Meeting Minutes, 27 July 2021

Online Conference by Zoom, Tuesday 27th July, at 7pm


Community Councillors: Tam Coyle (V/C), David Cowan (Secretary), Peter Hayman, Niall McColl (Social Media Manager), Gerald Hirst (Treasurer) Eileen Mills, Daniel O’Malley and Scott Thornton.

Residents: EM, AP, PP, DW, AY, SP, AC, SS, OG, TD

Elected Reps.: Kaukab Stewart MSP

Ex-Officio: Sgt Philip Showell (Police Scotland), Ruth Suter (Glasgow Times) 

1. Welcome by the Chair

Tam Coyle, Vice Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting and was pleased to see some new residents attending.

2. Apologies

Received from: Duncan MacLaren, Lord Provost Philip Braat, Cllr Eva Bolander, Cllr Angus Millar, KM and GW

3. Minutes of the last meeting(29th June 2021) 

The minutes were proposed as a true representation of the meeting by Eileen Mills and seconded by Niall McColl.

4. Matters Arising not on the Agenda

Action Points will be discussed during the meeting.

5. Report from the Treasurer

Gerald Hirst reported that the MCTCC bank balance for 27th July is £1,501.90.

6. Police Report

Sgt Philip Showell met with the organisers of the TRNSMT festival to consider what policing measures would be required if the music festival goes ahead as planned.

The police have been patrolling the waterfront at Clyde Street in response to reports to the Lord Provost of instances of anti-social behaviour leading to an intimidating atmosphere for passers-by. Scott Thornton commended the police for their patrols on the waterfront. Patrols by plain clothed police officers are being carried out in the Trongate area. They have met with shop owners to assure them that the area is being monitored.

The Carrick Quay drug debris issue was raised by Tam. The police are aware of this, likewise the Old Sheriff Court building basement area. Sgt. Showell noted how there has been a reduction in the number of available Officers due to some having to self-isolate because of possible exposure to the Covid virus.

A resident from the Saltmarket enquired about what could be done to tackle drug dealing in the area. Sgt. Philip Showell confirmed they are aware of this long-term problem. Due to legal restrictions, they require specific information from the public for targeted action to be taken. He assured the resident the area is monitored but they cannot be as effective as they would wish unless an offence has been witnessed.

Youths have gained access to the roof of a residential building in Hutcheson Street. There is a carpark roof nearby that may have been used to gain access.

7.  MSP Report

Kaukab Stewart MSP has been appointed as Depute Convenor of the Education, Children and Young People Committee in the Scottish Parliament due to her long experience as a teacher. She noted that her Kelvin constituency has the highest number of universities, education colleges and schools in Scotland.

At present, the Parliament allows only one accompanying member of staff to join her when working there. It is expected this will change in October when the public will also be able to view the proceedings in the Chamber. A Covid Resilience Meeting was held today. Further easing of restrictions are expected to begin on Tuesday 3rd August.

She has met with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce to learn more about the current commercial rent and licensing matters. She has also met with The John Smith Centre at Glasgow University. An appointment is planned with newly formed City Centre Business Group.

She now has three full-time workers as well as senior case workers. They will engage with the public. She is still viewing possible properties to rent in the area to be her public office. She intends to undertake a walking survey of the area.

Scott Thornton enquired if there were any plans to increase the number of electric car charging points in the area. As part of the COP26 initiatives, Kaukab will be unveiling a new electric car charging point at the top of Byres Rd next week. It has been voiced that these take away existing local parking spaces. There are more planning applications arriving for new charging spaces.

Eileen Mills enquired who would be responsible for the installation of charging points – is it the residents, factors or installation companies? It is believed this will depend on each case and on the individual case. Kaukab will ask the Scottish Government what the policy is for charging points at individual and communal parking spaces, and if a grant for these is likely to become available.

Peter Hayman wrote to Angus Millar to enquire if food bins could be cleaned to prevent them becoming pungent. He replied that GCC have restarted collecting food bins every 16 days but will not be cleaning food bins. Scott Thornton was surprised to hear that his factors were unaware that food bins had stopped being collected.

Tam informed members that no generators should be on from before 8am and after 8pm. There have been many emails about the noise pollution during the filming in and around Cochrane Street. Enquiries will be made about the generator located in the NCP carpark in Ingram Street.

Niall McColl reported the continuing litter problem in the city centre, Tam will forward this to the Councillors.

8. Planning Applications

A planning application for single storey extension to a hotel on Clyde Street, but will be on Fox Street, next to the red sandstone building, opposite the suspension bridge.
Solar panels going onto the roof of The Herald Building on Albion Street.

There is a change of use application for a vacant hair salon at 81 Candleriggs to be converted into a café.

Skills Development Scotland are putting up signage on its office, Monteith House, at 11 George Square.

Peter Hayman produced a comprehensive document with a colour coded map detailing several proposing changes to the road network within the Merchant City which would increase pedestrianisation. This was recently distributed to our mailing list subscribers. It will be discussed at the next meeting.

9. Licensing Applications

A new sports bar has opened in Glassford Street. Tam will check if an alcohol licence was applied for as no-one can remember there being an application.

The Scottish Independence Movement have applied for a march on Saturday 14th August from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green.

There were several procession licence applications, for example:
Campsie Branch of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, have applied for 100 people to march on Saturday 21st of August from 10am to, and from, Cathedral Square, via George Square for a wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph. It was discussed that in the years before lockdown there were 36 processions on Saturday mornings; the noise and disruption to residents and shoppers was noted as significant.

10. Merchant City Park Update

Eileen Mills and Peter Hayman met with the Lord Provost on Friday 2nd July following his offer in April. The purpose of the meeting was to see if he would be willing to ask GCC to reconsider MCPs objectives. However, he offered instead if MCP representatives would care to meet with Teri of Porter Planning, agents for Artisan holdings who were the winning bidder for the site. This would be taken to next MCP meeting.

This will be on Tuesday 3rd August at 7 30pm by Zoom. Invitations will be sent out. An appeal was made for new members to sign-up to the meeting notifications on the website.

Peter Hayman noted a report in the media how a developer who had bought a bowling club in Mount Florida had lost an appeal to the Scottish Government against the refusal by GCC of planning permission for a new housing development. The SG Reporter, as well as criticising the proposed design, noted that there had not been meaningful discussion with the local community.

[Post meeting note – GCC have refused planning permission, for the third time, for a development of a former bowling green in Finnieston, despite no current public access].

11. MCTCC Social Media

From April to June 2021 a survey of Merchant City and Trongate residents was carried out online. 46 people responded. A full report has been written from the responses and can be viewed and downloaded from:

A copy will be sent to our elected representatives.
The two main questions asked were:
1.) “What were the main issues affecting the area?” and
2.) “What do you think could improve the quality of life in the area?”
The main issues affecting our area were identified as: drugs misuse; refuse and recycling facilities; parking and traffic; not enough green space; empty shops; begging and the poor condition of the pavements.

As well as tackling the above, respondents wanted to see the following to improve quality of life in the area: more green space and pedestrian friendly streets; better recycling facilities; better healthcare provision (doctor and dentist) and better parking for residents.

The poster design campaign, for the MCTCC noticeboards and elsewhere, will be finalised this week and the results will be sent out.

12. Addressing Local Issues

Scott Thornton noted funding available under through the River Activation Programme: He will register MCTCC’s interest in taking part in the project.

Scott has also spoken to the design team who will be redesigning the waterfront area who have kindly offered to have a guided walk along the river to explain what they hope to achieve. This shall be a large, and long term, project extending from Carrick Quay to the Jamaica Street bridge. All MCTCC members and elected officials are welcome to attend. A suitable date and time will be agreed upon shortly.

13. AOCB

David Cowan reported the interrupted bin collections at the backcourt at 52 Parnie Street/19 King Street and if the upkeep of this communal area can be improved.

AC enquired about the old Selfridges site. It is understood that the building work has so far focussed on the Trongate side but will be extended up towards Bell Street by September / October. Tam reported he will email the developers and report back.

It was suggested that at the August mid-monthly meeting it should be decided whether or not to have a July meeting next year.

It hoped that MCTCC meetings can resume in the City Chambers on the last Tuesday of each month in September. Niall McColl will investigate if these meetings can be streamed to allow for a virtual audience.

The Chair thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting: 

Date of next meeting:

Tuesday 31st August, 2021 at 7pm
A Zoom link will be circulated for registration.

Action Points

  1. Ask the Scottish Government about the responsibility for charging points for electric cars in both communal and individual parking spaces and if grants are available to install them (Kaukab Stewart MSP)
  2. Forward Niall’s survey and comment to elected officials (Tam Coyle)
  3. Put Peter Hayman’s pedestrianisation proposal on the agenda of the September meeting (Duncan MacLaren)
  4. Forward Niall’s raising of the litter problem in the City Centre to elected Councillors (Tam Coyle)
  5. To register MCTCC’s interest in the River Activation Project (Scott Thornton)
  6. Report back on Selfridges site (Tam Coyle)
  7. Put whether in future the July meeting of MCTCC should be cut on the mid-monthly meeting agenda (Duncan MacLaren).