Park plan hinges on gates

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RESTORATION works have begun at one of Queens Park’s B-listed entrance gates.

As reported in The Extra, pressure has been mounting for Glasgow city council’s land and environmental services (LES) to invest in the southside park, with complaints from residents about cleanliness and maintenance and the formation of a new Friends of Queens Park group.

Responding to reader concerns, southside central councillor Soryia Siddique arranged a walk-through of the park in July, to establish where improvements were needed.

This week, she said: “I am pleased to report that repair and restoration works to the gates at Victoria Road have commenced.

“The gates have been removed to a workshop for shot blasting and repainting, the stone gate piers will be repaired and repointed and the lanterns will also be repaired.”

She added: “I’m delighted to see it. There are limited resources available to LES, but this issue has been raised in the past and I hope the improvements will make this already popular park as welcoming as possible.”

For Tony Halifax, founder of the Friends group, the park is “moving in the right direction — but it’s a struggle”.

He told The Extra: “The community is delighted to see the gates getting some treatment at last.

“But other parks in Glasgow still seem to get the lion’s share of the LES parks budget, and Queens Park remains deprived of resources. We believe all parks should be treated fairly — at the moment they’re being funded according to tourism promotion.”

Queens Park was one of eight in Glasgow to be awarded a green flag this year — but the Friends group representative added: “It didn’t deserve it. The basics of maintenance just aren’t being done any more.

“GCC put a lot of effort into it in the weeks leading up, but nothing has been done since.”

There is, however, hope on the horizon for the southside park, as plans for the £3.3 million Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan take shape.

Tony added: “We’ve asked to take away all the railings from the Pollokshaws gate down to Langside Hall, opening up the parkland.

“It would bring the park back to being a part of Shawlands, rather than sitting on the side.”

The Victoria Road gates have now been removed — according to contractor Covanburn, the work should take six weeks.