Meeting Minutes, 27 February 2024

27 February 2024 in Glasgow City Chambers from 6.30 pm

Attended by: Tam Coyle (Chair), David Cowan, Peter Hayman, David Hughes, Niall McColl, Colin McKay, Gordon Millar, Scott Thornton, AA, BMB, TD, BL, IL, TMcK, EM, KM, CS, WW

Attended on video link: Alice Cowan, Rosalind Wardley-Smith, YE, EM

Apologies: Ward Councillors Philip Braat and Angus Millar, Gary Atkinson, PC Sean McFadden, PS, EW


These had been circulated. Thanks were extended to David Cowan for taking them. Adoption proposed by Scott, seconded by David Hughes. Carried.


Murray Easton, Head of Fundraising and Communications, gave a presentation on the Simon Community’s work with the homeless.

He explained there is a housing emergency and lack of accommodation. The organisation’s resources are stretched to the brink.

It started in Glasgow in 1966 and has supported 9,000 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. It has a central access hub in Argyle Street.

SCS has 300 staff and volunteers with services including street teams, help lines, legal and debt advice, and health and well being services. Much of the emphasis is on homelessness prevention and it works with a variety of partner organisations.

It will soon open a dedicated centre for women in London Road near Barrowlands.

Over 700 supports a week are provided from the Argyle Street hub. Typically 40 people in Glasgow are sleeping rough each night, many. Many homeless people have complex needs. Some live in temporary accommodation for months or even years.

Glasgow has around 1,400 people living in emergency and temporary accommodation.

In answer to a question from David Hughes re funding Murray said this included a contract from Glasgow City Council. Much was donated by charities or individuals.

Scott said police had reported many rough sleepers declining the offer of accommodation. Murray said that in bad weather, such as had been experienced recently, no one chose to sleep rough.

Scott asked if a policy of concentrating homeless people in certain hotels could lead to them becoming a focal point for drug pushers. Murray said many homeless people use drugs because of traumas they had faced in their personal lives. Drugs were often a coping mechanism. SCS’s aims included harm reduction.

EM asked about partner organisations such as the Marie Trust. Murray said the Simon Community specialised in front line support, often in cases of dire emergency. Other organisations such as the Marie Trust had different specialities such as providing meals.

David Hughes asked about SCS’ ambition. Murray said it was always trying to help more people and asking itself what additional services it could introduce? An example was the new women’s hub, a safe space to be launched in May.

Murray said the Simon Community did not work with Homeless Project Scotland and was aware of the problems it caused (See below).


It was noted that this centre in Glassford Street was continuing to operate without appropriate authorisations.

GCC has advised MCTCC that HPS would have to submit a retrospective planning application for Change of Use for the building. Scott said there was no evidence that it intended to do so and will take this up with Ward Councillors.ACTION: Scott


Several residents had contacted MCTCC before the meeting about Glasgow City Council’s raising of parking charges and extending them to 10 pm in the city centre, asking for their complaints to be put to Ward Councillors.

However, unprecedently in recent years, no Ward Councillors were present at the meeting.

One said her theatre might find this ‘the last straw’ as audiences were mostly post-6pm. She had only heard about the move third hand.

Another local resident said the move ‘will pose a major change to the ability to park in the area after work.’

Residents in any building constructed after 2000 are not eligible for a parking permit. If the law was being changed to Mon-Sun, 8 am to 10 pm he would be unable to park anywhere in the city centre or qualify for a permit. The combination of the LEZ and increased parking charges across the city whilst simultaneously reducing public transport services would discourage people from visiting.

In the absence of Ward Councillors, Scott as MCTCC Secretary will forward to them the gist of these complaints. ACTION: Scott

Niall said parking spaces allocated to new housing developments were inadequate. The Council were trying to force car owners out of the city centre.

Gordon said changes at the junction of Stockwell Street, Briggait and Clyde were having the unintended consequence of hampering emergency services.

A local resident had contacted MCTCC before the meeting to complain about noise from metal grinding and drilling from the Graham Building site opposite her flat in Merchant City Tower in Bell Street. This started at 6 pm and could go on until 11 pm, usually Tuesday to Thursday.

Tam reported this had been referred to Ward Councillors and GCC’s noise reduction section was investigating. There should be no construction noise after 7 pm on weekdays, only between 9 and 1 on Saturdays and none at all on Sundays. Tam will follow up with Ward Councillors.

David Hughes suggested the problem may be caused by a garage in the yard. ACTION: Tam 

KM raised the issue of graffiti which she said was becoming worse. Tam agreed and said this was a recurring subject at MCTCC meetings.

She added that road potholes were a disgrace. Scott noted that a recent report by Fixmystreet had led to a national newspaper describing Glasgow as ‘The pothole capital of Britain.’ The city has said to have a rut for every 100 residents. Fewer than third of potholes had been repaired.

Pete said bins in the Todd Building had eventually been emptied but had now disappeared. Tam will take this up with Peter and Councillor Braat. ACTION: Tam 

Peter said he and Gary would be taking part in a consultation tomorrow on GCC’s active travel network scheme. The Council’s aim was to reduce traffic by 30%. Cars often clogged up the streets and an alternative transport strategy was needed.

Following the meeting local businessmen discussed with Tam and Scott difficulties in their attempt to expand their restaurant in Saltmarket. Scott will contact their landlord City Property Ltd in the first instance. ACTION: Scott


GCC is finalising its evaluation of the safe needle bin pilot scheme in New Wynd. During the pilot period around 5,000 needles and drug paraphernalia had been collected. Tam will follow this up with Lise Fisher. ACTION: Tam

Management of the ‘Complex Needs drop-in’ service has confirmed that its new office in Bell Street would be principally a citywide outreach service with staff (who would move from the proposed Safe Drug Consumption Centre in Hunter Street) going out to visit people where they reside.


Recent applications have been posted on the Community Council’s Website.

Community Councillors will visit the presentation tomorrow on the proposed hotel in Maxwell Street/Fox Street, now confirmed as potentially a Radisson hotel with serviced apartments.

A planning application has been submitted to amalgamate several retail units on the first floor of the St Enoch Centre to create an ‘Escape Hunt’ attraction.

A planning application for a second Purpose Built Student Accommodation building in Osborne Street, this time on the former TK Hughes site, submitted by Dominus developments, has been approved by GCC. MCTCC had objected to this on the grounds inter alia of over provision of student accommodation and lack of housing diversity.

‘White wall street art,’ Brunswick Street (proposed mural on gable of the Social Hub building) – The Area Partnership is being approached for funding (budget of £59,000). Tam said the selected project should be agreed, chosen and commissioned by MCTCC.


Around 60 applications for extensions to 1 am have been submitted by licensed premises. The market will determine how many are commercially viable.

One company has submitted four applications for secondary lettings in Albion, Maxwell and Hutcheson Streets. Scott is in touch with GCC about whether all such applications would automatically be refused if the property has a shared common entrance. ACTION: Scott


Gordon, as the new Treasurer, is transferring MCTCC’s account to RBS and arranging registration of cheque signatories. He reported that we currently have £9,600 in the bank. Reimbursement to Niall for annual renewal of our Zoom licence needs to be made. ACTION: Gordon


Niall and David Hughes are liaising about a meeting with Impact Arts to establish the relevance of its application for funding for those living in the MTCC area. ACTION: David Hughes/Niall


Scott has met the location manager for the new Sky TV series Flight 103, starring Colin Firth, due to film in and around City Chambers and Cochrane Street at the end of February/start of March, and has requested a contribution from the film company to our Grant Giving Scheme. He will follow up.ACTION: Scott


Possible funding from the Area Partnership?ACTION: Gary/David Hughes

Niall is checking another possible funding opportunity.ACTION: Niall


David Hughes, Treasurer, reported that efforts will be made to return the gates’ closure to the previous time of 8 pm. They were currently being closed at 4.30. ACTION: David Hughes


Scott said anyone who experienced bin lorries making an unacceptable noise before 7 am should contact him at However, there is apparently no law to stop this.


MCTCC has written to Kaukab, congratulating her on her appointment as Scottish Minister for Europe, Culture and International Development. It was noted that her roles as Culture Minister include responsibility for music venues such as the City Halls and Old Fruitmarket. MCTCC has argued that their future could be at risk if approval is granted to build 109 flats adjacent to the venues.

Tam noted that it was exactly a year ago since GCC’s Planning Applications Committee (on the casting vote of the Chair) approved the project but this was subsequently ‘called in’ by the Scottish Government which has appointed a Reporter to investigate and make her recommendation.

Scott and Gary are meeting Kaukab and MP Alison Thewliss on 15 March. Anyone with an issue to raise should contact our representatives in advance. ACTION: All


PC McFadden apologised for his absence but submitted a written report.

This included the following statistics for the MCTCC area for the period from 31 January to 23 February:

Crimes reported – 58

Detected – 26

Undetected – 32

It was noted that the percentage of detected crimes was markedly lower than in recent months.

Deadline for comments on the proposed closure of Stewart Street police station is 13 March. The following would be transferred to the Baird Street station: Response, community policing, divisional management team and CID.

Scott said it was odd that Stewart Street was on the list of seven police offices in Greater Glasgow earmarked for closure since front counter usage was designated as ‘High.’ However, Community Councillors realised this station was in a poor state of repair.

David Hughes said the money saved would be better spent on more police on the beat.

Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed closure can do so before the deadline via

MCTCC’s Chair and the two Vice-Chairs meet senior police officers and community police every couple of months. Anyone wanting to raise issues for discussion at these meetings should contact Tam. ACTION: All

Next meeting: Tuesday 26 March, City Chambers from 6.30 pm