City's parks under threat

City’s parks ‘at risk’

The Evening Times is today running an article titled “City in cash plea to help parks”. The gist of the story is that Glasgow’s parks need additional private and public investment or they risk deterioration and disappearing altogether.

It includes comments from GCC’s Land and Environment Director, Brian Devlin:

“Scotland’s urban parks and green spaces are at risk”

And from (disgraced former SPT chair) Alistair Watson, GCC’s Land and Environment ‘spokesman’ :

“MyParkGlasgow will involve Glaswegians and businesses by giving them a real say in what parks and open space projects they would like to support.”

The Evening Times article follows this GCC report outlining plans for a “MyParkScotland & Greenspaces fund” which will (according to the report):

  • Establish a “giving” website dedicated to Glasgow (and Scotland wide) Parks & Openspaces.
  • Encourage “giving” from local and multinational organisations and individuals to support Glasgow parks and openspaces projects.
  • Establish a local panel made up from the establishment of a “Friends of Glasgow Parks forum”, local communities groups and local businesses.

The document also outlines plans to establish a “MyParkGlasgow Fund Local Panel” which would be to “identify and put forward projects and recommend the spending of monies in the MyParkGlasgow Fund on local parks and green space projects that need financial support.”

It would be “intended” this panel would include “the local business sector” and the Glasgow business lobby, the Chamber of Commerce. (“George Square can also be a driver of business”)

The document then outlines some next steps which include seeking funding from Nesta’s “Rethinking Parks” project. You can read more about Rethinking Parks here:

“Exploring New Business Models for Parks in the 21st Century”

These plans, which further open Glasgow’s public spaces up to private interests follow the controversial new parks rules proposals (which include giving more powers over our parks to GCC quangos with commercial membership) and the shambolic ‘redevelopment’ of Glasgow’s famous public park, George Square.

The current state of George Square, and its continued deterioration serve as a stark reminder of what can happen to public spaces when they are opened up to private interests.

You can write to your councillor here