CATHCART AND DISTRICT COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING
WEDNESDAY 13TH September 2023, 7PM
CATHCART BAPTIST CHURCH AND COMMUNITY HUB, 96 MERRYLEE ROAD GLASGOW G43 2RA AND REMOTELY ON ZOOM
Attendees in person: Community Councillors: Carolyn Lochhead (Chair), Louisa Maddison [Vice Chair], Irene McCann, Kate Lonergan, Steven McCann, Mhairi Taylor (Area Partnership rep), Kevin McGarrigle, Andrew Dewar, Lynn Thomson (treasurer), Tommy Petillo,
Others: Cllr Sean Ferguson, Cllr John Carson, M. McMillan, Yla Barrie, Ross Taylor, Lorna Galindo, Community Police – PC Summers & PC Smith
Attendees Remotely: Cllr Sean Ferguson, Beth Hamilton, Baillie Paul McCabe
1.Welcome and Introductions – Carolyn Lochhead
2. Apologies & approval of draft minutes:
Apologies: Kim Van Deere, Kenny Boyle, Jen Bell, Cllr Leodhas Massie, Cllr Catherine Vallis
Minutes proposed by Kate Lonergan & seconded by Lynn Thomson
Actions arising from minutes: The agreed £150 donation to Merrylee PS fundraising re a debrillator was not required as over £1000 was raised by a school event.
C&DC Suggestions box to be discussed under AOCB.
3. Chair’s report Carolyn Lochead: the Chair spoke to her previously circulated report:
Election of new C&CCC members: As agreed at May Meeting, elections were held to increase the number of Community Councillors from twelve to fourteen, following the resignation of Rose McQuarrie.Valid nominations were received from Tommy Petillo, Kevin McGarrigle & Beth Hamilton.
DECISION: Nominations ratified by Community Council members & new members welcomed.
Re C&DCC’s priorities listed on the agenda.
Priority 1: Reopen Linn Park at Snuff Mill. Area Partnership funding has been agreed & Friends of Linn Park [FoLP] are in process of applying for Paths for All funding. Cllrs Carson & Baillie McCabe outlined the progress so far & the support needed: FoLP have an application in process for Paths for All funds regarding design plans & an application to Capital Funding pending for the work required. Support is needed to compile evidence for this application re making more accessible spaces. Councillors are providing information drawn from prior experience of gaining funding for Castlemilk Park and are working with Council officers to offer support in all areas of the process. It was noted that a well used circular route round the park existed when the access from Snuff Mill Bridge was open. FoLP are to be supported & thanked for taking on this task.
Baillie McCabe voiced a concern that there is no fully accessible cycling route from Greenock Ave to Eastwood Park, however the substantial evidence gathered & the strong community support will help to ensure approval of the application.
Action: C&DCC Continue support & raise community support & evidence via social media.
Priority 2: Restore Cathcart Loop to 4 trains an hour. The Community Survey undertaken early this year received approximately 350 responses supporting greater use of trains if more frequent. Following ScotRail’s limited response to C&DCC’s communication on service improvement, C&DCC’s requested more information.. ScotRail responded to say it will communicate its plans for the December 2023 timetable change in early October.
Regarding accessible access to the station, ScotRail suggested the Access for All Fund which is managed by the Department for Transport with Scottish MSPs making recommendations via Transport Scotland & Network Rail. It appears that Cathcart does not qualify for additional investment.
Action: CL to write to Scottish Ministers re the criteria for accessible access and reasons why Cathcart is not eligible.
Priority 5: Community events. The 1st Birthday Party It was agreed that this was a great success with over a hundred attending. Generous donations were made to the Food Bank and the stalls were very popular. There has been excellent feedback from the community. Thanks were given to all involved : Sainsbury’s for donations of juice and snacks for children, Merrylee Baptist Church for hosting the event, and particularly the Planning Committee – Tommy Petillo, Louisa Maddison, Kevin McGarrigle, Sally Packer, Kate Lonergan and Steven McCann. Cllr Ferguson noted that other Community Councils are considering hosting similar events. It was felt to be a perfect fun filled, family event to highlight the formation of Community Councils following the gap during the pandemic.
Street Play: Applications can be made to close your street over the 22-25 September Weekend. The link for applications is on the Chair’s report.
Priority 18: Welcome to Cathcart sign. Various sites have been considered but none are suitable. Mount Florida CC’s mural was funded through the Area Partnership. It was noted that all Area Partnership funds for this year have been allocated. The next allocation will be April 2024. After discussion on several possible sites, it was decided to write to Network Rail to see what might be available around the bridge area at the Newlands Rd/ Clarkston Rd/Delvin Rd/Rhannon Rd junction.
Action: CL will contact Network Rail regarding a possible site. If none is available, other options will continue to be explored.
4. Police Report: There are no major incidents to report.
Regarding concerns raised by community members: –
- Primary Schools Car Free Zone: Police Officers were present on Wednesday, informing & advising drivers of the regulations. Ensuring these zones are respected is an issue across the city.
- Intrusive CCTV security beams: Individual ongoing issue regarding security cameras. Police offered advice to the individual affected.
- Vandalism & disturbances in Holmlea Rd: The matter will be referred to Community Officer Lewis Rennie at Aitkenhead Rd Police station.
- Anti social behaviour Linwood Court: Groups of young people have been gathering & smoking drugs in the lane behind this area. Action: Policy will send an email request to the Community Sgt, Aitkenhead Rd Police Station.
- Anti social behaviour Merrylee PS: Young people gathering within the school grounds & vandalism to school property. There is also a safety concern, as access is made by scaling the fencing around the school. Action: Police will request local area officers to monitor the situation & contact the school to get an estimated cost of the damage.
- Parking on Langside Dr: A significant number of cars are parking on the cycle lane, causing school crossing safety issues. If cars are parked within 20 metres of the junction, obstructing vision & safe entry or exit, police can inform & advise drivers to move. Action: Local beat officers have been made aware of the situation.
- Pedestrian crossing light at Rhannon Rd: One is not functioning despite being reported a significant time ago. Action: Police will send an email to the Council Roads & Lighting Department to ask for this to be dealt with.
There was recognition that callers to 101 can be on hold for a significant length of time. On occasion, a personal visit to the Police station may be more effective.
Item 5: Planning Report Louisa Maddison:
A new planning application has been submitted for the White Elephant site on Merrylee Rd. proposing a convenience store & 3 floors of flats above. This appears to be slightly smaller and lower than the previous proposal. Closing date for comments 25 September.
There are two outstanding applications of interest:
a] The site at the corner of Muirend Ave/ Clarkston Rd. Previously a garage and now opened as another business. C&DCC & other members of the community have contacted the Planning Enforcement Team to query why a new business has opened when planning approval has not yet been given for a change of usel. No response has been received as yet.
b] The proposed housing development at Weir pumps on Newlands Rd. There have been several extensions on the deadlines for responses. The target date is now the 18th September. There has been a large number of public objections to this development so the application may go to the Council Planning Committee and therefore potentially take longer.
Item 6: Area Planning Partnership – Mhairi Taylor:
Discussion of points on Papers on the agenda for the next day’s Area Partnership meeting in order to represent the C&DCC’s views at the meeting.
Festive lighting: Previous discussions at C&DCC meetings have considered festive lighting on a sustainable tree rather than a Christmas tree outside the Coupar Institute. Costings given for this year are : Christmas tree £5,000 or festive lights placed on an existing tree £3,500. There is agreement across the wards that £5000 is an extortionate cost. A Council officer will attend the next Area Partnership meeting to answer questions on costings.
Baillie McCabe noted that Christmas trees have been approved for this year and planning would be needed for lighting on a sustainable tree. For example, this year Carmunnock Community Council will have a Christmas tree, however they have identified an appropriate area for a sustainable tree. Council Officers have visited the area and ensured lights can be connected to a lamppost for electricity. Next year a sustainable tree will be lit. The money for this year’s Christmas trees will be funded by the Neighbourhood Infrastructure Fund as opposed to last year’s Parks and Open Spaces Fund. ML thanked Baillie McCabe for that information. At June’s Area Partnership Meeting it was left open as C&DCC was not on the original list for the year and was added later.
Action: ML will raise the matter re appropriate fencing around the tree at the Area Partnership meeting.
£1,000,000 Infrastructure Fund: This Paper notes that the City Wide Consultation exercise is not ready for launch as it is still being piloted in some wards. C&DCC covers three Wards, however only has representation on the Linn Area Partnership. We have no access to Langside or Newlands & Auldburn Infrastructure discussions. ML proposed that it would be useful to organise a session to discuss and plan as a community the kinds of infrastructure we would like to improve – parks, roads, street furniture, layouts for example before this launch. Action: ML to lead discussion at October meeting.
Paper on City Parks: Linn Park is the only park relevant to Linn Ward. This Paper highlights that Linn Park has had significant funding for various sections since 2021. There has been recent Scottish Government funding for all parks in the area. Cllr. Ferguson’s report indicates allocation of funding of £20,000 to Linn Park to start Autumn 2023, of £5,000 to Holmlea Park to start 2024 and of £10,000 to Merrylee Park to start 2025. The City Parks Paper notes that an installation of a new climbing frame would cost £20,000. For Merrylee Park outdoor play area, which is high use and old, this funding will be inadequate. It is noted in Cllr Ferguson’s report that he is hoping to supplement that sum through the Infrastructure Fund. ML proposed this should be a topic for discussion. Cllr Ferguson will pass a request for CC access to Langside & Newlands/ AuldhouseArea Partnership papers.
Action: The October C&DCC meeting will allocate additional time to discussion on Infrastructure Funding.
Item 7: Proposed Window Wanderland – Carolyn Lochead spoke on behalf of local resident Sally Packer, who is unable to be present tonight but would like to propose a not-for-profit Window Wanderland event: an outdoor festival of light & colour by decorated windows within a local area. The Window Wanderland website provides ideas, templates & links to other communities who plan similar events. The initial outlay would be £200 [£50 registration fee & £150 for a toolkit] and annual fee of £75 if there’s a wish to continue. If agreed, Sally is happy to coordinate its organisation with the support of other CC members. The event would be open to anyone in the local area and usually takes place over two to three nights. The idea was accepted as our next community event.
DECISION: CC will fund the £200 for a Window Wanderland. Action: A planning group to be formed with Sally as coordinator.
Item 8: Road traffic & infrastructure issues:
Merrylee/ Clarkston Rd pedestrian crossing: Request for an extension of the crossing time as current timing is difficult for those with young children or disabilities.There was agreement within the community members present regarding this.
Traffic lights at Rhannan/ Delvin/ Clarkston Rd Junction: Request for an update on measures to deter drivers who continue to drive through a red light.
Lack of signage re School Crossing at Langside Dr./ Mochram Rd.: Recently, the school crossing patroller was struck by a car & is now recovering from injuries. A slide presentation showed the comparison between the school zone signage for Glasgow Academy at the Newlands Rd/ Langside Dr. and the lack of school area signage for the school crossing at the junction of Langside Dr./ Mochram Rd. apart from a ’20 limit’ speed cam. It was also noted that there is a lack of traffic slowing measures across the city.
Newlands Rd/ Clarkston Rd/ Delvin Rd/ Rhannon Rd Junction: Weeds are growing through the pavements, the areas under the bridge are filthy & railings have been knocked out with parts lying on the pavement. Concerns have been reported to the Council three times without result.
Holmlea Park: Maintenance priorities have changed: grass is uncut and is full of dog excrement, resulting in small children being unable to play in the area.
Flashing Speed Awareness Road sign Newlands Rd/ Merrylee Park: This has not been operating for a considerable time.
Restricted access to lane leading to Linwood Court from Monreith Rd:
Only half of this lane is accessible due to an overflowing bin, litter & tree and plant overgrowth. Responsibility for the lane is shared between Linwood Court & the City Council. Linwood Court’s Factor is dealing with the section that is Linwood Court’s responsibility, however the area at the back of the Couper Institute needs urgent attention.
Responses from Councillors present:
Cllr Carson has already raised concerns re general maintenance in Cathcart & particularly in the Braehead area. He has been told that it will be March 2024 before the cleaning officers will be out in Cathcart. There has been significant cut back in Council Services in terms of headcount, staffing & budgetary resources. He will pass on the concerns raised and request a more immediate action response.
Baillie McCabe will pursue concerns regarding traffic lights with Road Safety Dept and get clarification re the synchronisation of the traffic light network across the city. He has been told that issues re the Rhannan Rd junction will be dealt within the next few weeks.
Regarding individual concerns raised at this meeting, it is important that citizens use the Council App in the first instance as it allows valuable data collection to indicate and anticipate hotspots. If there is no satisfaction, then contact Councillors who will report a constituent’s concern. If the App has not been used, Councillors are redirected to report through the App.
As Chair of the Safe Glasgow Partnership, Baillie McCabe will be leading a city wide road safety campaign. The information provided at this meeting will be very helpful. The launch will be around the 25th September, there will be a public consultation through an IT system named Consult. He urged members to complete & promote it.
Cllr Ferguson: Will meet again with Merrylee Parent Council. He has made representations to the City Convenor, Ruth Kelly, regarding the recent incident at the school crossing. The fact that someone has been injured & the ample evidence gathered shows that action needs to be taken. Hopefully the matter will be taken more seriously.
With regard to repairing the Flashing light, the costing estimate is around £6,000 to £8,000. The Council has suggested that the Infrastructure Fund might be used for this. As costs are constantly changing, he will ask Officers to re-examine costings and also look at other funding sources.
Further Comments: It was noted that there is no option at present on the Council App to report blocked gullies.
Action: A post will be placed on C&DCC’s social media to encourage use of the App to report any concerns.
The Community Council also wish to record that we send the school crossing patroller our very best wishes for swift recovery.
Item 9: Licensing Report – Steven McCann: No items to report.
Item 10: Treasurer’s report – Lynn Thomson
The treasurer’s report is available here. The current balance is £3043.48
Item 11: AGM Planning – Carolyn Lochhead:
We are required to hold our AGM next month & to provide an Annual Report, present our independently examined accounts & all office bearers will stand down and can stand for re-election if they wish: others can also stand.
Our normal meeting will follow the AGM at 7.30
Item 12: Summary of Councillor’s updates : Apologies were offered to Councillors as due to time constraints, it was decided to leave discussion on this. Thanks noted to Cllrs Vallis, Ferguson & McCabe for the written reports received. Two were circulated on Monday & Cllr Ferguson’s will be sent out.
Item 13: AOCB:
Merrylee PS Football pitch-RT: There has been no change since the June meeting. The walk round that was agreed with Cllr Curran has not taken place. There has been no contact from Jim Kane the Liaison Officer. The pitch condition is worse & some areas are a safety hazard, as shown by photos viewed on screen. Cllr Curran noted that an average cost of full replacement for the pitch around £50,000 to £80,000. Potentially this could be funded by the Area Infrastructure Fund, it will be something that must be investigated.
Action: Cllr Curran will contact the relevant Department requesting urgent action for a pitch inspection.
Action: Item will be added to next meeting’s agenda under Infrastructure Fund.
Posters: Posters informing the local community of C&dCC meetings are now available to distribute.