This report provides an update on progress since our last meeting on 9th November 2022. It does not cover matters related to finance, area partnerships and planning, which will be covered in separate verbal reports at our meeting and actions captured in the minutes.
Kim and I had a positive meeting with Govanhill Housing Association, who you may know have some social housing within Merrylee. We talked about possibly submitting some funding bids for the area together, perhaps focused on upgrading the playpark area near Merrylee and OLA Schools. This would require a bid to the Newlands Area Partnership. Once we have identified our priorities as a Community Council, we can take this idea forward if it fits with our workplan.
Govanhill HA is also trying to source more benches within Merrylee: following a meeting with the Neighbourhood Co-ordinator, an inspection of the area will be carried out and we will then find out the next steps.
A meeting with Cathcart Housing Association had to be cancelled due to illness: I have been in touch to reschedule this.
We are due to meet Simshill and Old Cathcart Community Council next week to discuss areas of joint interest, particularly the entrance to Linn Park, which sits within their ward. Cllr McCabe’s report also makes reference to this issue.
As discussed at the last meeting, we contacted the council regarding cars driving in the car-free zone outside Merrylee and OLA schools. They said they would undertake some enforcement activity and indeed we have heard from Merrylee Parent Council that both traffic wardens and police have been at the schools recently. We have also reported specific incidents of cars driving during the car-free hours to the police, who have responded by attending and speaking to drivers. Cllr Curran’s report to the Community Council also flags up work being undertaken on this area. We did approach the fire and rescue service, as agreed at the previous meeting, but have not received any response.
We also enquired about the pitch at Merrylee Primary, which was raised at the last meeting. The school is still waiting to find out what will happen with the pitch, which does need replaced – they expect that any work would take place over the summer. We hope that the Chair of the PC will attend our January meeting and may be able to provide input on these and any other areas.
We have approached OLA to invite their Parent Council to link in with us, and hope to develop a relationship there soon.
As requested at the January meeting, I contacted McGills regarding the frequency of the number 374 bus service and received a reply, which said they are experiencing staff shortages. They recommend that people download their app, which shows real-time movement of buses. Cllr Curran’s report also mentions some work on this issue.
The Couper was due to reopen on 9th January, following a flooding incident. We have now been advised that further remedial works are needed before it can reopen, and have not been given a date for completion. We will ask our councillors to pursue this as a matter of urgency, given the library’s central role in our community, not least as a warm safe place during this cost of living crisis.
Involving the community in our work
We have an active social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and get good engagement via the Cathcart and Merrylee Facebook groups. Louisa has produced some posters which we are beginning to distribute in local shops etc: your help in doing so would be appreciated.
As you know, Tommy Petillo has generously offered to build us a website for free. He has created a short survey to find out more about what we’d like for the site: please do take the time to fill it in. Tommy will be conducting an online development session to find out what the community would like from our website on Thursday 2nd Feb from 6.30-7.30: we’d love to have a good attendance. Zoom details will be circulated nearer the time. We have also succeeded in having the previous community council website taken down: this contained incorrect contact details and we were unable to gain access to it to have these corrected.
We are also putting together an email list for people who are not community councillors but are interested in being involved: please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list.
Hopefully you have been enjoying the Cathcart Christmas tree which is outside the Couper. Early analysis of the feedback received at the November meeting suggested people would like a more festive feel locally, so we approached our local councillors. Cllr Leinster was able to source some additional funding from Langside, hence our lovely tree. We did try to get the enormous fence around it replaced with something a bit more festive, but time did not allow: we are told more appropriate options will be considered for next year.
We have also been asked via social media to raise serious issues with potholes, particularly at Manse Brae. Cllr Ferguson’s report references these and we will pursue the matter with local councillors.