Group of park volunteers in threat to disband over ‘arrogant’ council

Wednesday 7 May 2014 http://tinyurl.com/friendsofcowan-facebook

A VOLUNTEERS’ group which aims to improve a public park is considering disbanding after claiming to have been ignored by the local authority that set it up.
East Renfrewshire Council plans to build a new £22 million high school in Cowan Park, the largest green space in Barrhead.
The authority is pushing ahead with its proposals even after it emerged that the proposed site is Common Good Land. The Friends of Cowan Park group, which says it brought the land’s protected status to the council’s attention, has claimed that it has been excluded from the decision-making process by the authority. Continue reading

Restoring the Commons

Restoring the Commons  From Andy Wightman

Image: Black Law Commonty

The task at hand appears overwhelming. To restore the common ownership of the land & natural resources has been a goal of reformers down the ages but it has often met with limited success. Faced with legal frameworks devised and defended by elite interests, the citizen has had little hope of seeing meaningful restitution or recompense … which makes this week’s blog so sweet. Continue reading

Thank you and goodnight…

SavePostiesPark

There are a lot of happy people in Dumbarton tonight, and none more than me!  After months of agonising uncertainty and bitter debate, West Dunbartonshire Council’s Education Services Committee decided to listen to the people and vote down a proposal to build the new Our Lady and St. Patrick’s high school on Posties Park in Dumbarton.

It was the outcome that Save Posties Park campaigners had fought for and prayed for, but didn’t dare to hope for. All evidence suggested that a different outcome was likely today. When the results of the ‘schools consultation’ came out in December, and the majority of respondents stated that they didn’t want the school on Posties, it was horrifying to then hear Council officials and elected members say that the volume of responses didn’t matter. Director for Education, Terry Lanagan, repeatedly said that the consultation wasn’t a referendum and that the quality of the…

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Victory in Dumbarton – Posties Park saved!

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Dumbarton Reporter

COUNCILLORS have voted today (Wednesday) to look at alternative sites for a new Our Lady and St Patrick’s High school (OLSP).

HEATED: Terry Lanagan, director of education, addresses protestors outside the Denny Civic Theatre

At a packed meeting of the education services meeting, held at the Denny Civic Theatre in Dumbarton, a motion was carried calling for Posties Park and the current site to be rejected and for all potential locations to be re-visited.

Officers have now been tasked with revisiting all alternative sites in council ownership and exploring what private sites might be available should this be required.

The motion was supported by both Labour and the SNP – to the delight of Save Posties Park campaigners.

It read: “The committee will continue to work with all stakeholders to identify a suitable site for a new OLSP and ensure that we maximise the funding opportunity provided by the Scottish Futures Trust.”

Afterwards jubilant campaigner, Dorothy Heron, joint secretary of Dumbarton East and Central Community Council, told the Reporter: “I’m absolutely delighted and I have to commend the committee, I’m relieved that they have come to this decision and they have to be congratulated for it.

“It was a difficult decision for the councillors to make because now they have the task of finding a new suitable piece of land but I am confident that they will.

“We are so pleased that they have taken the public view into account, it shows it is a democratic council.

“I thank the campaigners and the public for their support over the last few months.

“It’s a terrific example of Dumbarton’s community spirit and the power of the people.”

Speaking afterwards, Councillor Michelle McGinty, convener of Educational Services, said: “We agree with Council officers that the Posties Park site is the best option available in Dumbarton on educational and construction grounds.

“However we take decisions on behalf of the people of West Dunbartonshire and had to acknowledge the lack of support for the building of the school on Posties Park, as well as the strong public desire to retain the open space.

“Regrettably the current school site has also proved unsuitable. The full exploration of that site showed that it was extremely restrictive and would be difficult to develop safely without major disruption to pupils educational experience.

“A completed school on this site would also be an inferior establishment relative to the other new build secondary schools in West Dunbartonshire.

“We thank officers for their professional work to date on this project, and look forward to hearing the results of their new investigations into possible Council and private sites where the new OLSP High School could be located.”

A public consultation on the new school sites received 515 responses, with 185 opting for the current site, 149 for Posties Park and 176 other responses – of which 123 were opposed to Posties.