People are stirring things up — and I really do wonder why. What is the agenda — is there some secret conspiracy, a few people with vested interests? Hmmm.
The rhetoric of the poster suggests that things are getting worse, that Shawlands has seen better days, that it would be a good idea to have a Town Centre Action Plan and a Business Association. See for yourself; the Notices state:
PUBLIC MEETING TO DEBATE
THE FUTURE OF
TUESDAY 29TH JANUARY
7.30pm LANGSIDE HALLS
Do you feel Shawlands has seen better days?
This is your opportunity to have your say on
what you think needs to be done. the council,
local Councillors and MSP Nicola Sturgeon will
all be there to hear what you have to say.
Does Shawlands need a Town Centre Action
Plan to further develop and improve our area?
What is happening with Shawlands Arcade?
Would a Shawlands Business Association help
businesses in Shawlands develop?
COME ALONG AND HAVE YOUR SAY
Things are getting worse in Shawlands because things are getting worse in Glasgow — and in Scotland — and in the UK. For example, the new policy of putting household rubbish and shop wheelie bins on the pavement at the front of the property is not exclusive to Shawlands, neither is fly-tipping, dumping, litter, swollen hedges nor even Dog fouling.
Time and time again on this blog, we show that things are getting worse because of red tape, committees and interfering old busy bodies.
You cannot legislate for freedom, happiness and co-operation nor attempts to encourage understanding and respect for people, forgiveness, politeness or common decency.
- We do NOT need more red tape, more committees, more opinions, or more “say”.
- We do need less restrictions, less control, less red tape, we do need more freedoms, more quality, more personal responsibility.
The result of the last lot of stirring up was the addition of ugly double yellow lines at corners where people could not park anyway because of fences and bollards! (See New Restrictions in Shawlands) — what a waste of time and our council taxes! It has not stopped cars parking on pavements (which seems to be a bother for a few very vocal residents) — a problem that would simply be solved by adjusting the height of kerbs instead!
On this blog we often highlight the nonsense produced by town planners and traffic managers, (for example, The Wrong Way, The Daftest Bin, The Daftest Bus Stop, Traffic Lights Suck! and the so-called Traffic Calming schemes). We also show the lowering standards in design — such as the mess of the Clyde Arc Bridge, and our amazement in how poor quality building designs get planning consent and building warrants — such as The Most Horrible Building in Glasgow, The Bad & The Ugly, Ugly New Flats, and More Ugly New Flats, as well as Holy Balcony, and Waterfront Apartments Are Not Posh!
This is what council activity, red tape and public consultations gets you!
My opinion of Shawlands is worth at least a little consideration; I am very, very old, and have a long memory that still works pretty well. I can, for example, remember the queue at the Elephant Cinema for a Beatles film being so large it stopped traffic on Kilmarnock Road. I can remember the buzz of shopping on the world-famous Victoria Road with it’s fabulous Christmas lights — especially Pearson’s with that famous parrot! I can remember the trams, the chimney sweeps, the coal deliveries, and I reckon the last time I saw and heard the rag-n-bone man coming along Tantallon Road with his flat-bed truck pulled by a massive grey Clydesdale was in the early 1980s.
I would honestly say that Shawlands is roughly the same today as it was back then, no better and no worse relative to the bigger picture. What is true in my opinion is that things in general and in particular ways are getting worse, and we would do better to try to address the bigger picture than consider something like Shawlands in isolation. I say that we ought to fix the traffic calming, fix the problems with factors, and fix the rubbish uplifts — then the improvement to Shawlands would be incredible!
I can recall when Shawlands was cobbley, dirty and black with soot and grime. It was frequently foggy in winter and very, very smelly in summer. The trams disappeared along with the cinemas and the new shopping arcade and skyscrapers in Pollokshaws heralded good times, where the place was buzzing with boutiques and German Beir Kellers.
Later they got rid of the central parking, removed all the zebra crossings and started to block off all the side roads near Victoria Road. This killed off the Victoria road shopping area supposedly in favour of out of town shopping, but this just put pressure on the West End and Shawlands. There was a lot of demolition of slum tenements across the city, and a lot of out-of-town developments for offices, factories, shops and council estates.
However, despite these two areas being major shopping districts, property values in the West End increased much better than the south side because Shawlands had a serious subsidence problem due to the tenements being built on tin mines.
During the property price boom of the mid to late 1980s, there was a lot of power cuts, and a lot of problems with the cart flooding too. Shawlands began to fill the tin mines and shore up the tenements. At this time, the whole of Glasgow was regenerating with lots of grants — and it was all about stone cleaning, reroofing, new windows, rewiring and removing lead piping and old attic tanks.
Today, Glasgow is facing the next round of issues — the roofs are now over 20 years old, the wiring is needing redone, the windows too — the tenement stock is in need of attention once again. People bought their council houses back then, so there is a demand for public housing. There is also a serious need for new affordable housing for first time buyers, so they are building a lot of new (ugly) flats at Eglinton Toll and elsewhere. There is a re-appraisal of the high-rise skyscrapers Glasgow was once so fond of — many are marked for demolition (but which cannot be exploded due to the asbestos dust problem).
Shawlands MUST be taken in consideration of the greater city-wide picture — for example, the nearest hospital will be the Southern General as the new Ambulance and Diagnosis Centre will replace the ancient Victoria infirmary. The new motorway links, the expansion of the subway system, the Commonwealth Games and the city redevelopment and regeneration all will affect Shawlands just as much as has Braehead and, more recently, Silverburn.
I would suggest that the people of Shawlands fight for the removal of traffic lights, speed humps and parking restrictions to encourage shoppers and house buyers and to free up congestion. They should fight to have the rubbish put back in the lanes and back courts for uplift — out of sight of the street, they should fight for cleaner pavements, for more regular cleaning, better litter bins, more public toilets and so forth. Everyone should be demanding better — better flood defences, better telephone and television reception, better quality homes, better property management, better conveyancing, better customer services, better interest rates and better looking, better designs.
It’s common sense, improvement is all about better, and for things to get better they have to first stop getting worse. Shawlands cannot be improved in its own!