On 7 June 2022, Glasgow City Council (GCC) made the following announcement:
Options for a £23m package of investment in roads, lighting, footways, traffic signals and other vital infrastructure are being put before communities across Glasgow.
The Neighbourhood Infrastructure Improvement Fund will see £1m allocated for improvements in each of the city’s 23 council wards with community representatives having a direct say on how the money will be spent.
Detailed proposals that provide costings and specifications for potential work are being presented to Area Partnership committee for all wards and members of the committee will then help to determine the priorities for their area. Area Partnerships bring together elected members at local level, public and third sector organisations, community councils and other community representatives.
The full GCC statement is here.
Dennistoun Community Council (DCC) has substantial concerns about the Neighbourhood Infrastructure Improvement Fund options lists included in recent reports presented to both the Calton and Dennistoun Area Partnerships for consideration, and the manner in which they have been presented.
The following ten points provide a summary of observations:
- DCC seeks to take an active and considered role in this process, so as to properly represent the population of the communities in the area.
- The Calton Area Partnership was scheduled to meet on Wed 15 June (without any notification to DCC). An options report for Dennistoun ward has been circulated giving only one week notice in advance of the 28 June meeting. DCC raised concerns about these issues at our January 2022 meeting (item 4 in minutes) but assurances were given by Cllrs that the CC would be kept abreast with reasonable notice. That has not happened.
- The options lists are overwhelmingly made up of roads resurfacing and lighting replacement works. Traffic calming measures and active travel provision seem absent. Options for streetscape improvements, or anything that’s a significant improvement beyond fairly ‘off-the-peg’ general resurfacing/replacement/maintenance of carriageways/footways/lighting (or CCTV to monitor fly-tipping) are extremely minimal in comparison. Where these options potentially exist, very little detail is given.
- Strikingly, a total value of £628k of options falling partially or wholly in the DCC area, as part of the Calton ward options, to be considered by Calton Area Partnership, without any notification offered to, nor representation or input invited from DCC!
- The two most expensive proposals are junction schemes fully within the DCC area, but straddle ward boundaries and therefore appear in both the Calton and Dennistoun options lists (a point not noted or explained in either list, with no note on how this matter is managed in practical terms). A footway resurfacing option for Duke St (north) is listed as a Calton option but is entirely outwith that ward. The same option also appears in the Dennistoun option list, but with a different costing. The option of ‘Redevelopment of Plaza Area’ – James Nisbet Street to Castle St/McAslin St & Pastor St (meant to be Parson St?) (Underpass at Castle Street Plaza)’ has potential, but more detail is required. The location/extent/proposal is not fully clear, and potentially substantially outwith the Dennistoun ward boundary, being at least partially in Anderston/City/Yorkhill ward, for which the AP options list is not yet published. Discussion between all relevant stakeholders needs to be properly facilitated and considered to allow proper assessments of these types of proposals.
- None of the options will significantly “enable areas to be accessible and healthy places that allow people, of all ages and abilities, out to play and socialise in their local area”. The standard footway maintenance resurfacing schemes may partially address this if they also include resurfacing of pedestrian crossing points on carriageways and tactile improvements – but even then, the improvement would be limited compared to more imaginative interventions. “Replace/Renew Street Furniture at Various Locations” has potential to achieve some of these aims, but is short on detail, and only represents 2% of the budget.
- Furthermore, standard like-for-like carriageway maintenance resurfacing schemes, without any reconfiguration of space in favour of promoting active travel or public transport, runs contrary to these stated aim to “maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits of the area through interventions that improve localities and place and help to reduce the city’s dependency on cars by making walking, cycling and public transport first choice”.
- The DCC response in Sep 2021 to the Inner East SDF consultation and DCC feedback to SfP ‘LTN’ consultation have identified various streetscape issues, points of concern, and opportunities identified within the DCC area. Some of which would be expected as being worthy of inclusion in the list of options for both the Calton or Dennistoun ward list of options. In broad terms: better, safer active travel provision and public transport, areas around schools, air quality, and reduction in traffic levels. More specifically, examples such as accessible step-free access for Ark Lane alongside the brewery wall, modal filters, 20 mph limits and side entry treatments (build outs/raised tables/continuous pavements), and additional signalised pedestrian crossings to reflect pedestrian travel desire lines.
- This scheme is intended to promote public participation in neighbourhood investment decisions, but there is no evidence that this process is genuinely being fed into by the general public. E.g. by discussing with Community Councils in advance, using public consultation, etc, so as to better reflect community aspirations and the stated aims of the scheme.
- The options reports state that “Consideration of Glasgow’s Liveable Neighbourhoods must be accounted for” but there is no evidence of the Dennistoun to Cranhill LN having been considered.
Considering the above, DCC requests that final decisions on chosen options are deferred to allow time for the Council to compile a list which better reflects community aspirations and the stated aims of the scheme, and to ensure appropriate communications with stakeholders are facilitated (notably regarding cross-boundary matters).
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