Tam Coyle (Chair), David Cowan, Peter Hayman, Robin Jones, Niall McColl (Secretary), Eileen Mills, Ros Wardley-Smith, MD, CMcK, TMcK, JH, AL, GF, PC Sean McFadden, PC Rob Wilson
Ward Councillors: Philip Braat, Baillie Christy Mearns, Angus Millar
Attended by video: Gary Atkinson
Apologies: Councillor Eva Bolander
PC Wilson reiterated that local police were not collating crime statistics since they did not believe this was a good use of police resources.
Tam disagreed, saying that if no measurements were taken and comparisons made it was impossible to judge if progress was being made and where the main problems lay.
JH complained about parking on pavements in Candleriggs. Why were police not enforcing the law with £50 fines? This had been going on with impunity for far too long. He had seen police walking past offenders without taking action. PC Wilson replied that a number of fixed penalty notices had been issued. If there is a transgression police need to know on the day. He may have to raise this with GCC as there is a traffic management issue.
Robin Jones said the Spaces for People initiative which involved tables and chairs on the pavement left too little room for pedestrians, especially wheelchair users.
PC Wilson said cafes and restaurants were given licences for specific sizes of outdoor spaces. Police would check these limits were being observed.
JH said there should be no goods loading/unloading on Candleriggs. Action on illegal parking should be taken now.
A resident said two premises in Virginia Street had two adjoining bars with different licensing hours. Customers were leaving one premise in the early hours of the morning in contravention of its licence. He had received no response to his emailed complaints to the licensing board. Tam will take this up as a matter of urgency.
Scott noted that an owner at Carrick Quay reported recently finding drug users squatting on the premises and had been moved on by police. PC Wilson said this was likely to become a bigger problem with the colder weather but the East Campbell Street homeless shelter would be open again in November through to March.
CMcK said the noise from buskers was continuing to be especially loud at the entrance to Debenhams, often from the same group of people. Tam said there should be an enforceable decibel level. PC Wilson reiterated that if repeated police warnings about excessive noise were not heeded, sound equipment could be confiscated.
GF complained about noise and brawls long into the night outside WHERE?. Repeated calls to GCC’s Noise Control, an under-resourced unit, had been fruitless which meant police (who relied on the unit’s reports) could not intervene. Christy said there was a similar situation at Connolly’s but progress had been blocked because of the need for acoustic monitoring in complainants’ homes. Tam said the matter was getting worse and he will take up the issues with GCC licensing and the police.
Gary said seating outside Connolly’s, which caused outside noise from customers, had not yet been removed.
Approval of September meeting minutes:
Eileen queried item 6.3.3. Niall read out what had been said. “Is it correct that Cemetery friends can take an interest in restoring or any action at all regarding gravestones? Is that not the responsibility of the owner of the gravestones or the descendants of the owners of the gravestones and grants and such like?”
He quoted Eva as saying Friends groups could do so under terms laid down by Historic Environment Scotland.
Approval of minutes proposed by David Cowan and seconded by Ros Wardley-Smith. Carried.
Ward Councillors’ reports:
City centre transport (transformation) plan is being presented to GCC committee next month.
George Square updated concept designs out in next month or so.
He met yesterday with representatives of the Friends of the Ramshorn. Tam said a constitution could be based on that of the Friends of the Garnethill Cemetery. First meeting 22 November.
Angus will make sure MCTCC gets adequate notice of future walkabouts.
Re Archaos nightclub in Queen Street (across road from MCTCC area): Tam, Peter and Scott met developers who have lodged a pre-planning application for student accommodation. Tam said there was no mention of demolition of the building at that meeting. Community Council response is being led by Broomielaw CC
Has asked police to review Candleriggs premises which might be in breach of their licences for occupation of outside spaces.
Despite 143 objections the application to build 109 flats on the Ingram Street site would be recommended for approval at next week’s Planning Applications Committee. Another material consideration could be possible archaeological relics under the site.
She is looking at possibilities for more Zebra crossings for some side streets in Merchant City under the proposed new 20 mph zone.
Remove all traffic from some streets under the City Centre Transport (Transformation) Plan?
Have we reached saturation point for student accommodation in certain locales?
The backlog of bin collection following the refuse workers’ strike is being cleared.
Peter said GCC had told him there are enough bins near his flat but this was not true: there were too many bins with contents destined for landfill and too few heading for recycling.
Scottish Water work will cause disruption in High Street from 6 January and is likely to impact traffic through Merchant City (This will be publicised on the MCTCC Website).
There have been complaints of noise from the funfair in St Enoch Square.
Questions to ward councillors
MD raised issues concerning planning enforcement of the A listed Jacobean Corsetry building in Virginia Street.
JH said the Sorriso cafe in Candleriggs was refused a licence in April 2022 yet continued to operate.
He also said 83b Candleriggs Court is operating as an aparthotel but of 36 flats 15 are operating as serviced apartments. Why is GCC not taking action?
JH added that six cast iron Victorian bollards had been removed from outside the City Halls some 10 years ago at great expense. Why could they not be returned?