I chatted with the guy emptying our bins this morning (doing it all by himself!), and he said the Council and unions are in discussions about the bin lorries not going down the back lanes from the end of September!!! He had no idea what arrangements would be put in place instead. Has anyone else heard anything like this? Has the Society got a contact in the Council to check this out? 😩
Society Update 21 Sep 2021
We made some enquiries. The following statement has been received from the City Council.
“We are currently reviewing all collection routes across the city, particular attention will be given to properties where the bins are presented to lanes.
This is to assess the bin presentation areas to confirm they are safe for our refuse vehicles and staff. Where issues are identified, control measures will be put in place to reduce the risks.
These measures could be advising residents to present their bins to the end of the lane or at the front of the property.
As yet there has been no decision made however once recommendations have been made, we will consider the alternatives and engage with elected members and residents affected before any changes are implemented.”
The Strathbungo Society has asked what assessments have been made of the hazards that this will produce, particularly in the Squares, with their narrow width and parking hazards, or how the measures will affect elderly or disabled residents. We await a council response.
It is also worth noting this issue has been raised by the council several times over the last 20 years, but nothing has yet come of it.
Society Update 6 Oct 2021
A further clarification was sent by the Council to the Society:
What I mean is that there are assessments done city wide, whenever required. This could be due to the change in the conditions of a lane, resulting in it not being accessible for the workforce. Possibly the underfoot conditions have become slippery, very uneven or inaccessible due to overgrown foliage etc. These are a few examples of why the assessment would be carried out. This does not mean that the service would be withdrawn. It may mean that work is required to ensure the health and safety of our teams. If there is a concern raised by a team, the area would be assessed an relevant information would be passed to whoever it relates to. I do not have any timelines on this as yet. When I say “each property is assessed on its own right” I mean each lane is assessed in its own right and any remedial works needed would be the responsibility of the residents/ owners in each property with a share of ownership of that lane.
The Society has invited a Council representative to the AGM on 16 November 2021.
(Latest Update on 19 July 2020: NR’s second response, background on electrification)
Only a couple of weeks ago we were concerned that Network Rail were restarting tree felling along the railway line, and sought assurances that they would abide by previous agreements. They replied to reasssure us that they would. There remains a certain lack of trust around what Network Rail say, and what they do, so perhaps this was a sign of progress.
Jump forward to this week and we discover that, without any consultation with anyone, Network Rail were to demolish the old Strathbungo Station booking hall (more recently Susie’s Shop) on 18-19 July.
When I first moved into Marywood Square 4 years ago I thought that the lane running up the back of my tenement was a brilliant opportunity to get some wild flowers growing, so I sowed some seeds. They came to nothing. I was busy, new flat etc, I didn’t really give it much thought. The next Spring I took it a bit more seriously and I and a close neighbour both sowed seeds. Same result – nothing! But this time I realised why. The lane had been sprayed by weed killer – or so it appeared to me by the burned vegetation. So last year I gave seed sowing a miss only to see a couple of new plants in my garden killed as weed killer drifted through the railings.
I’m now getting more and more aware, and concerned that we have a serious environmental problem and it seems that globally we’re in the throws of a sixth mass extinction of species (manmade this time?) including a major threat to insects which are at the bottom of a food chain that maintains birds and animals and are crucial as pollinators. Could we in Strathbungo not play a small part in countering this by challenging the Council, who I’m presuming spray the lanes with weedkiller, and consciously try and turn our lanes into a haven for wild flowers insects and birds. It seems to me that this could be a very positive experience for the children in the area who with proper parental encouragement and support might enjoy helping bring wild flowers into the lanes and learning about them and the wildlife they support. I’ll contact the Council (again) and this time try and find out just why they think it’s a good idea to spray weedkiller. It seems strange to me as they don’t seem to take any responsibility for any other kind of “maintenance” in the lanes. Would other residents, and maybe the Strathbungo Society itself be interested in trying to get the spraying stopped and encouraging wild life into our area?
Network Rail will be holding a public drop-in event tomorrow, Tuesday 6th December 2016 in Queens Park Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queens Drive, Glasgow, G42 8QD from 3.30pm to 6.45pm. In attendance will be representatives from Network Rail and the Strathbungo Society, as well as their contractors, QTS, all of whom will be on hand to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about this work.
This is an opportunity to discuss
- what will happen to vegetation outside your house on Moray Place when work starts in February
- what replanting scheme, if any, you would like to see afterwards
We would really value your input. If you are a Moray Place resident, consider bringing a photo if you have particular concerns over vegetation opposite your house.
Queens Park Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queens Drive, 3.30pm to 6.45pm
Queens Park Baptist Church
In case anyone hasn’t noticed this, there are a few people who regularly come and go through the bins in the back lanes – a man and a young lad and a woman who is mostly on her own. I’m not sure what (if anything) can be done about this – any ideas? – but thought I should flag this up and two related points – confidentiality and mess.
All my rubbish is genuine rubbish, and I shred anything with confidential or personal information, however would urge everyone to please be extra-vigilant in making sure that no personal details make it into your bin.
In relation to mess, apart from any big items my rubbish is bagged before being binned however when the “pickers” come and sift through the bin contents they of course open the bags which creates a really unpleasant mess. I try to tidy up a bit around my bin when I see the mess, but it does feel like a losing battle …
At the Pollokshields Area Committee, on which Kevin Kane and I take turns to represent the Strathbungo Society, litter and rubbish are regularly discussed. There has been a real push by councillors and other committee members to make improvements in the local area, both by reducing the amount of litter being dropped and improving services. As a result of these discussions, a number of suggestions have been made for litter bins, including one from us – supported by Councillors – for a litter bin on the Darnley Rd side of the pedestrian footbridge over the railway. This was installed a couple of weeks ago and we hope it will reduce the amount of rubbish thrown onto the railway embankment. If there are any other places you think would benefit from a bin do let us know.
We have also been in dialogue with Land and Environment Services about how we could improve the bulk collection service. At present it can take three weeks for such rubbish to be collected by which time the weather, vandalism etc can have scattered the rubbish all over the back lanes. After a suggestion made at one of the Strathbungo meetings we asked whether it would not be better for the Council to collect on a fixed day each month, so that people would not have to put out rubbish without knowing when it would be picked up. The Council actually operates such a system with a number of housing associations but has fixed pick up points. The local officials, who have been very helpful, have said that if we could agree fixed pick up points they would make recommendations to senior managers to try this out (the position is complicated because the current system has been decided by the Council as a whole and local areas do not have the discretion to adopt alternative systems).
After discussion at the Committee meeting this week, it was felt the problem with fixed pick-up points is first there is no vacant public space, so it would mean people volunteering to use their property in the back lanes for this purpose )(which we thought would be hard to obtain, and second that some bulk pieces of rubbish would be hard to carry to pick-up points. We therefore agreed to go back to the Council and ask them to look at other alternatives, including whether it would be possible to have a fixed pick up day each month but instead of the Council trawling all the lanes, they would just pick up from places notified to them by residents beforehand. Under such a system, if the pick up day was the last day of the month and you had bulk rubbish, you could put it out the day before and ring the council with details of where to pick up the rubbish.
Whether the Council will be open to trying this out we are not sure but meantime if you have any views or other ideas on how to reduce the amount of litter please let us know by commenting on this.
In mid-August pavements on Nithsdale Street and Road were resurfaced with black tarmac. This was done to a very poor standard and seems to have no account of the Council’s policies for Conservation Areas. As a result the Strathbungo Society Committee wrote to the Council to express our concerns, state that we thought this was a lost opportunity to improve the local streetscape and to ask for a way forward (the letter is pasted below). The Council has now agreed to a site meeting on Thursday 25th September to look at the standard of the work undertaken and discuss the issues that we have raised. We will post an update following this meeting.
Meantime the Society has contacted a number of local residents who we know have expertise in architecture or planning conservation who may be able to give examples of good practice we could cite at the meeting. If you think you could contribute to this please contact me at email@example.com
Does anyone know who owns the Siamese cat that seems to live in the back lane between Queen and Marywood Square? Seems to be mainly around the 30s and 40s of the streets. Description below.
It’s been appearing at my back door fairly regularly for a few months, and having very loud, very vocal “discussions” with one of my cats. (If anyone has heard the “discussions” you’ll know how loud they are!)
The cat seems to be out at all hours and all weathers, and I just wondered if it is in fact owned, or if it’s a stray. I’d love to hear from the owner, or anyone who might know them.
Description: the Siamese is a fairly large, but quite skinny cat with soft brown head, vivid pale blue eyes and a very light cream front that shades to soft brown at its back, with soft brown legs and tail. It is a bit wary of people but not really shy.
You may have noticed the increased presence, and persistence, of the bin rakers of late. In my case, I am fed up of rebagging my rubbish every fortnight before the binmen come, especially when it gets ripped open again during the night. However things reached a nadir last week when I left an electrical cable running out under my garage door for the use of a builder working in the back lane. The rakers cut the cable at both ends and made off with 20m of electrical cable, value probably little more than 50p. In doing so they pulled as much cable under the door as they could, ripping the electrical socket off the wall and leaving mains cabling dangling dangerously in my garage, and cost the builder £20 – it was his cable.
It is time to fight back, albeit legally. I have spoken to the police at Gorbals Police Station (in particular PC Ali Martin) who are aware of the problem, and are keen to identify the culprits. While they are planning plain clothes patrols in the lanes in the next few weeks, we can also help. We need to do more than just move them along, and if you do not wish to intervene, call the police on 101 (the new non emergency number, not 999) immediately. If they have someone free they will come round and try to catch them in the act.
If you feel more proactive, the issue is one of identification; this is best achieved by two collaborating witnesses, and photographic evidence to identify the individual. I almost got a photo of the protagonists last week and regret not doing so. While I have sympathy for those less fortunate than ourselves, it stops when they begin causing criminal damage, and this needs to be nipped in the bud. Happy snapping, but of course, no taking the law into your own hands. It just isn’t the Bungo way.
What do you think the Council could do to most improve Strathbungo – planning enforcement? Better street-cleaning? Fixing broken street furniture and hard landscaping? Sorting out dog fouling?
Well, they could do all of the above but this week residents on March St were informed that what the Council thinks would really improve Strathbungo would be…removing all the lovely planters which have brightened up the front of their flats for well over a decade.
The lovingly-tended plants have been mentioned several times in the Newsletter, at meetings and just in general chit-chat as being a real highlight of the Strathbungo Summer and are a great example of what residents can do for themselves to make our environment cleaner and greener, something the new citizenship handbook states is a duty for everyone living in Britain.
I’ve already contacted our city councillors to ask if they can help us reverse this barmy decision and would love to pass on the comments of other residents who appreciate this and other attempts to create an oasis in our sandstone desert!
I’m also on the look out for pictures of the plants in full bloom as this pic does not do them justice. They look great on streetview but I can’t find any good pics in our archive, so if you have some please do post!
You can read the letter residents received here:
I had hoped to set up a petition but, under the Council’s recently changed rules on public petitions, can not do so before the deadline in the letter as it needs to be approved by a meeting of the Community Council.