This report provides an update on progress on our priority areas since our last meeting on 10th May 2023, and on other relevant areas. It covers only those of our priorities about which the Chair has new information and which are not covered elsewhere on the agenda: updates on our other priorities are most welcome at the meeting.
Elections to Community Council
At the last meeting, we agreed to expand Cathcart and District Community Council to a membership of fourteen, following the resignation of Rose McQuarrie. This means that we presently have three vacancies, and an election is now underway to fill these. Interested candidates should return the relevant form by Friday 7th July 2023. If fewer than three nominations are received, then those standing will be elected unopposed at our September meeting. If more than three nominations are received, there will be an election on Wednesday 13th September.
Priority 2: Restore Cathcart Loop to four trains an hour
At the last meeting, we discussed the findings of our community survey regarding our train service. This attracted 367 responses and clearly demonstrated support for restoring the train service to the previous four trains per hour, as well as making Cathcart and other train stations accessible to people with disabilities and those travelling with buggies or bikes.
These results have been shared via our social media page and sent to Scotrail, Network Rail and local political representatives, as well as neighbouring community councils.
A response from David Simpson, Service Delivery Director at Scotrail, set out the current service levels and described a national consultation process on timetables which ran between August and October 2021, attracted almost 3,500 responses. This set out that few changes were planned to the Glasgow South route, which would be reviewed in May 2023. Mr Simpson stated “We know the current hourly service to Langside, Pollokshaws East, Shawlands, Maxwell Park and Pollokshields West will not meet the medium term needs of these communities.” However, driver shortages and changed passenger behaviour were cited as some of the reasons why there could not be a “quick fix”. Mr Simpson noted that the Cathcart Circle service should increase to an hourly service from December. He added “our current timetable is a staging post on the road to our post-pandemic recovery and not an end.”
The response did not address concerns about accessibility. How should we respond?
In response to our contact, our local MP Stewart McDonald wrote to the UK Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, sharing our survey findings and asking Mr Harper to outline what further steps would now be taken. I understand that Mr McDonald has previously written to the Scottish Government about the level of service in our area.
Anas Sarwar MSP’s office has also contacted us to share a response he has received from Scotrail, which is broadly similar to that sent to us.
One survey respondent suggested that we could seek Sustrans Pocket Places funding to make the areas on Delvin and Old Castle Roads, beneath the railway bridge, more accessible. Should we explore this option?
No media work has yet taken place regarding our campaigning work on this issue: this is planned for over summer.
Priority 4 – Street cleaning/maintenance
Some community councillors have been in touch with Glasgow City Council regarding the maintenance of grass verges on Rhannan Road. Baillie McCabe has advised this is a private area and the council has no responsibility for maintaining it.
Priority 5 – Community Events
Plans are well progressed for our first birthday party on Saturday 19th August, from 11.30-2pm at Cathcart Baptist Church. Confirmed plans include a face painter, exhibits from the Burrell collection, bird-box building, henna tattoos and children’s toys being lent both by the church and Fun Lodge After School Care. Sainsbury’s have confirmed they will provide cans and cartons of juice. We will also be collecting food donations for the local food bank.
At our April meeting, the Community Council approved an initial budget of £400, of which £215 has so far been committed. We have been offered the option of a petting zoo, which would cost £250 (taking us £65 over our initial budget) and feature rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, hens, rats and mice. We have not yet discussed this with our venue, but assuming they are OK with it, would we wish to book this?
At the May meeting, the Community Council approved a separate budget of £400-600 for the Brass Aye band: Tommy Petillo is in the process of confirming their participation.
Glasgow City Council has confirmed that people can apply to close their streets under the Street Play scheme over the long weekend of 22-25 September.
Priority 8 – Enforce school car-free zone
We continue to see many cars driving through the car-free zone at Merrylee and OLA primary schools. Baillie McCabe followed up a previous suggestion to engage the fire service in demonstrating the need for these areas to remain car-free: this was to be deployed at St Fillans initially. Are there other actions we can take to make parents more aware of the zone?
Upcoming Council and related events and funding opportunities
From time to time, Glasgow City Council advises us of meetings and funding opportunities. A selection of these is noted below for any interest and follow-up.
|Veolia Sustainability Fund||Closing date 29 September||Grants of up to £1,000, in-kind resources or staff volunteers to support charities and community groups. https://www.veolia.co.uk/sustainability-fund|
|Corra Foundation Boost||No closing date||Grants of £500-£3,000 for charities and grassroots groups to support children and families. https://www.corra.scot/grants/boost-small-grants/|
|Let’s Grow Together fund||Closing date 25th June||Grants of £500-£5,000 to increase the number of food-growing spaces in Glasgow. Let’s Grow Together Fund|
|Community Council Development Session||Saturday 24th June||Discussing UCI Cycling World Championships. Email email@example.com to attend.|
Carolyn Lochhead, Chair