Make Shawlands work for us all!

THE people of Shawlands are set for crisis talks after four years of what they describe as being ignored by Glasgow city council.

Tonight, Shawlands and Strathbungo community council are set to host a public meeting to discuss the future of the town.

Community council chair Andrew Montgomery told The Extra: “Shawlands is not a priority for the council. No funding has gone into the town centre action plan which was set up by a steering group four years ago.

“The southside is not on the council’s radar to the extent of the westend or Merchant city.

“Shawlands has gone slowly downhill in the last 10 years while rates for businesses have gone up.

“Councillors need to listen to the passion of local people and take responsibility. It’s time we had our fair share”.

Councillor David Meikle — who sits on the Shawlands town centre working group — says he shares Mr Montgomery’s frustrations.

He said: “I pushed for the town centre action plan to be published. I want concrete proposals to make Shawlands a cleaner, greener and safer place to live and work.

“It is a major town centre yet has had no investment and the business rates are too high.

“We also need the owners of the Arcade to play their part and make it an attractive place for customers and businesses”.

Cathcart MSP and Langside councillor James Dornan added: “A number of short term measures can be taken, such as a general tidy up of the area, better lighting and a re-surfacing of the roads.

“But there are huge long-term issues around Shawlands Arcade. We need to look at how we can fill the empty shops with businesses that can survive and thrive”.

Fellow Langside councillor Paul Coleshill claims he has been “pushing for a Shawlands town centre action plan for a decade”.

He said: “GCC needs to put some resources behind developments in the southside — they have never seen Shawlands as a priority.

“The arcade is failed 60s architecture sitting in a working 19th century shopping high street. Hooking in high-end retailers like Wholefoods (who located a short distance away within the last few months) is a priority”.

A Glasgow city council spokesman praised the quality of the response to an earlier consultation.

He said: “It clearly showed the careful consideration given by those who participated and the feeling they have for Shawlands.

“We have invited the respondents to the community council tonight and are still open to contribution which will help to the shape the final Shawlands town centre action plan. The plan will be complete by early summer”.

The public meeting will take place tonight (Thursday) at 7pm at Shawlands Academy.