George Square saga continues

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DEBATE over the future of George Square continued this week as the winning architect of the scrapped design competition called a public 
meeting.

John McAslan stood on a bench in the city centre space on Monday, saying that he wanted to work with the public to create a solution for the controversial £15 million makeover.

Last week, it was announced that the design competition — shortlisted to six entries, including McAslan’s — was to be axed, with Glasgow city council leader Gordon Matheson commenting: “The people of Glasgow have made it clear in no uncertain terms that they do not want a radical redesign of the square.

“I am proud to say that I am listening to them”.

However, the Sunday 
Herald newspaper later published claims from council sources that the competition was scrapped because 
McAslan’s design — chosen by the rest of the judging panel — was not councillor Matheson’s favoured choice.

John McAslan addressed onlookers at the George Square meeting and invited Gordon Matheson to meet with him, commenting: “I am from Glasgow...to me you wouldn’t get a better commission than George Square because that is where I am from.

“It is all very personal. It is not about money — it is about trying to do what you think is the right thing and because of my upbringing I have got a stickler when I think processes aren’t followed.

“I would like to meet 
Gordon Matheson...he will have a strong view and I will have a strong view but I can honestly see a positive outcome”.

The architect has tweaked his original design to include more greenery, in line with calls from the public to restore George Square to its former, leafy incarnation.

He hopes to encourage further public consultation, and to submit the revised plan to Glasgow city council.