Category: Concerns and complaints (Page 1 of 2)

Crime Update

Rhiannon Spear has provided the following summary of the recent meeting with the Police regarding crime in the area (see previous blogpost)

Meeting Report

Over the last couple of weeks the Queen Square WhatsApp group has seen an increase in people reporting thefts from their cars, so I organised a meeting with local Councillors and Police to discuss what was going on in the area. Councillors John Molyneux, Norman MacLeod and Zen Ghani all attended the meeting as well as Community Policing Inspector Cennydd Smith, all of their contact details can be found at the bottom of this report.

The biggest takeaway from the meeting is that when we believe there has been a theft or an attempted theft you must report this to the Police. The Police have crime statistics for the area and Cennydd brought these with him but it was clear at the meeting that there was possibly more happening within the Strathbungo area than was actually being reported to the police. Cennydd stressed the importance of reporting to local policing as resources are deployed based on the need in local areas. If things are not being reported local policing will allocate resources to areas with higher reports of crime. If there is an emergency or you see an ongoing incident call 999, otherwise call 101 to make a crime report, this can be done retrospectively.

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Little Einsteins Nursery

Note: We have been asked to post this by a Strathbungo resident. The Society itself has no knowledge of, or views on, the issues raised.

Hi there,

I’m writing in relation to something that I’m sure hasn’t escaped your attention: the closure of Little Einstein’s Nursery on Nithsdale Road. Publishing on it in the future could be a really helpful thing to do and I would love to assist with that, as for right now I’m hoping we can exercise some Strathbungo community power to avert the permanent closure of this treasured local nursery.

They received a devastating lowest possible grading in their Care Inspectorate assessment last year. As a direct consequence of this, they now cannot find an insurer and have been shut since Monday last week (21st March). Having explored all the UK markets including Lloyds of London (my wife works for an insurance broker and has been supporting this process), it is becoming clear that the insurers are not interested in them at this grade. This is understandable given this is the lowest possible score the CI can award, which presumably is as close to instant closure as can be allowed to operate. This is a ridiculous overstatement and wildly inaccurate reflection of reality. The CI seem ignorant, unsympathetic and unhelpful on the fact that their rating is created a situation where permanent nursery closure is becoming the only possible outcome. If they cannot operate, they cannot make any earnings and will be unable to get reassessed.

We’ve been very impressed by all the improvements the Little Einstein’s team have made since the grading, but unfortunately their published scores remain unchanged. From our perspective, there is no cause for the nursery to be shutting over this. I’m confident our daughter receives above average care today, she loves the place and people, and misses both sorely. The impacts of closure are significant; loss of jobs, disruption and lost earnings for families, and disrupting the happy lives of young people in our community.

I’m frankly shocked by how this has all unfolded and am confident that if those involved could sit down together for a reasonable and considerate conversation, informed by all the relevant facts of the matter, that it wouldn’t be happening. I’m going to write to our MSP today.

One thing I wondered if you could help with is whether through the community network we know any Underwriters? My experience of these people is they are pivotal in the insurance world and that they make balanced and pragmatic decisions, which I’m confident in this case would be to find a way to allow the nursery to continue to operate.

Any other ideas or help of any sort you can lend to this cause will be so gratefully received by everyone effected I’m sure.

Many thanks for all your work and service to the community, I’m an avid reader of the newsletter and proud Strathbungoan.

Neil
neil.a.w.harrison@googlemail.com

Bins!

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.

Network Rail – Strathbungo Station demolition

(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.

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Our environment

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 Drop In Tuesday 6th December

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

Queens Park Baptist Church

People going through bins

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 …

Litter and Rubbish

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.

Nithsdale Rd an Nithsdale St pavement resurfacing

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 nickkempe@tinyworld.co.uk

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Siamese cat Queen / Marywood Square

Hi

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.

Thanks!

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