybody who supports Mount Florida, and who has either an idea or a few hours available each month, to get in touch and find out how they can contribute.