Having reported last month about the council’s fund to refurbish private lanes, the Society have waited for the release of the details of the conditions and the regulations governing the Fund detailing who can apply and specifics of what funds can be used for. The good news is that details were finally released last Thursday. The bad news is that we have until 11 March to make an application. So we have less than a month to take things forward. This short timetable takes us to just before the local government elections, but presents a major hurdle to preparation of detailed proposals that will make a real difference in our community and that have had scrutiny by the local community.
Our original plan had been to organise to make a bid for each lane, forming sub groups around the individual lanes. That would have enabled individual solutions tailored to meet the needs of the different problems in different areas of Strathbungo. However given that the Council’s rules state that applications need to come from not-for-profit, legally constituted democratic groups with independent bank accounts, the time scales now make that impossible, given that processes for setting up individual groups is both time consuming and and subject to timescales imposed by the authorities who oversee those processes. The Society however is already such a group and can make an application covering the whole Strathbungo area.
The maximum bid to be considered is £20,000. Having examined the criteria that the Council see as being relevant for funding applications, the following would apply as problems common to our lanes:
- Fly Tipping
- Lane Surface Water/Drainage Issues
- Enhanced biodiversity
Looking at the Strathbungo area, we know what the problems are but lack the expertise at this stage to specify solutions or to cost them. For example, drainage and pot holes are a common issue but dealing with them to ensure that we apply sustainable solutions that will last will require a full survey of the lanes. This should provide a costing of repairs and refurbishment. Given that there are promises on the table that the fund will continue going forward, that would allow future bids to be realistically prepared.
The Council also specify that there must be an element of ongoing future management attached to plans. In Strathbungo, we have a history of engagement in the environment, with regular Brighter Bungo clear ups taking place throughout the year. Pre-covid, those activities took place with cover from the council’s Public Liability Insurance. Unfortunately that cover has now been withdrawn. The Society believes that we should apply for money to cover the cost of Public Liability, enabling us to continue to have regular community clear-up days with the safety of volunteers in mind.
In addition, we would like to identify some immediate short projects that could be part of any bid to enhance the amenity of the lanes. Any suggestions should be addressed to email@example.com. To be included in the bid, they are needed by the end of this month, February, and where possible have some indication of likely costs.
The Society is committed to engaging as many local residents as possible in this process and will be holding a public meeting as well as ensuring that all residents are aware of the project.