FRIENDS OF POLLOK COUNTRY PARK
WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2019
J. Peter Gore
Apologies: Grace Lyon
1. Welcome and Apologies
Gordon Blair welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies were received from Grace Lyon and Alan Melville.
2. Place Standard Tool
Zachary Claudino introduced the Place Standards Tool to the Committee. He advise that the tool is an evolving but simple method of community engagement designed by Scottish government and is one of a variety of public engagement methods being used within the Council.
He advised that the tool can be used on a variety of levels and displays the scores from a series of questions in the form of a compass diagram. However, while the analysis of responses dealing with what participants see is straightforward, responses linked to feelings are more difficult and require further analysis of the subject via the compilation of results to discover similarities and conversations with participants.
While he acknowledged that Glasgow City Council hasn’t been at the forefront of using the tool and is playing catch-up with others, Zachary Claudino stated that was keen to spread awareness of the tool and its potential use within the community and gave the example using the tool to address non–use of park as well as use. He went on to advise that the tool’s usefulness included its ability to create a group within itself; its ability to useful for further engagement; the prevention of the loudest person in the room dominating conversation; helping to focus conversation with others and its ability to deepen understanding.
Pat McCarthy had previous experience of the tool due to attending a meeting organised by Zachary Claudino and she advised that she had used it since the meeting at the Corkerhill Road entrance to the Park with friends and found it useful.
Gordon Blair suggested that it would be useful for bolstering the points the FOPCP were trying to get across and that it was potentially great for sharing ideas but highlighted that if used we’d have to assess scoring ourselves and work out what to do. Zachary Claudino suggested that we may want to pass on our results to his team.
Bob Marshall pointed to a complimentary tool by Kevin Lynch called Image of the City which would work well in conjunction with the place standard tool and assist with providing a fuller image and giving greater detail. He advised that the Image of the City method is a form of mental mapping based on walking around and imagining what is most and least important.
It was agreed that Zachary Claudino would forward details of the website and handouts connected to the tool and that consideration would be given to how the Friends of Pollok Country Park could use the tool.
3. Glasgow Building Preservation Trust (GBPT) Stable Report
Andrew McConnell gave a brief introduction into the background of the report’s publication. He advised that the GBPT were engaged by LES (now Neighbourhoods and Sustainability) to look at the future of the Stables. GBPT’s approach focused on user groups rather than final use and included asking Northlight Heritage to conduct a series of public engagement events. The banner drawing attention to these consultations was only recently taken down and incorrectly referred interested parties to contact the Friends of Pollok Country Park.
Once written, the report was forwarded to the Council for their consideration and it has taken some time for agreement to be reached on its publication. LES’ concerns with the report included the suggestion of simplifying governance by handing control to the National Trust for Scotland and that the community engagement highlighted a desire for horses to be included in any plans. Based on these concerns the report was amended to remove the focus on NTS and permission to publish was given 2 weeks prior to the recent Stables consultation.
To ensure long term sustainability Andrew McConnell suggested that the stables should be mixed use rather than exclusive; must take into consideration the building’s listing; plans required to be revenue generating and that public access was essential. He went on to express concern regarding the complexity of the governance structure and the lack of momentum in saving the Stables.
He advised that the emergency repairs to the stables have not been completed as the money made available to complete them was insufficient. A discussion then took place regarding the possible use of crowd funding. However, Andrew McConnell suggested that crowd funding should be viewed as a way of building momentum rather than an actual solution.
Andrew McConnell advised that Pollok House takes a lot of investment and that no further Heritage Lottery money will be made available to the Park without a coherent approach to the whole park and advised that a possible proposal was the creation of community development trust by Glasgow Life.
Liz Corbett raised issue of the Stables by Glasgel and the future of the sawmill. Andrew that Glasgel was an example of a useful organisation and that the sawmill has retained a lot of its original equipment.
Although the GBPT try not to be a campaign group they are considering becoming more vocal regarding their concerns as there is a lack of time to save Stables. However, rather than the GBPT campaigning they would prefer local community group or end user to do so.
Liz Corbett highlighted the contradiction of recent discussions on turning Pollok Country Park into a visitor hotspot with the failure to maintain Stables and Pollok House.
It was agreed that the Friends of Pollok Country Park would write to the Chief Executive and the Councillors whose constituencies take in the Park to express concerns regarding the lack of progress towards securing the future of the Stables and that once published the GBPT’s would be shared on the Friends of Pollok Country Facebook Page.
4. Tree Works
Catherine Todd advised that she had received notification from Fiona McKinnon that contractors would be conducting a ‘Duty of Care’ tree survey in the Park between Monday 25 February and Wednesday 6 March and that Fiona had advised that the contractors would like to meet representatives of the FOPCP to discuss their work.
It was agreed that Liz Corbett would contact Fiona McKinnon.
5. Glasgow School of Art Workshop
Catherine Todd advised the Committee that a drop in workshop would be taking place on Tuesday 5 March 2019.
6. Communication Strategy
It was agreed that the minutes of the Friends of Pollok Country Park Meetings would be published on the group’s website starting from January 2019.
Gordon advised that Grace Lyons is currently talking to George Gibson regarding the bank account and the setting up of fundraising via PayPal.
As the FOPCP’s insurance is due for renewal it was agreed that Liz Corbett would check with her regarding whether there were sufficient funds.
8. Repair Work Within the Park
It was noted that work on the steps leading from the gardens at Pollok House to the riverside path had been completed.
Bob Marshall raised concerns regarding the lack of progress on the refurbishment of Pollok House and noted that the high value paintings formerly on display in the House were now in storage and highlighted that the tensions regarding Pollok House exist between Council and NTS.
9. Working Parties
Liz Corbett noted that Keir Construction have been very helpful in respect of supplying pallets for bridge to get to the island when the working party was clearing rhododendrons and that they will also help with painting the gate of wildlife park and benches. Painting won’t commence until around the middle of March when the painters come on site.
She advised that work on the island has been suspended due to the presence of Coots nesting but that work will commence on the planting of trees ordered via the Woodland Trust at no cost to the Friends of Pollok Country Park. Currently 400 trees have been ordered but Council staff have suggested ordering more. Work will also require to restart soon to prevent the growth of Himalayan balsam.
Liz went on to mention Alan Melville’s suggestion of river clean up and it was agreed that she would liaise with him.
Graven Group Consultation
In addition to discussing the GBPT report the recent consultation developed in conjunction with Glasgow Life and Graven was discussed.
As part of these discussions Pat McCarthy emphasised the need to keep the link between park use, the Burrell Collection and the heritage side connected to Pollok House. She went on to highlight that The Graven Group were developing a holistic approach to the park based on the history associated with the Clydesdales and the development of horse power generally, connected with transport of all sorts and that this is still evolving.
Although the Council keen to obtain a future for the Stables future it was suggested by Andrew McConnell that the Council won’t be forced into supporting a particular proposal therefore Craven’s proposal is a suggestion rather than the agreed way forward.
Pat McCarthy has been working towards producing leaflets to highlight the history of the area surrounding Pollok House and showed examples of the leaflets. She is currently awaiting feedback from the NTS but has received a quote of £40 (including folding) for printing 100 leaflets.
11. Date of next meeting
The next Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday 20 March at 1830 in the Ivory Hotel.