Meeting Minutes, 28 May 2020

28 May 2020 via Zoom at 7pm


Community Councillors:

Dr Duncan MacLaren (Chair), Tam Coyle (V/C), David Cowan, Peter Hayman, Niall McColl, Eileen Mills, Gerald Hirst, Chris Murphy and Megan Rooney.



Elected Representatives:

Baillie Christy-Mearns

1. Welcome by the Chair

The Chair welcomed everyone to our second online meeting.

2. Apologies:

Daniel O’Malley, Robin Jones, Cllrs Eva Bolander, Cllr Angus Millar and the Police issued their apologies.

3. Minutes of the last meeting (28th April 2020)

EM was mistakenly not listed as attending the April meeting.

Eileen Mills made suggestion item 9, at the start of page 5. Instead of reading “supplies’ it should have read “replied”.

4. Action Points update from last meeting:

(a) David emailed Cllr Eva Bolander regarding the need for more CCTV in the Parnie Street area.
(b) Cllr Millar is still to report back on the possibility of MCTCC being involved in the GCC’s strategic economic and social recovery after lockdown in phase 2.
(c) At Fox Street, where building work has stopped for several months, they have left a considerable amount of equipment in the narrow road such that it hinders residents’ access to the underground car park. Cllr Millar has written an update saying that these matters are still in hand and he will report upon them in due course.
(d) Cllr Bolander is making enquiries into the inconsistencies in the occupant notification process in the Planning process for Jocelyn Square. Eileen Mills has asked if the notification process requires to redone.
(e) Niall McColl will add a section for the NW Area Partnership work on the new MCTCC website:

DH proposed the Minutes and Eileen Mills seconded these for 28th April.
There were no other changes to the April minutes.

5. Matters Arising not in the Minutes

There were none.

6. Report from the Treasurer

There has been no expenditure since the last meeting and so MCTCC funds remain with a balance of £1,549.72.

7. Report of Police Correspondence

TD reported the police have identified the man who had broken into several cars in the underground carpark at 103 Hutchinson Street. The Police found a large number of stolen goods in his room at the homeless shelter where he was staying; however, he did not return and it is hoped an arrest will be made soon.

It was reported previously that rough sleepers are gaining access to the resident carpark on Albion Street. PC Grant Boyd replied to an email regarding homeless people sleeping in the underground carpark in Bell St. The factors (Newton Properties) and the carpark owners (Q-Park) have suggested a new motorised roller door and have notified residents. EM said new roller doors might not be the end of the matter. The police will monitor the site when they are in the area.

Last month there was a report of an increased number of vagrants on Argyle St to the extent that it was inhibiting residents from going shopping there unless accompanied. It was noted they might have been given shelter in Alexander Thomson Hotel at 320 Argyle St during current lockdown. Duncan MacLaren had seen an article in the Glasgow Evening Times about the rise in crimes during the lockdown in the city centre, which revealed that break-ins and shoplifting had risen steeply.

The police also issued a number of fixed penalty fines in the Argyle Street area. From experience, Tam noted the crime figures for the MCTCC area are skewed upwards due to the police ‘beats’ incorporate Gordon St which skews the number of crimes in our area to appear higher than they actually are.

7. Merchant City Park

Peter Hayman reported the project has contacted its membership group informing them of the 28th August closing day for bids for the 69-97 Ingram St. An email was sent to City Property to try and engage them in dialogue of the benefits of our plan was responded to succinctly in business terms when ended in requesting MCP not to contact the department again unless with a financial bid. Chris Murphy noted that the department was notoriously difficult to liaise with.

The Chair said that the response was not appropriate as MCTCC is a statutory body, and as MCP is a sub-group of the Community Council, under our GCC governance documents, it is part of their remit to correspond.
Peter Hayman quoted an article in The Herald recently which quoted Julie Proctor, Managing Director of Greenspace Scotland, that for every £1 in green spaces such as parks, there is a £12 in return to the city. Tam remembered that for the TRNSMT festival it was said there is a return of £17.50, for every £1, to the economy. There is to be another weekly meeting of MCP tomorrow (27th May).

8. Councillors’ Reports

Baillie Christy Mearns was welcomed back after her maternity leave. She was attending as an observer to make herself aware of the current issues. Her GCC councillor email address has yet to be re-activated.

9. Planning Applications

The old Goldberg’s site is still in the pre-application phase for planning consent.
Re: The Bank of Scotland, at 201 Argyle St, have applied to erect signs at its entrance. Tam gave a brief update on the forthcoming King Street carpark application and has been in touch with the developer who has offered to give a presentation to MCTCC.

Re :11 Trongate, Pack and Send is a courier company locating to this premises and the wish to make alterations to the entrance way. Peter Hayman noted at the last meeting that there is no parking there and it remains to be seen how the company will operate their vans.

Jocelyn Square Development Update

The Chair gave an update of the history of the planning application for student accommodation. There are two disputed applications, one for a large building for student accommodation and a second for a roof terrace. The deadline for objections has been extended into June. There are now 11 objections for each of the two applications. These objections have been made by community councillors, members of the public, residents and elected councillors. The police have also objected to the roof terrace due to security concerns as it is close to the High Court. Tam noted that once there are six objections to an application, it is referred back to GCC Planning Department for further consideration.

Eileen Mills reminded MCTCC of the discrepancy in the notification stages. For the roof terrace application only 44 residents had been notified, whereas for the main application 66 occupants were notified. The notification list used for the roof terrace 2020 was the same as the notification list used for the original application in 2016, so it is likely that the 2016 notification list had been used in error for the roof terrace. Because of these inconsistencies, would the notification required to be redone. Baillie Christy Mearns will look into this matter.

10. Licensing Applications

There were no licensing applications.

1. Website Progress Report

Niall McColl gave an update of the website which has ‘gone live’ as of today. The Facebook and Twitter and email address are working. There is only final accessibility testing to be done on different platforms such as mobile. In order for the website to kept up to date, Niall appealed for members to send new content to keep the site relevant to its audience. Peter Hayman noted the marketing of the new website such as posters being placed in several public noticeboards located around the Merchant City.

12. AOCB

Tam attended a virtual meeting recently with Steven Dowling and Ian Elder regarding future developments at Trongate, Candleriggs and the Merchant City (the District Regeneration Framework for our area). He will keep the Chair and Peter Hayman up to date with correspondence about how this develops. Ian Elder wishes to give a presentation at a future MCTCC meeting.

Baillie Christy Mearns enquired how everyone was coping in our local communities. She helps out with Glasgow Mutual Aid which delivers essential supplies of food and prescriptions during the lockdown. She will send us further information about this worthwhile work.

Chris Murphy noted one of the largest, the Kindness Homeless Street Team, who since the beginning of lockdown, provide free food and clothing in George Square each night at around 5pm each night. It is well organised and is run solely by volunteers it is believed.

Chris reported that some businesses that have not received the £10k GCC grant which is putting business cashflows in stress. Tam understood that there had been thousands of applications, each one take 30 minutes to process, it will take some time to process. He commended GCC for doing their best at this difficult time.

Peter Hayman gave an update on Active Travel measures being introduced. He mentioned two initiatives: at Strathclyde University and on Clyde Street. He would like to see a plan of how we could help formulate suggestions to promote this. The Chair asked Peter to prepare a report for this at the next mid-monthly meeting on the 16th June.

Baillie Christy Mearns believed this was a positive way forward – to consider which roads could be closed without causing significant disruption. Megan Rooney made the point that it is not easy at present for residential car owners to get parking spaces.

Lastly, Carla Jenkins introduced herself as a resident principally, and also a journalist for the Glasgow Evening Times and the Glasgow Herald newspaper. She is people- focused and looks forward to building up a good relationship with MCTCC.

The Chair closed the meeting by thanking everyone for attending.

Date of next meeting:

Tuesday 30th June, 2020 at 7pm
A Zoom link will be circulated for registration.

Action Points

  1. To insert the presence of EM into the attendees at the meeting, and to make the change suggested by Eileen Mills on p. 1, item 3. (David Cowan)
  2. To report back on the possibility of MCTCC being involved in the GCC’s strategic economic and social strategy for recovery after lockdown (Cllr Angus Millar)
  3. To report on the equipment blocking part of Fox Street (Cllr Angus Millar)
  4. To report back on the inconsistencies in the occupant notification process in the planning process for Jocelyn Square (Cllr Eva Bolander and Baillie Christy Mearns)
  5. For the developer of the King Street carpark to give a presentation to a future MCTCC meeting on their application (Tam Coyle)
  6. For Ian Elder of GCC to give a presentation to a future MCTCC meeting on developments of the District Regeneration Framework for our area (Tam Coyle)
  7. To inform MCTCC about Glasgow Mutual Aid which will help the vulnerable to have food and prescriptions delivered to them during the lockdown period (Baillie Christy Mearns)
  8. To prepare a report for the mid-monthly meeting of the MCTCC councillors on 16th June to promote initiatives on the new GCC plans to widen footpaths and create cycle lanes for social distancing etc. (Peter Hayman)