May 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes


Merchant City and Trongate Community Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday 31st May, City Chambers DRAFT

Attendance tbc.          
Community Councillors Tam Coyle (Chair), Bob Cochrane (Vice Chair), Paula Reilly (Secretary), Gerald Hirst (Treasurer).
Residents / Others Claire Hyland (minute taker/associate member), PC John Aitken, Seonaid MacDonald, Lynne McKenzie, RoddyYarr (Uni. of Strathclyde) Agnes Creaney, Colin Forrester, John Connelly, Sheila Brown, Chris Sandford, Angela MacMillan, Lorenzo Mele (Glasgow Life), Tom McIntyre (markets), Gordon Robertson (markets), Alison Thewliss (MP).
Ex Officio members Baillie Braat, Baillie Baker, Baillie Bolander, Cllr. Millar.
Apologies Paula Reilly (Secretary),  Sandra White (MSP), Madeleine Rooney, Peter Hayman.


  • Discussion

  • Action

  1. Welcome and Introductions

Tam Coyle welcomed everyone and introduced Cllr. Millar and Lorenzo Mele (organiser of Merchant City Festival MCF).

  1. Secretary’s Report (Paula Reilly)

Paula plans to make a Facebook page as this offers a good way of updating people quickly.
Paula has written to DRS requesting they clean the notice boards located at Trongate and citation.

  1. Treasurer’s Report (Gerald Hirst)

There is no change in bank account balance.  

  1. Police Report PC David Urban

It has been a busy month. Serious incidents in Ingram St and New Wynd –  one serious sexual assault and a robbery. Arrests have been made for both. Enquiries are being made. Police have good leads for both. There was also a serious assault at McDonald’s Argyle St. Please be cautious. There will be an increased presence on the next few weeks and city centre plan should also increase.  Couple of house break-ins at Armani, where a large amount of stock taken. Please pass on information.
Police requested that public feedback so that tasks can be raised if necessary. Tam reminded people to call 101 or email. Police confirmed that people are not being a nuisance when they call, they are helping by reporting incidents so that tasks can be raised.  

Baillie Baker enquired about forward planning for SDL (Scottish Defence League) march on Saturday. Police confirmed there is planning but not sure of details. Tam Coyle enquired about 3 marches and Race for Life on the same day.
Issues were raised regarding a march in Montrose St on Saturday morning. A resident emailed that the march went past workmen on cherry pickers and was dangerous. Police confirmed that an Operational Officer can divert a march if necessary. There were issues in George Square and it could be in relation to this. Police will inquire. Agrees that it was badly planned. Police confirmed there will be weekly parades. General agreement that clashes with Race for Life will cause chaos. Planning should have considered this. Doesn’t help people living and working in the town.

Police to enquire why march was diverted through Montrose St.
  1. Brunswick Street Trial Market – Feedback (Tom McIntyre and Gordon Robertson)

The organisers of the trial market introduced themselves. They organise both farmers and wholesale markets. Campaign for Good Food Glasgow wants to encourage more food retail in Glasgow. Brunswick St and Broomielaw were selected from a number of venues. Brunswick St cost too much to run but Broomielaw was a better success. Plan to run it until vendors are happy to be there. Just before the 6 week license expired, a 3 year license came into function. Brunswick St will not continue, can imagine that it is problematic for residents. Some local businesses complained that they did not know. The planning process was done but it seems like it was badly marketed. There was poor notification. Feedback from Brunswick St was that food sales dropped but drinks increased. It was confirmed that the 3 year license for Broomielaw will be used however the Brunswick St market will close.
Alison Thewliss (MP) was at Broomielaw and commented that it worked well because there aren’t existing cafes etc. It was well attended. Agreement that closing roads in Brunswick St is not sustainable. Baillie Bolander did have

a complaint from one resident about the road closures.
Tam thanked Tom and Gordon for attending.

  1. Merchant City Festival (Lorenzo Mele)

Tam introduced Lorenzo Mele from Glasgow Life who organises MCF. Baillie Braat is chair of the committee and Tam attends as a representative from MCTCC.

Lorenzo circulated printed sheets with key info and maps showing layout of the festival. He explained the map and the planned street closures.Albion St is open during the week and the stage is only there at weekends.
Resident raised issues with noise from heavy bass from stage. Lorenzo Mele made a note of this. Residents do not object to music but heavy bass can be disruptive.
There is contact information on the printed sheets. The full programme will be available at the end of June. Various pieces are on website. A residents’ letter is being distributed. Alternative parking will be provided.
Baillie Braat wants to make sure that residents receive communication. Requests reassurances that letters will be properly delivered.
Bob Cochrane suggested that alternative carparking arrangements should be communicated in advance because it is holiday time and people could be away when notification is sent.
The southern part of Albion St is closed. If it was closed just before Blackfriars there would be additional parking. Lorenzo Mele confirmed that there will be access to the street for residents’ carparks. Confirmed that the car park next to Blackfriars will be opened.
General agreement that there is normally not enough seating. Lorenzo explained that because there is no access to Candleriggs square they have struggled to find space. No automatic access to square. Still liaising about this. Bob enquired if beyond the boundary of the site is public footway. Lorenzo confirmed that the whole site up to pavement belongs to developer.
Tam will also feedback 15th June and mid July MCF meetings. Lorenzo confirmed there is nothing in Tontine lane due to work.
A resident enquired if there be marketing close to George Square. Many people did not know last year. There will be a couple of processions and events in George Square. That might help to signpost it. There will also be classic cars in george square to advertise car boot sale. Brazilian theme is to do with Rio games.
Tam thanked Lorenzo for attending.

  1. Licensing (Tam Coyle)

Tam confirmed that we are finally receiving licensing notifications electronically and thanked Baillie Baker for her help with this.
Notifications were read

  • St Enoch Square. 2nd July to 24th July. Adult rides.
  • Premier Inn Howard St/Dixon St (the old Coop). Whitbread group alcohol and hotel with conference facilities.
  • Events in George Square 8th August to 12th August.
  • Candleriggs Koolba increase offsales, capacity,  outdoor drinking for 30 people.
  • High st. Pizza and takeaway food. Open till 4am. Concern raised about noise and lack of policing at this time. Other places currently operating will also want to open till 4am. Bob commented that the community council do not automatically object to licenses but if there is enough feeling round the table we have a collective responsibility. Currently there are no problems other than occasional noise issues. Baillie Baker pointed out that there is no housing above. The resident raised issues with police attending the area because it is the dividing line between Merchant City and Calton. He is prepared to be optimistic and will raise any issues.
  • 158 ingram st. Variation of premises.
  1. Planning (Tam Coyle)

John commented that there have been a couple of pre-applications for High St/ George St/ Shettleston St/ Ingram St. These are for consultation before planning. Application will impact on the community garden.
Roddy Yarr from the University of Strathclyde has come to the meeting and will attend next month to explain in more detail. The University of Strathclyde plans to put in an application for a Combined Heat and Power plant (CHP). Roddy distributed an information pack. The ground is leased from Scottish Enterprise and not owned by the University. Tam thanked Roddy for attending.

John has seen confirmation of approval for Candleriggs site however it was later pulled from the website. It seems like it has been released by mistake. Heritage Scotland have objected. A resident asked about the Candleriggs site. Bob updated the meeting about progress with this. 3 out of 4 of MCTCC’s city councillors sit on the planning committee and they can therefore not put forward an opinion about a development in case it comes to committee.

There is general agreement that the development is too tall. The diagonal path also breaks the grid system and might be dangerous at night time. MCTCC are fighting the development as much as they can and made an objection based on the heights, loss of light to surrounding buildings, the balance of residential and student accommodation (900 student flats) and a lack of car parking. Council officials acknowledged our point but patted us on the back. The difficulty is that not everything has to go to planning committee. 6 objections are needed to go to committee. Not clear how many objections were received. Bob understood that planning could call it in if shy of 6 and if someone complained late it could still be considered.
Residents on Wilson St did not receive notification. General discontent about the notification system that applies to people 10 metres from the area but applies to the front door address rather than a window.
Baillie Braat will make enquiries about the number of objections received and the current planning status. Both Baillie Braat and Baillie Baker think that the committee chair can maybe pull something but this would be at their discretion. Baillie Braat confirmed it may come to planning automatically if it is of national significance. There may have been planning in principle granted years ago but this will be for more detailed planning. Planning in principle approves type of use but not building design.
Tam Coyle suggested that interested parties form a working group to address these issues. Bob suggested that mid-monthly meeting focuses on this and that councillors feedback what they can.
Baillie Bolander asked if someone keeps eye on planning applications. Tam does this and both Alasdair Finlayson and John Connelly have helped.
Alison Thewliss (MP) does not see list of notifications on website. John Connelly pointed out that prior to the decisions letter there were 130 documents on the website but this is dropping and is different every week.
A development on Park Circus was called in by government and it was overturned. Can this be called in? Alison Thewliss thinks that it depends what stage of planning it is at and if a decision has already been taken. In this case it is unclear if a decision has been taken.
Cllr Millar does not know about application and it is baffling. He is general point if you have particular suggestions you want to raise happy to listen.
Gerald enquired if MCTCC should operate on the assumption that permission will or has been given and the tactic should be to put pressure on the national government to call in the application. Bob thinks MCTCC should make it clear to local authority that we object. It would be more difficult to try and retrieve the situation than prevent it from happening. There are many different voices and lots of influence. Bob has been very direct. We are lay people who do not have specialist knowledge and rely on Councillors to voice their concerns. Cllr. Angus Millar confirmed he will do this and it will be discussed at the min-monthly meeting.

Cllr. Millar to feedback on Candleriggs – number of objections received (if any were submitted late), planning status & if it can be called to committee.

Update on issues (Tam Coyle)

Road bollard. The bollard was being taken down but has now disappeared all together because of apparent complaints by unknown local businesses. Tam is liaising with Land Services. They have taken it away against our wishes. Bailie Braat thinks the problem might be businesses who are not putting it up. The suggestion of meeting with the businesses is very positive.

Tam attended a refuse collection meeting with Cllr. McAveety.There will be a new task force to clean up the city. Tam thanked Scott Parsons and Cllr Matheson for making sure that every bin was removed from the Merchant City. This is now a major issue again. Baillie Braat confirmed this is an issue in other area because there is no obligation on premises to remove bins from streets. We are trying to ensure that those who have space in their business should have a clause in planning that they have to do this. Baillie Braat can raise this issue with businesses. Privatisation of waste collection has made it more difficult with different times etc.

Gymnasium Application – licensing application was wrong but they gym has open anyway and plays music from 5:30am-7:30pm. Tam contacted licensing. Mairi Millar replied that it is not clear cut if they need a license at all. It is the operator’s position that they do not require a license if they are only open to members and not the general public. Baillie Baker read the email received from Mairi Millar. It seems the only recourse for people living round about is noise nuisance. Baillie Baker has noticed that there is not a decent guide for general public about how licensing works. Bob Cochrane commented that there is a problem that the council aligns itself with businesses rather than residents. There is a clear imbalance. Baillie Baker agrees that this is confirmed by legislation. For example we are unable to refuse licensing for gambling. Baillie Braat commented that if venue is, if more than 500 it needs a public entertainment license. Frustrating that the council are constrained.

Building site scaffolding. Tam thanked Baillie Braat for his help. Despite being very narrow it does not break legislation. They are starting building work at 7:30am.

Ibis Hotel deliveries – Baillie Baker has been following up on early morning towel deliveries. It is the laundry company that are making the claim that there are restrictions on delivery times. Baillie Baker will now take this up with the laundry company. Manager has spoken to them and they were quieter but maybe this has not happened. Tam confirmed it is still an issue. Man

ager has had council noise people out and they have assured them that they are not breaking the law.

Blue light at Travel Lodge. Residents have asked about this and been told it is operated by a timer down south. There is nothing they can do. Tam will continue with this. Manager refuses to give a copy of alleged permission.

Race for life. No residents letters were sent. The street signs were not collected. Baillie Baker recommended contacting Glasgow Life. The post office is better than a distribution company. can request that everyone in a postcode

area is notified. People have had cars lifted. Baillie Braat commented that res

idents were not notified because of failure of distribution company. Bob Cochrane suggested that Glasgow City Council  should perhaps take responsibility and charge Race for Life to make sure that it is done properly. There are no repercussions. Unless the council stands up we will be having the same conversation next year.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 28th June, 2016 in Glasgow City Chambers (entrance through archway on Cochrane St).


This entry was posted in Minutes. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s