Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Another Glasgow City Council initiative that makes sense?

I wonder what stage of denial the die-hard council haters of the 1980s might be reaching by now?

Apoplexy seems like a fair guess.

It was a great time to be around if you wanted to meet people who had an almost mindless and automatic reaction to anything that was proposed by Glasgow City Council – and was always much the same: “Somebody’s getting a back-hander”, or some similar reference to corruption, croneyism, or membership of some clique. The sad thing was that some of them could come up with some sort of, evidence is perhaps to strong a word, so let’s roll with justification instead.

Today, those same people carry on their same ranting and raving, but now from their wheelchairs and zimmer frames, and their ‘church’ is the Comment section of the few media sources that still let them spout their nonsense. They have no audience other than one another, and that’s the only place that gives them free space to ramble in.

The rest of us, those with open minds capable of accepting change an innovation are moving on from those old and dated views, carved in stone, and not for changing.

I recently took a little bit of a swipe at a policy of ‘Compulsory Sale’ (as opposed to ‘Compulsory Purchase’) proposed and being introduced by some as their great idea to solve the problem of derelict buildings and land. My issue with that as a ‘Magic Bullet’ to solve that problem is simply that if the places were such a bargain and opportunity in the first place, the there would be no need for compulsion. Buyers and sellers should be beating a path to one another’s doors – they’re not!

By way of contrast, I seem (worryingly, once again) to be looking at a Glasgow City Council strategy that makes sense, or at least more sense than anyone else’s so far.

Glasgow City Council today (7 February) approved a Property and Land Strategy which will guide how the council makes the best use of its substantial property and land estate, the biggest in the city. The possible relocation of council offices from the city centre to key regeneration areas across Glasgow is one action being considered through the strategy.

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Over the next decade, the adoption of the council’s Property and Land Strategy will mean our estate will be used more efficiently and effectively, with the people of Glasgow more closely involved and better served. The council will also have reduced costs in the years ahead, as well as the ability to raise capital receipts to help deliver improved public services in the city. The proper location of these services will aid the regeneration of neighbourhoods throughout Glasgow, and deliver real, inclusive economic growth.”

Council approves new strategy to make best use of its property and land estate

Now, I KNOW such statements are written by someone who has a job to make them sound good, but ignore that and read beneath the stuff that sounds too good, and there’s a plan in there that makes sense because it’s not based in fantasy, over-achieving, moving too fast, or depending on any single ‘Magic Bullet’ to fix everything.

In fact, the biggest problem I see is that it calls on others to work with the council to deliver a workable result.

And that depends on NOT running up against the sort of people from the 1980s who are only interested in seeing anything planned by the council being a failure. We can only hope there are not too many of them still left on their feet!

The announcement is a long read, but worth looking at properly, rather than dismissing out of hand, just because it’s ‘The Council’.

The council’s Property and Land Strategy, approved at today’s City Administration Committee, has five key objectives driving the approach to the use of, and investment in, its property and land estate between 2019 – 2022:

  • A more efficient, sustainable, smaller, and better quality estate;
  • An agile estate capable of meeting current and future service delivery needs;
  • Collaborating and co-locating with community planning partners, third sector organisations and city region partners;
  • Achieving cost reductions, increasing income and generating capital receipts; and
  • Embracing digital and technological innovation to reduce reliance on and improve the performance of the estate.

In order to achieve these objectives, a number of actions are being considered, including the relocation of city centre offices to support regeneration through the identification of suitable locations owned by the council or its partners in key regeneration districts, and planning for a phased withdrawal from these higher-cost city centre locations. Such action would reduce public costs and increase local employment opportunities in these districts.

If you don’t/won’t read it straight from the council, then try this article from local media:

Derelict buildings in Glasgow will be brought back to life as part of a 10-year initiative which is being implemented across the city.

Glasgow City Council will work with the community as they deliver facilities which are fit for purpose, protect the city’s heritage, re-use neglected land and empty buildings and open up ownership to the public and other bodies.

The local authority has issued a 10-year vision, as part of the property and land strategy, which strives to reimagine Glasgow as a world-class city, where everyone can benefit from a thriving and inclusive economy.

The aim is to get the best from Glasgow’s assets so they deliver value for money and generate income to ensure that essential front line services are protected.

Derelict buildings in Glasgow to be given new life

As someone who has wandered around Glasgow since not long after the millennium, taken quite few pics, wrote about quite a few buildings, and more recently been surprised to see that building plans being completed today were not random happenings, but a part of plans but in place up to 15 years ago, the time to be a dumb naysayer is gone.

Nothing’s perfect, and plans don’t happen overnight.

Nor do they work if those who should be involved refuse to cooperate because of nothing more than senseless opposition bases on some archaic belief, or dogma from the ‘Bad Old Days’.

With luck, 10 years might not be too long for me, so I’ll be watching this one, and looking out to see who might be responsible for any lack of cooperation, because it looks as it that’s something it needs.

I might as well use my pic of the Lion Chambers as well, since it is a unique, but sadly abandoned and derelict building.

A handy, and easy, one to watch, to see if it benefits from the strategy.

The Lion Chambers Hope Street

The Lion Chambers Hope Street

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12/02/2019 - Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , ,

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