Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Interesting approval decision for flats with no car parking, only cycle storage

I think that unlike many who just moan for the sake of it (or are just automatic naysayers about everything), I like to review subjects before a personal ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ thought forms amongst my last few functioning brain cells (so there’s plenty of space for those thoughts 🙂 ).

I happened to take a pic of the corner of Watson Street with the Gallowgate, and found that a planning application had just been approved for the spot.

No bad thing given its current appearance, and that it was just a piece of waste ground used as a car park for years. There used to be a warehouse there.

Gallowgate and Watson Street new flats site

Gallowgate and Watson Street new flats site

Now, a surprisingly tall block of flats will occupy the site.

What’s interesting about this one is the absence of ANY car parking as part of the 46 flat development (not counting the street of course), while cycle storage will be provided, along with a ground floor office unit.

I’m more used to seeing plans being rejected because the developer has failed to address parking adequately, or the impact of cars accessing a new development.

It can be interesting to visit more recent developments, and redevelopments too.

I’ve found many have secure facilities for the residents to store their cycles, avoiding the need to drag them up to their flats to keep them safe. If you look up at older developments, it’s not unusual to see one or two cycles stored outside the flat, if it has a convenient porch or similar area where they can be left, rather than bringing them indoors where they can take up space.

The second surprise, for some, might be seeing just how many cycles are in those racks (or on those porches).

CAR-Free Plan For 46 City Centre Flats Is Approved

Watson Street development Pic Credit GHA and Collective Architecture

Watson Street development Pic Credit GHA and Collective Architecture

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22/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Decay at Tollcross Winter Garden just goes on and on and…

I decided not to bother with a January 2019 ‘Annual pic of Shame’ of the derelict Winter Garden in Tollcross Park this year, for no other reason than that I could use ANY recent pic from the past few years to show how sad this once beautifully restored structure had become, despite the wondrous and magical promise of a ‘Lasting Legacy’ from the farcical and disruptive 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Who knows how much money was poured into the useless swimming pool lying only a few metres from some REAL Glasgow heritage (see below for the answer), or into yet more upgrades made there later.

However, when I stopped by the glasshouse a few days ago, I noticed that the rot was now REALLY beginning to set in.

It can only be a matter of time before it reached a state of decay which forces the city’s planner to order its demolition – it is now starting to FALL apart.

This is the pic I originally stopped to take, and you can see that the east ridge of the glasshouse has now started to collapse into the interior.

Click for a little bigger. Compare to pics from 2015.

Tollcross Winter Garden Glasshouse East Ridge Collapse

Tollcross Winter Garden Glasshouse East Ridge Collapse

At the same time, I noticed that an assault by vandals, which I suggested was imminent in a recent post, on the glass doors and walls of the adjacent Visitor Centre, had probably taken place too, as the whole of the Visitor Centre was now clad in wood shuttering. Since there had only been a few sheets raised over the years, I can only assume these were added after the glass panels that make up the doors and walls were attacked.

Click for slightly bigger.

Tollcross Winter Garden Visitor Centre Wood Shuttering

Tollcross Winter Garden Visitor Centre Wood Shuttering

There’s not really much to say.

I’ve seen poster asking people to attend meetings, but I only see these after the event, so have no idea if anything productive comes from this, or they are just ignored.

It’s such a shame that this building was both restored AND had the Visitor Centre added for less than £2 million.

That alone shows how little of the £340 million (probably more) that was squandered on the ‘Lasting Legacy’ would have been needed to save this feature, which could have been promoted as a 2014 tourist attraction, being so near to the swimming pool event.

I wonder how much WAS spent on that already supposedly world class swimming venue?

According to reports, “The Tollcross Swimming Center underwent a nearly-$20 million (£13.8 million) upgrade ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Would you also believe that back in 2014, the (clearly corrupt or moronic) Commonwealth Games promoters were actually using the ALREADY CLOSED AND DERELICT Winter Gardens ‘hothouse’ as part of the attraction they were ;selling to visitors in their advertising and promotional rubbish

Fast facts

Tollcross International Swimming Centre is located in Tollcross Park. The park covers 83 acres and the land was purchased for £29,000 in 1897. The park’s opening ceremony coincided with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Tollcross Park has many outstanding features, including a Children’s Farm, International Rose Garden and refurbished hothouses known as the Winter Gardens.

You could not make this sort of stuff up and expect to be believed, but thanks to the Internet and their web pages this can be quoted and referred to (until they are embarrassed, and delete the evidence one day).

Let’s not forget another £25 million just frittered away to attract YET ANOTHER sporting event.

Maybe somebody should suggest hosting 5-aside games, or ping-pong, or maybe just World Tiddlywinks in the glasshouse, and ask for funding!

28/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

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

12/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow’s Lend/Lease plan wins approval

No need to go into any real detail since I went over this one when it was proposed.

There might have been more of a story had the proposal NOT been adopted – it would almost have been worth the disaster to see just how those who might have opposed the plan were able to ‘magic’ up some £550 million out of thin air.

Then again, as with all such things, those who create such problems are seldom the ones who then have to find a solution – they just sit smugly on the sidelines, safe in the knowledge that they’re not responsible for fixing problems they create.

So, the list of properties was announced, and under the proposals the following venues would be transferred to the City Property portfolio:

  • Emirates Arena
  • Riverside Museum
  • SEC Armadillo
  • Scotstoun Leisure Centre
  • Tollcross International Swimming Centre
  • Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
  • Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  • City Halls
  • Toryglen Football Centre
  • Gorbals Leisure Centre
  • Bellahouston Leisure Centre

Equal pay deal: Glasgow City Council approves £548m ‘remortgage’ plan

While the plan will see Glasgow bear the cost of this pay deal (not the current council’s fault, but a legacy from its lovely predecessor – the one that made so many Glaswegians refer to the council as a ‘Bunch of crooks’), it does mean that it will only (sorry for using the word ‘only’) have to find a relatively small amount every year, although the net result is that it will be paying for longer, so the total bill over the period will be greater (than if it had been able to manage a quicker plan).

At a meeting on Thursday, city leader Susan Aitken said this would be one of the most significant issues councillors would ever have to consider.

She said: “I’m delighted to have won backing for a deal that finally delivers pay justice for thousands of women in our workforce.

“When I became council leader in 2017, I promised I’d bring to an end more than a decade of inaction on equal pay.

“A year ago, we began negotiations and, today, the council formally agreed a plan to pay women at Glasgow City Council what they are owed.

“That starts to put right a wrong that has damaged the council, its workforce and the city for too long.

“I want to thank the women for their determination; their dedication to the city and its people, and for trusting me to deliver what they have always deserved.”

Also among the building that the council expects to become part of the City Property portfolio are Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Tollcross International Swimming Centre, City Halls, Toryglen Football Centre, Gorbals Leisure Centre and Bellahouston Leisure Centre.

The council said it would still be managing the venues and that visitors would see no day-to-day changes.

Glasgow ‘to sell’ concert hall to pay £500m equal pay bill

It’s just a shame the bill can’t be handed to the ones responsible for us being where we are today.

They have effectively walked off laughing into the sunset – and played a ‘Get out of jail for free’ card.

Funny thing…

The only place on that list which I have been in is Riverside! (Even with a fence around it.)

Riverside Fenced

Riverside Fenced

Now enjoy the moron’s take on this deal

Fortunately, I seldom assign anything a political ‘colour’ but, as expected, the morons that live under the stones of The Scotsman’s Moron Comment section leapt into full ‘ignorant’ mode later, and if you want a good laugh, then I recommend having a look through their truly brilliant reinterpretations of how this sort of deal works, matched only be their complete and utter ignorance of where the need to find this money arose in the first place

Glasgow Council to sell key assets before leasing them back in £500m remortgaging deal

That’ll be me at the front, with one of those commenters behind me.

Sad and Happy

Sad and Happy

09/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

More damned activists

Once again, I find myself flying in the face of Glasgow tradition – and commending the measured response of Glasgow City Council in the face of yet more useless provocation from yet another bunch of bullies activists.

Protesters disrupted a Glasgow City Council meeting to demand urgent action on climate change.

Members of Extinction Rebellion interrupted councillors to deliver their message on “impending disasters” caused by climate breakdown.

Some councillors walked out as one protester read out a speech, ignoring committee convener Bailie Malcolm Balfour’s request to sit down.

However, the committee later invited Extinction Rebellion to join its newly-approved emergency group, which aims to deal with the dangers of climate change.

Climate change protesters interrupt Glasgow City Council meeting

As usual, it’s the activists’ way, or no way…

“We are Extinction Rebellion and we will be on the right side of history.”

In a commendable act fo restraint, rather than calling security and throwing them into the street, councillors extended an invitation to the protestors to take part in future debate….

When the meeting resumed, Mr Balfour told protesters: “There may be room for you to be a member of the group. Your voice will be heard. It’s not the done thing to disrupt a meeting.”

Vice convener Martha Wardrop, who will chair the emergency group, said: “We appreciate you putting forward your views.

“We’d be delighted to involve you in work in the next few months. You have to have respect for the council’s policies and procedures.”

Councillor Maggie McTernan said: “Climate justice is a matter of moral justice as well. It’s really important to remember it will affect those who are disadvantaged first.

“It’s important to engage with people who are motivated, and also people who are not keen, uncertain or opposed.

“If we don’t do this together it’s not going to work.”

Well…

I’ll wait and see.

For how long this lasts past the first meeting where ‘they don’t get all they want.

And they walk out, whining on with their usual song of ‘Nobody’s doing what we say they should’.

Activists

07/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Brain hurts – Brexit AND Council in ONE post?

Being apolitical (which means all political types seemingly consider me their enemy on the basis of “If you’re not FOR me, you’re AGAINST me!“), I often find it hard to make a relatively neutral post about things I find interesting, as some political moron or bigot will let me know how stupid I am, or how I’ve offended ‘Their’ cause.

I can waste hours trying to work how to mention something I found interesting…

Rubik Confused Cat

Anything that involves the thing known as ‘Brexit’ seems utterly pointless, as the two sides are basically making the same claims about its advantages and disadvantages, and how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it will be if we do, or don’t, go for it.

The only thing I think I can be sure of is that regardless of the outcome, it’s going to cost me!

Yesterday’s local news added to the confusion by adding Glasgow City Council’s plan for moving forward in the post Brexit decision world.

A few years ago (quite a lot of them), when I was ‘just a kid’, Glasgow council seemed to be populated by a bunch of crooks, and both the papers of the day, and anybody who dared write a letter to them, seemed to wage a war against them, but with little success. To use a term coined with regard to another criminal organisation, the councillors appeared to be ‘Teflon coated’, and all accusations just seemed to slip off them.

While my own observation is that those days are long gone, and I seldom find anything like the scandalous behaviour seen back then, some people seem to live in the past, and be completely entrenched in the anti-council hate that prevailed then, and can still be found in the Moron Comment section of some papers, still parroting the same accusation I remember seeing all those years ago. But, I don’t see the council, or more specifically the councillors doing the same things.

If you ever read any of the surveys the papers carried out in Glasgow years ago, daring to ask Glaswegians how they voted, I suspect the same kids that responded with “Ah’m gaunnae vote ?????? ‘cos ma da voted ?????? and if it wis good enough fur him, it’s good enough fur me!” (I’m not including the party name, you all know which it is.)

They’re all grown up now, but their mindset is still the same, locked into a dogmatic view (probably by repeated thumps from ‘da’ if they did not conform) and not open to change.

Hell, I’ll even admit to once being part of a forum that used to call out councillors, claiming that they made crooked planning decisions because somebody in their family could be shown to have builder’s yard somewhere.

But I left after a while, after I started looking in detail at the planning decisions that were supposed to be ‘bent’ – and found the reality was that most of them were reasonably fair. That’s not to say they were popular, but that’s the difference when you are in a position to later be held accountable. I learned the hard way that the popular decision is not necessarily the RIGHT decision.

So, I’m going to say I’m interested to see this statement coming from Glasgow City Council in the light of the upcoming Brexit nonsense, and say that I’m impressed, and expect to see the usual naysayers and council-haters kicking it.

Glasgow remains open for business, students and visitors despite Brexit.

That’s the message from city chiefs as plans are put in place to deal with leaving the European Union.

World class events, top business talent and international students are all welcome in the city.

And a new board could be set up with the aim of keeping Glasgow close to countries in Europe.

City councillors will be asked to support the move at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday).

David McDonald, Depute Leader of the Council, said: “Glasgow has always been a confident, dynamic and international city, committed to working with cities across the world in partnership to the benefit of all our citizens.

“We want to raise Glasgow’s profile ever higher to match our ambition and track record as a world class city and a world leader in hosting conferences and major events.”

The strategy would see the council work in partnership with key sectors across the city, including universities, sport, culture, finance, manufacturing, digital, food and drink and industry, to ensure Glasgow remains committed to engaging with Europe.

Mr McDonald said: “We want to ensure the city continues to attract and retain international students, research and entrepreneurial talent and provide ever greater opportunities for our city’s greatest asset; its people.”

The new international strategy plans to enhance the city’s profile by attracting top events, continuing alignment with EU environmental and social protections and supporting young people’s engagement with their counterparts in nations across the world.

Glasgow City Council announce post-Brexit plans

I think this is maybe the FIRST sensible response I’ve seen anywhere to dealing with whatever world we are dumped into once the post Brexit dust settles, and we see what sort of mess we are in (which I’m pretty sure we will be in, regardless of what Brexit decision ultimately prevails).

Cue the haters?

Cat Cannot Brain Today Has Dumb

07/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , | Leave a comment

Council has to spend £6 million BEFORE the old meat market site is developed

At least it’s not money down the drain, like the £15 million being extorted from Glasgow City Council for YET ANOTHER sporting fiasco event.

But is interesting to see that while it has to close the Winter Garden at the People’s Palace while it find £7.5 million to carry out restoration and maintenance, it seems there’s no problem in finding almost £6 million to make a derelict site (which has lain derelict for years) attractive to developers.

While I’m NOT going to make a silly remark about this spend, because the council IS responsible for providing a number of essential services to the area, as part of the city’s infrastructure, I am going to query whether or not it should be responsible for picking up the WHOLE of thee bill, since any developer that subsequently takes up the option of the site is gaining a ‘free’ benefit of taxpayer’s money – by which I mean MY Council Tax. And I won’t see ANY benefit from that.

Just Sayin’.

These are days of austerity, where funding is tight, spending is being cut, budgets are shrinking, and more costs are being levied on those who are responsible for them.

GLASGOW City Council is inviting contractors to bid for a £5.7million project as part of plans to transform the Meat Market site in the East End.

The infrastructure and public realm contract covers construction of new roads, high quality hard and soft landscaping, rain gardens, architectural feature lighting and street furniture.

The work, which is expected to take 12 months to carry out, will also include street lighting, sewers, a drainage system, water and gas mains, electricity distribution — including a new sub-station — and telecommunications ducts,

The project is required to make the land bounded by Duke Street, Bellgrove Street and Melbourne Street attractive to developers.

£5.7MILLION Contract To Flesh Out Glasgow Meat Market Site

Public consultation on plans for 250 flats has already started.

I know I collected pics of the remaining wall and gate in Bellgrove Street, but just can’t find them, so have to go with something similar, and already seen.

I’m guessing this bit in Duke Street survived since there was a substation behind the wall.

Those old sheds behind won’t (survive).

Glasgow meat market site

Glasgow meat market site

05/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pay deal could see Glasgow City Council adopt leaseback option for properties

While the old fogies will no doubt be up in arms and having strokes, palpitations, and panic attacks, we live in a different world from that of two or three generations ago, and it’s refreshing to see Glasgow City Council is not entrenched in the dead-end thinking it suffered from in the past. Then, it was almost frightening to look in the papers (yes, newspapers) and see the next ‘Tale of the Unbelievable’.

It may come as a surprise to some, but money doesn’t actually grow on trees, nor can it be magicked up out of thin air by consulting the latest Harry Potter novel.

On top of whatever else ‘new money’ the council has to come up with – cough cough Winter Garden cough cough – there’s now something in the order of £550 million to settle a pay deal extorted by threats of strike action (oh don’t be so childish – call it what it is!).

There’s money in property, but it needs thought to realise it as negotiable funds.

If you own it, like a spare house or second home, you can sell it – but that doesn’t work if it’s your only property, and you want to live in it.

If you need to keep it, then you need to sell it and agree terms to live in it. That way you get a pot, can ‘enjoy’ the benefits, and just toss a few pennies at the new owner.

This has been done on the Continent for years, and there have been some famous tales reported in the media where an older person has had the last laugh on the ‘buyer’. Instead of ‘popping their clogs’ after a few years, they’ve lived to a really ripe old age, and the buyer can’t increase the charge they make to let the old soul live in the property, evict them, or end the deal, which has no limit and only matures when the person dies.

An equal pay deal costing Glasgow City Council more than £500 million could be funded by selling some its most popular venues to an arm’s-length company.

The deal in principle came after thousands of council workers walked out on a 48-hour strike in October to settle the long-running dispute over women’s pay.

On Friday, the local authority published a report to go before members of the City Administration Committee next week, which stated the settlement will cost an anticipated £548 million.

City Property Glasgow Investments LLP (CPGI) was requested by the council to consider what capital could be realised from the property assets of both parties.

The proposals include “the option of sale and leaseback of certain council operational properties”, meaning the company would acquire sites such as the Riverside Museum, SEC Armadillo and Emirates Arena.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: “I’ve always been clear that, although settling equal pay has been about delivering justice for thousands of the women in our workforce, meeting the substantial cost of doing that must be fair for citizens.

“Releasing the potential of our property, while keeping it in the city’s ownership, protects services and the future of these valued assets.”

Long-term loans will fund CPGI’s purchases, with the council’s lease payments meeting the borrowing cost.

The paper will go before the committee on Thursday February 6 as discussions continue with potential funders.

Glasgow council considers selling venues to fund equal pay deal

There could be fun to come as this is considered.

And it’s already started, if you’re prepared to offend your eyes and take at look at the sad drivel which appeared in the usual Scotsman’s Moron Comment section after the article.

If Lend/Lease was good enough for World War II, then… 😉

If you would prefer not to have your eyeballs and brain assaulted by seeing any of the moronic comments after The Scotsman article, follow this alternative link…

Glasgow venues may be ‘sold’ to fund equal pay deal

Riverside

Riverside

02/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Why let facts get in the way of a good People’s Palace scare?

Ever since news of problems with the Winter Gardens attached to the People’s Palace broke, and a certain local news site jumped with the story that the BOTH the Winter Gardens AND the People’s Palace would close indefinitely, it has continued to write stories using ‘Weasel Words’ to suggest the People’s Palace will join the Winter Gardens indefinite closure pending structural repairs (which need around £7 million), while noting in ‘small print’ that the People’s Palace closure will only be temporary, to allow the fire escapes to be altered. This change is needed since the present fire escapes depend on access through the Winter Gardens, so if that closes, then the People’s Palace would be obliged to close too.

However, although the ‘knee-jerk’ double closure story was headlined, and led to a silly petition being raised, when the final story was released by Glasgow City Council, the reality was that while BOTH would close at the end of 2018, the People’s Palace would only close until Easter, to allow modification to the fire escape, to allow the museum to remain open to visitors while access to the Winter Gardens was restricted.

I wonder if the writer is even aware of what they are doing?

It’s easy to do, and not fully realise the bias is there, simply through the choice of words, and positioning of material.

But I’m not supposed to be neutral.

Those in the public eye should be.

Worst – headline – ever.

Glasgow says goodbye to People’s Palace as fence marks closure for repairs

We’re NOT saying goodbye to the People’s Palace.

And, it’s NOT closing for repairs either.

It’s being closed temporarily for modification to the fire escapes, and some other access features. So, to steal someone else’s clever word play, ‘This is only au revoir, not goodbye’.

And it’s the Winter Gardens that are being closed, and not for repairs, as the £7 million has not been found yet.

Inaccuracy and bias in the media.

NEVER a good thing.

One might be tempted to suggest partaking of a little ‘Glasgow City Council Bashing’.

But nobody does that today.

Do they?

Do people even deserve to get into the Winter Gardens?

Maybe they shouldn’t bother fixing the place, and just leave it closed.

Shocking suggestion!

But I have a reason for making it.

A while ago, I posted after seeing signs added to the plants asking visitors not to remove fruit (lemons).

Peoples Palace Lemons

Peoples Palace Lemons

I recently did a pre-closure shoot in the Winter Gardens, and there was a NEW plea dotted around the displays…

Click for bigger if you can’t read it.

Winter Garden Rock Sign

Winter Garden Rock Sign

Still, at least the sign is just asking them to keep off the rocks, rather than not to steal them, and use them as ‘half bricks’ to beat their mates about the head with, after the Buckfast kicks in.

20/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

How to suggest self-regulation PROPERLY

I recently posted the sad and embarrassing tale of an elected Glasgow councillor and a self-important group of (apparently trendy club) business owners (GAG – Glasgow Action Group) who proposed that Glasgow City Council criminalise beggars and sweep them from the city centre.

The leader of Glasgow City Council responded by shaming the lot of them for seeking to criminalise beggars and homeless people, suggesting they contact the police if they find any actual criminal behaviour or activities, or social welfare departments to help people in difficulty.

Hot on the tail of that story is an example of how to tackle an issue involving street behaviour properly.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of Glasgow’s increasing creation of pedestrian precincts and pedestrian friendly areas is that it attracts a growing number of street artists, performers, and buskers.

Some are really quite good, others… ? Maybe they should go to Edinburgh 😉

In the past, the problem might just have been their numbers, and proximity. If good performances attract crowds on a nice day, and apparently wide pedestrian precinct suddenly becomes choked.

However, today there is a real problem as many of them are bringing very loud, portable, battery-powered amplifiers to their pitch, trying to be louder than the act ‘next door’ and some becoming louder and louder. Recent battery tech means a lot of power can generated without the need to lug heavy lead-acid car batteries around.

As usual, I have to be clear I’m NOT levelling this complaint against ALL those performers – just the usual few who feel the need to spoil things for EVERYBODY in pursuit of their own gain.

Unlike the almost ‘brownshirt’ response by the ‘kewl’ business owners to beggars, Glasgow City Council has published a ‘Code of Good Practice’ for buskers.

It’s just a few reasonable (obvious?) guidelines to help avoid conflict.

There’s no BIG STICK attached to them… yet.

Whether they are observed, or not, is another matter, and we’ll have to wait to see if this offer of self-regulation is taken up, or if the same few selfish types just ignore it, and we see some sort of regulation having to be introduced in a few years.

Buskers Code Of Good Practice

Code Of Good Practice

Glasgow City Council has introduced a Code of Good Practice for the city’s busking community following complaints from businesses and residents.

Glasgow is home to a number of well-known and talented buskers adding a vibrant and fun atmosphere anytime you walk down Buchanan Street.

The city council is aiming not to detract from the time-honoured art form but for buskers to consider the impact on other users of the city centre.

According to the council it receives a number of complaints regarding negative relationships with buskers and adjacent city centre businesses, with the main concern being amplified equipment.

The code outlines ‘good practice’ which includes; giving pitches a break after a reasonable time, keeping volume at t a reasonable level, having a varied and good-quality repertoire, keep any crowds under control, and respect your neighbours around you.

Council issues rules for Glasgow buskers following ‘number of complaints’

Buchanan Street Piper Juggler

Buchanan Street Piper Juggler

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Yet more local cycling news

I’m going to have to be careful, or I’ll start to look like a cycling activist, and have to kill myself!

But, our local media seems to be enjoying writing about cycling at the moment and, since it lets me rub actual cycling activists’ noses in stuff they whine about NOT happening, I’m not going to ignore it 🙂

They’ve been monitoring and counting the number of cyclists (and pedestrians) at a number of locations, and have now published a short summary showing the most popular routes.

According to the most recent data released by Glasgow City Council (you know, the council the activist don’t think does anything for them), cycle journeys to and from Glasgow city centre have more than doubled in less than ten years.

New data collected by the council shows the annual count of people cycling past 35 locations has gone up by 111 per cent between 2009 and 2018.

According to the count, which took place over two days in September, there were 5,712 journeys by bike into the city centre on average each day.

That’s a total number of 11,000 journeys on a daily basis.

The 2018 count also indicated that almost 53,000 people walk into the city centre on average each day, with a total number of 102,972 journeys on a daily basis – an almost a 19 per cent increase on 2009.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said the figures provided concrete evidence that cycling is growing in popularity in Glasgow.

With new cycling infrastructure such as the £6.5m South City Way due to be completed in the near future as part of the ambitious, overall City Way initiative, Councillor Richardson believes there is huge potential for the figures to grow even further.

The most popular locations for people travelling on bike to and from the city centre are:

1. Broomielaw (at Washington Street) – 2,065 daily journeys on average.

2. Saltmarket at Clyde Street – 1,231 journeys.

3. Tradeston Bridge – 1,088 journey.

4. Victoria Bridge – 929 journeys.

5. Friarton Place East at Garscube Road – 539 journeys.

The most popular locations for people travelling on foot to and from the city centre are:-

1. Trongate at Albion St – 10,335 daily journeys on average

2. Sauchiehall Street at Charing Cross – 9,070 daily journeys on average

3. High Street at George St – 7,227 journeys

These are the most popular cycle routes in Glasgow city centre

I pass first four bike locations at least twice per trip – the fifth is simply not on my route or an area I visit.

I usually pass the three foot locations each time, and walk there too. I used to walk to them from home, but that’s over two hours, just one way (and takes longer as I always get diverted).

I’ll have to ‘borrow’ this pic to illustrate the result, and hope I don’t get my fingers rapped.

I just don’t have something similar to hand (I’m always ‘travelling’ when I’m at these places), but I’ll make the effort and grab some of my own as soon as time/weather permits.

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

18/12/2018 Posted by | council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

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