Press statement regarding the extraordinary open meeting of the North Kelvin Community Council on 28 February 2011
●The North Kelvin Community Council (NKCC) failed to reflect the views of the community
●Glasgow City Council failed to attend the meeting as scheduled
●New City Vision (NCV) did not present its own proposals but used a hired consultant, leaving NCV’s Steven Black free to issue instructions to Glasgow City Cllr Jim MacKechnie from the sidelines
●The North Kelvin Meadow Campaign calls for a further meeting with GCC in attendance and Steven Black from NCV available to answer questions
Glasgow, 2 March 2011:
The North Kelvin Meadow Campaign deplores the NKCC decision not to condemn roundly NCV plans for a residential development of 90 flats on the North Kelvin Meadow at an open meeting of the NKCC held on 28 February 2011 in the presence of the developer. The open meeting was attended by a capacity crowd of well-informed local residents almost all of whom were vigorously opposed to the development. Despite this, the NKCC elected to send a watered-down message to Glasgow City Council (GCC) saying that it is “not convinced by the development”.
It is very clear that this message does not reflect the views of local
people, who wanted the plans to be condemned outright, and that the NKCC is therefore not doing its job. This is evident, not only from the views expressed at the meeting, but from every other gauge of local residents’ views.
Responses to a questionnaire distributed to 1,700 local residents by the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign before Christmas showed that 94% wanted the North Kelvin Meadow to be kept as a green space for community use. A petition to save the meadow has attracted over 1,000 signatures. The developer itself conceded that of 65 emails/letters it had received regarding the proposed development, 64 had expressed outright opposition. Additionally, the campaign to save the Meadow is supported by local groups, including: Friends of River Kelvin, Glasgow Allotments Forum, and the Hillhead, Wyndford and Kelvinside Community Councils.
The North Kelvin Meadow Campaign further deplores GCC’s failure to attend the meeting as scheduled. Most members of the audience were not interested in discussing the details of plans they oppose – the developer’s agenda for the evening. The concerns they did wish to raise could not be properly aired because GCC was not present to answer them. These include:
- Why is a well-used public green space that is cared for by an award-winning community group being sacrificed at the cost of 480 mature trees when GCC’s stated policy is to promote green spaces and grassroots community initiatives?
- Why is the development going ahead on a greenfield site when there are numerous brownfield sites in the area?
- Why was the land sold in the first place when it is part of the common good?
It is difficult to see GCC’s failure to attend this meeting as anything
other than an expression of utter contempt for the views of local people in the North Kelvin area.
The North Kelvin Meadow Campaign further deplores NCV’s presentation at the meeting, which was not delivered by an NCV employee but by a consultant. The presentation was risible and abounded with terms, such as ‘semi-private space’, designed more to obscure than to clarify. The consultant was unable clearly to answer questions about parking and appeared not to know the area, not understanding, for example, that Clouston Street is a no through road.
Mr Steven Black of NCV refused to answer questions from members of the public. Local residents were particularly concerned to see Mr Black upbraid Cllr Jim MacKechnie and call him out of the meeting for a private interaction after Cllr MacKechnie revealed how the money from the sale of the North Kelvin Meadow is to be spent: £1.3m to renovate the football pitches on Queen Margaret Drive and £9m for ‘capital expenditure’ by GCC. This contradicts GCC’s statement that all the money would be spent on sport pitch development.
The North Kelvin Meadow Campaign calls on the NKCC to organise as a matter of urgency a second public meeting with a representative from GCC in attendance and Mr Steven Black of NCV available to answer questions. Should no such meeting take place, it will be impossible to claim that the local community has been consulted about the proposed development.
Notes for editors:
The North Kelvin Meadow Campaign was launched on 13 October 2008 after Glasgow City Councillor, Jim MacKechnie, rejected out-of-hand the results of a survey conducted in August 2008 by Douglas Peacock, chairman of the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign. The survey showed local residents overwhelmingly supported the creation of a green space on the former Clouston Street pitches and opposed the Council’s plan to sell the land to a property developer for the construction of 90 flats.
Since its launch the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign has worked to transform the former pitches, which have been disused for over two decades, into a multi-use community green space comprising allotments, an orchard and a wild meadow. Members of the local community have come together to clear the land of rubbish, repair and paint fences, and install composting facilities and raised-bed allotments.
An online and paper petition protesting against GCC’s plans to sell the North Kelvin Meadow to a property developer has attracted over 1,000 signatures. The online petition can be found at: www.gopetition.com/online/28274.html
North Kelvin Meadow Campaign website is www.northkelvinmeadow.com
North Kelvin Community Council website is www.northkelvincc.org.uk