The offical campaign to save the land was started back in October 2008. Few campaigns get off the ground, even fewer get past that initial flurry of interest, so for this one to still be going after 5 years is an achievement many in this community should be proud of. Indeed its not just going but gaining momentum as well!
It all started after the Council hired the local scout hall and put up 4 designs of flats it wanted the land to be sold for back in early 2008. There was no option other than for it to be sold off for the same number of flats – it was just the style of the flats they were willing to consider. There was no one from the Council there that afternoon, just a representative from the architects who didn’t know much about how someone was to voice their concerns to the Council.
Seeing so many people dismayed and appalled at having no alternative put to them, a local resident, Douglas A Peacock, hand delivered to 540 local flats a questionnaire asking them what they wanted to happen to the land. Eight-five people responded to the questionnaire. ALL the respondents were against selling the land for flats. The results were sent to the Council, which rejected the findings out of hand as they wanted the revenue from the sale. In those early days of 2008 we didn’t know much about how the council works etc, it just seamed the wrong thing to do to sell this community land off for housing. It was only later did we find out what we were doing was in line with Council and National Policy and what a few people in the Council were doing was actually against these policies! It was a back room style decision taken by just a few people with no consultation to those it would affect. Even now 5 years later there is still no Business Case document people can refer to on the reasons for selling it off. In the years that followed others in the Council then found themselves having to defend the indefensible.
Two things started to happen:
1. the campaign took off and went from strength to strength, even when the Council took two locals to Court.
2. local people looked after the land, rubbish was cleared, bulbs planted. We did have an advantage though – Mother nature (at no cost we should add) just got on and did her thing – the land blossomed!
As the years go by the North Kelvin Meadow goes from strength to strength. A year ago the Children Wood group started – an inspiring initiative that gets loads of kids using the land. Their experience and what theses kids have learned on the land is just priceless.
If you want to see for yourself then check out the events schedule or just come down and have a wander.
We’re a “wild green community space in the heart of Glasgow” People love it, and we hope the people that make the decisions in Glasgow City Council will one day love it too!
Its been 5 years, surely someone in Glasgow City Council can stand up and say enough is enough and abandon these plans to sell it off?