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Interested in home improvements?

Energy prices have risen significantly and are set to rise even higher in October. Meanwhile the climate crisis continues to deepen and war criminals fund their crimes with fossil fuel revenue. You might be wondering how you could improve your Strathbungo home to reduce energy expenditure, improve comfort, and save the planet. Working out what to do and finding appropriate tradespeople can be difficult and expensive. However, Strathbungo Eco Group is working with Loco Home Retrofit to coordinate bulk purchasing of advice and works to bring down these costs and make it much easier.

We hope to coordinate the bulk purchase and implementation of energy saving home improvements, from insulation and windows to heat pumps and solar panels.

We have developed form to gather interest which you can find here:

https://forms.gle/ecH5i9NTckoNHDbJ9

If you live outside Strathbungo, do not worry, there will be a form for you as well before long.

Disclaimer: Several members and directors of Loco Home Retrofit are also members of Strathbungo Eco Group.

More on Back Lanes Funding

*** UPDATE – May 2022, see below ***

We previously reported on plans to access council funds for refurbishing back lanes.

The council not only required bids to come from a formally constituted body, i.e. The Society, but also set a very short deadline for the first round of applications, preventing us from conducting a fuller consultation. We therefore set about surveying the lanes and establishing how we could make small but meaningful improvements to the lanes within a budget of £20,000.

For the bulk of the bid we chose to focus on improving access in the back lanes, specifically for active travel, such as those walking and cycling, and sought to identify the areas where this is most difficult. On a wet day it became obvious that where the poor state of the surface combines with a tendency to flooding, lanes can be completely impassable to those on foot. The areas worst affected are the two entrances to the Vennard/Marywood lane from Vennard Gardens, and a short mid-section of the Marywood/Queen Square lane. If our bid is successful we will be looking to find a contractor who can perform patch repairs to these areas to improve access. We will need to seek permission of the owners of the adjacent properties, as the lanes are their property, and we will be approaching them in due course.

While we acknowledge other suggestions were made, we felt it appropriate to concentrate on fixing the worst problems first.

We have also bid for funding for indemnity insurance, previously withdrawn by the council, to cover our Brighter Bungo clean up events, a matter of a few hundreds of pounds.

There will be further rounds of funding, so if we can pull this off, it may allow us to bid for further projects in due course. We will let you know how we get on.

Update – May 2022

The Society has been awarded £20,000 to be spent by mid October. We need the written permission of the adjacent residents, who own the lanes, and are making good progress making contacts. We will also be seeking contractors who might be interested to discuss what can be achieved. If you think you have the skills to help us email our chair.

Network Rail Bridge Replacements

There’s an update on Network Rail in the newsletter, out today.

Furthermore Cllr Molyneux has received an acknowledgement of the importance of incorporating provision for active travel in the redesign of the roadbridge. While the structure is the responsibility of Network Rail, what is laid down on top of it is the responsibility of the council.

MESSAGE SENT ON BEHALF OF HEAD OF TRANSPORT STRATEGY, NEIGHBOURHOODS, REGENERATION AND SUSTAINABILITY

Dear Cllr Molyneux

Further to your enquiry dated the 1 February 2022 I write to provide you with a final update.

The Nithsdale Road Bridge is a key route identified in the proposed City Network; one of the major interventions set out in the Active Travel Strategy. Due to the railway there are no viable alternative options for a west-east link in this area. The route would act to connect the South City Way with the proposed extension to the South West City Way and has been identified as a likely priority project in the Interim Delivery Plan for the City Network.

The area surrounding Nithsdale Road Bridge is in the second tranche of Liveable Neighbourhoods which has now secured funding. Liveable Neighbourhoods will work with the communities to establish projects in the area based around four key thematics: Local Town Centres, Everyday Journeys, Active Travel, and Streets for People.

The works on and around the Nithsdale Road Bridge provide opportunity to deliver for both the Active Travel Strategy and Liveable Neighbourhoods by providing protected cycle space and making the route across the bridge more attractive and welcoming for pedestrians.

Head of Transport Strategy
Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability

Proposed development on Arnold Clark site

The Arnold Clark showroom has been a prominent feature in Strathbungo for a century, sitting on the corner of Pollokshaws Road and Nithsdale Drive. It was built as The Queens Garage in the 1920s, and it has operated as a motor showroom ever since. Although the building looks a modern replacement, it is actually the original building with a new fascia.

However the showroom has now closed, and the land earmarked for housing. Today the first proposal for the site has been released by South Side Housing Association and Keppie Design, and they are looking for your comments. Note that while this is just an initial proposal, they hope to lodge their planning application in March or April.

You have a brief opportunity to discuss at this stage. Feel free to discuss on the Keppie Design web site, on here, on social media, or email chair@strathbungo.co.uk if you would rather the Society reflect your views anonymously.

The consultation dates are as follows:

  • 24th February 2022 – 17th March 2022 (21 days): Public consultation period, with website available throughout.
  • 3rd March 2022: A ‘live’ and interactive/two-way consultation event between 3pm – 6pm (3 hours), hosted as a ‘chat box’ function on the website.
  • 17th March 2022: Final date for submitting comments via contact details on the website.

Their sketch above is based off Google Streetview, so here is a more realistic rendition of what is to come, and what it replaces.

Artist’s rendition, superimposed on Google Streetview

The Queens Garage

The Arnold Clark showroom

Update

There’s a proposal gone in for the other part of Arnold Clarks on Nithsdale Drive today, beside the railway line. Not much detail:

Back Lanes Funding – an update

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 treasurer@strathbungo.co.uk. 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.

Jane Carolan
Chair
Strathbungo Society

Splitting Strathbungo?

The Boundary Commission for Scotland began its 2023 Review of UK Parliament constituencies in Scotland in January 2021 and published its initial proposals in October 2021. These were open for comment for two months. One proposal directly affects Strathbungo, proposing to redraw the boundary through the middle of the Squares. In their map below, the red lines show their proposed boundary, while the blue represents the existing boundary.

You can find the details at https://www.bcs2023review.com/ – just put in your postcode to go to the relevant part of the map. You will need to use “Boundaries” tab to select the layers you want to see, e.g. old boundaries and constituency names.

The Commission is now inviting further comments  (you can comment on the previous comments, for example) and is holding public meetings in its second consultation, which runs to 23rd March 2022.

You can see the previous comments made here (use the search term “strathbungo” to find the 9 comments made) and add to them. You can attend a public meeting and ask to speak. The Glasgow meeting is at Doubletree by Hilton, 36 Cambridge Street, Glasgow G2 3HN on 23rd February 2022.  Their press release says:

“Each hearing will begin at 10am and include three sessions depending on demand. These sessions will run from 10am – 12pm, 2pm – 4pm and 6pm – 8pm.
The public are asked to email bcs@scottishboundaries.gov.uk to book a speaking slot. Please note that the Commission cannot guarantee you a speaking slot at your preferred time and you may be asked to choose a different slot or submit your representation in writing.”

If you would like to add your voice to views on the splitting of the ‘Bungo, do please contribute comments or book a slot at one of the hearings.

 

 

 

What do you want Strathbungo to look like?

You might have noticed the consultation on the neighbouring Langside, Battlefield, Mount Florida, King’s Park & Toryglen Liveable Neighbourhoods. This year it is likely to be the turn of Strathbungo and Shawlands to be consulted in this way as the Glasgow City Council works its way across the city. This is a key opportunity to tell the council what the current problems are and what our hopes and dreams for the future of Strathbungo and the surrounding area are.

If we submit our best ideas, some of them might get funded and there is also the possibility that this consultation could lead to a Local Place Plan. This would give the agreed hopes and dreams of residents the full force of planning law and so bring them about through future developments.

While this consultation is still unconfirmed and months away, the time to get thinking is now. What do you want fixed? What do you want to change? What do you want to keep? How can we build an even better Strathbungo?

Looking after private lanes

The Strathbungo Society is delighted to learn that that the City Council has made funding available for improvements to privately-owned lanes such as those here in Strathbungo. The Private Lanes Fund will have a total of £700,000 over 4 funding rounds, starting this year.

Over several years, the state of the local lanes has been a cause for concern. During the recent pandemic, they have seen an increase in footfall as pedestrians have used them in preference to our streets, where the constant traffic can make foot travel dangerous. They are also the primary route for the rubbish collection. However, there are problems with them. Many have problems with drainage, with large pools of water making them all but impassable after a few days’ rain (and this is Scotland where a few days’ rain is normal!). Along others, the surface can be very irregular and walking requires a high degree of vigilance.

Previous attempts at repairs have floundered over the level of costs involved. But a dedicated fund could provide us with possible investment in one of our community resources. The Toolkit (available on the Council website) places emphasis not just on surfaces but on protecting biodiversity and encouraging active travel, walking, jogging and cycling. How could our lanes be made safer in those circumstances for such travellers?

We are advised that detailed guidelines on the fund will be available shortly but being prepared to take early advantage of the fund could stand us in good stead. We’d like to start planning now.

The Council has suggested to us that the best approach may be to have application on a lane-by-lane basis rather that making one application covering all lanes. So we are looking to form groups around each lane to take forward making grant applications. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact chair@strathbungo.co.uk

 

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