Archive for July, 2009

North Kelvin Meadow Campaign at Crisis Point

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
‘North Kelvin Meadow’ is a block of green space belonging to Glasgow City Council between Clouston Street and Sanda Street.  Once it was the Clouston Street Playing Fields, and it has always been public green space – it has never been built on.  Some time ago there was a plan to sell off part of it for housing and to use the proceeds to regenerate the remainder as community sporting facilities, but this never happened and now the City is on the point of selling off the whole site to a housing developer to build 115 flats.There would be some ‘planning gain’ from this.   For example some of the money will go towards regenerating a nearby kick about pitch and the developer will leave 20% of ‘open space’ on the site but  this includes the approaches to the apartment buildings and is by no stretch of the imagination community green space.

However after years of council neglect  the local residents took matters into their own hands a few years ago.  They cleaned up the space, which the City had allowed to become a dump, and planted fruit trees and flowers and vegetables.  Now they have a community orchard, small allotments for residents and a peaceful recreational area. Given that the nearest official allotment sites have a 10 year waiting list and the local housing is mainly tenements with no individual gardens this seems like a great idea.
The Council has other ideas.  They see the space as a revenue raising opportunity and local Councillor Jim Mackechnie is  keen to sell the land for flats. He’s previously said when referring to this land ”I am afraid I do not believe allotments would add to the amenity of the locality. They would be visually unattractive”. The residents are now at a last ditch campaign to stop an imminent sale.
If you care about opportunities for city people to garden and grow their own food you can support this campaign in a number of ways:
Look at the campaign flier and follow the suggestions for action given there.
The campaigners have a blog at http://northkelvinmeadow.com/about/ with access to an on line petition that you can sign.
If you live in the area write or email the local MP and the local councillors:
local MP Anne Mckechin http://www.annmckechinmp.net/send-an-email-to-ann
Councillors:
Ellen Hurcombe, Labour Party, Email: ellen.hurcombe@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk
Jim McKechnie, Labour Party,  Email: jim.mckechnie@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk
Billy McCallister, SNP,  billy.mcallister@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk
Kieran Wild, Green Party,  kieran.wild@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk

Even if you live outside the area you can:
Write to the Director of Development and Regeneration Services steve.inch@drs.glasgow.gov.uk
Perhaps you know of someone that can help? If so write to them as well.
Help with the campaign. It doesn’t need to be much, just email northkelvinmeadow@googlemail.com and let them know you’re available to help out if you can.

Aberdeen Allotment Association wins Eco-City gold award

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Heatheryfold Allotment Holders Association was named the over-all gold winner when the Aberdeen Eco-City awards were presented  at the city’s Highland Games on June 22.  The award was presented for the association’s  work to improve and maintain local allotments.

The community group received £1,000 of funding and also secured first place in the voluntary sector category, which saw them net an additional £500 in prize money.

The group’s project will be featured on the Beechgrove Garden later this year.