Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

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Re: Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

Postby fourbytwo » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:51 am

sites for social housing are thin on the ground, and i applaud sites being taken to build social housing, but let's be honest, the housing associations are no better than an extension of the Council anyway, simply qualifying for 'different money', does not make them better.
The land sites I am concerned about could have been built on by the Council years ago. but now it seems that to fund many, many 'pet projects', the Council simply sell them off....and it seems only embarrassment that allows the Council to syphon-off some area for social housing.
The main point on this article was the discovery by Glasgow people, that the Council were willing to sell-off land that was donated to the people of Glasgow for cash....rendering all such areas at risk....and likely still to be under threat....
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Re: Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

Postby Doorstop » Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:26 am

Hear,hear!
I like him ... He says "Okie Dokie!"
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Re: Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

Postby onyirtodd » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:14 am

fourbytwo wrote:sites for social housing are thin on the ground, and i applaud sites being taken to build social housing, but let's be honest, the housing associations are no better than an extension of the Council anyway, simply qualifying for 'different money', does not make them better.
...................................


I take issue with that. Housing asocations (other than GHA) are wholly separate entities from the city council and, whilst HAs get some funding eg to make the initial land purchase - even from the council - that money has to be repaid on completion of the work, usually by offering a percentage of the build under some form of shared equity.
238 to 127. All in all a good afternoon's work
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Re: Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

Postby fourbytwo » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:30 pm

:?: so what you are telling me is that....your particular HA started from scratch and received NO GRANTS to get started, received NO GRANTS to actually buy land and derelict properties, and received NOTHING from the Council, including ex-council staff to run your show...?
Did not realise that Disneyland had a base in Glasgow...!
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Re: Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

Postby onyirtodd » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:07 pm

fourbytwo wrote::?: so what you are telling me is that....your particular HA started from scratch and received NO GRANTS to get started, received NO GRANTS to actually buy land and derelict properties, and received NOTHING from the Council, including ex-council staff to run your show...?
Did not realise that Disneyland had a base in Glasgow...!



The HA I have in mind has grown by amalgamation from a tiny, church based, organisation 30 years ago to the thing it is now.

As far as I'm aware no grants have been made to buy land and derelict properties only loans althought, in common with all HAs, they receive Housing Action Grant funding.

As for ex-council staff? Other the as the result of second stage transfer, no.
238 to 127. All in all a good afternoon's work
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Re: Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

Postby My Kitten » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:36 am

Celebrate GCC seeing sense and Pollok Park added to common good lands.

Pollok Park, Sunday 23rd August, 2pm
Picnic, right hand side of Burrell Collection

http://www.savepollokpark.com/
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Re: Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

Postby Mori » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:58 pm

Item 4

26th August 2009

GO APE

Purpose of Report:
The purpose of this report is to update Committee on the current situation regarding
Go Ape’s proposed facility in Pollok Country Park.

Recommendation:
That Committee notes that Go Ape have decided not to proceed with their proposal for
Pollok Country Park.


1 Background
1.1 At the Sustainability and the Environment Committee of 10 June 2009, the Executive Director
of Land and Environmental Services was instructed to submit a report on the Go Ape project
to the next meeting of the Committee.

2 Report
2.1 Go Ape have informed the Council that they have decided not to proceed with their proposals
for a high wire forest adventure trail in Pollok Country Park. This will now be dropped from
Land and Environmental Services' future targets.

ROBERT BOOTH
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
22 July 2009
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Re: Pollok Park site for "Go Ape" centre.... just say NO!!

Postby My Kitten » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:23 am

More Go Apeness further afield

http://savebidjigalreserve.net/



Maladministration complaint

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8244747.stm

"Dear Mr Black,

FORMAL COMPLAINT
MALADMINISTRATION: PROPOSED LEASE/LICENCE AERIAL ACTIVITY FACILITY
POLLOK COUNTRY PARK TO ‘GO APE’

We wish to lodge a complaint about the Council’s handling of the above project. We write
as residents of Glasgow and as representatives of the Save Pollok Park campaign.

Background
Following adoption of the Parks & Open Spaces Strategic Best Value Review and
Implementation Plan in 2005, the Parks & Facilities Committee of 18 January 2006 approved
the advertisement for and the appointment of an operator to design, install and operate an
aerial assault course in a Glasgow City park. A further paper was presented to the Executive
Committee on 1 September 2006, which recommended that the Executive approve
negotiations with preferred supplier – Adventure Forest Ltd., trading as ‘Go Ape’ (AFL).

The report to the Executive Committee dated 16 February 2007 recommended ‘approval in
principle to grant a 21 year lease/licence of part of Pollok Country Park to Adventure Forest Limited t/a Go
Ape... subject to legal clarification and consultation with appropriate parties’.

As far back as 2004, discussions had taken place at national level on the subject of common
good assets. In 2007 the Local Government and Transport Committee of the Scottish
Parliament recognised that the presence of common good assets can be a source of civic
pride that binds communities together and creates a link between generations. It also recognised that local authorities are responsible for managing common good assets in the
interests of the community. Following the May 2007 elections, this matter fell within the
remit of the Local Government and Communities Committee who highlighted a wish to
monitor the use of common good funds and assets as part of their work. In December 2007,
LASAAC issued a guidance note for practitioners entitled “Accounting for the Common Good
Fund”. This guidance note requires the introduction of an asset register for the common
good by 31 March 2009.

Knowing these facts and, bearing in mind the provenance of the land in question, we believe
the possibility of its common good status should have been actively considered before a
recommendation to the Executive Committee since common good status would significantly
restrict the Council’s ability to alienate the land.


National Trust for Scotland
As conservators of the estate you should have formally consulted NTS at an early stage; you
failed to do so. Had they been consulted, it is likely they would have objected – as they did
subsequently - to certain aspects of the plan including the proposed erection of buildings
close to the Burrell Museum.

Despite your failure to consult, NTS nevertheless made their objections clear prior to the
approval of the planning consent in April 2008 and again in late 2008. Despite requests from
Save Pollok Park throughout late-2008, you refused to reveal the status of these discussions.
However from statements issued by NTS during the autumn of 2008, we understand NTS
objections caused you to revise the approved plan to include the use of Knowehead Lodge.
As this is also common good property it would have been likely the same restrictions would
have prevented its alienation.

We believe the planning report failed to take proper account of the original common good
issue surrounding the land and that DRS, in offering Knowehead Lodge as a possible
solution, was ill advised for the same reasons.


Save Pollok Park intervention
On 16 March 2009, Save Pollok Park wrote to the Asst Solicitor to the Council quoting his
letter of 11 March that the Council would not conclude the consideration of Pollok Park's
common good status until “the details of the proposed adventure playground are finalised.” .

Save Pollok Park commented:
You will be aware that the Council took a decision to dispose of part of the park in February 2007 and therefore
it is unclear why, to conform with the above policy, a determination on Common Good by the Council should
not have begun at that time – over two years ago.

This correspondence followed a letter from SPP dated 6 March in which we quoted a legal opinion
obtained by the campaign in February 2009 by a leading firm of solicitors. They stated:

“A disposal means a sale or lease of land. Even a very short lease may be counted as a disposal if it
deprives the public of the use of the land. In the case of Pollok Park, there would be a question of
the Council’s legal authority to dispose of the park because the Park is still in use by the public for

recreational purposes. It would therefore be necessary for the Council to get the permission of the
Court before a lease could be granted.
The test case which establishes this and is referred to by LASAAC is “Murray Versus the Magistrates of Forfar
1893”. The Court of Sessions report for this case indicates that the land was proposed to be removed from
common good use (that is used freely and unrestricted by members of the public) for commercial purposes with
a lease granted for a period of 10 years. The Court upheld that such a lease was alienation and rejected the
proposal by the Burgh of Forfar”

Despite this detailed opinion, the Council continued to explore the alternatives to the
planning consent involving Knowehead Lodge when it should have been obvious that its
competence to grant any lease was questionable.


Conclusion
We believe the way this project was handled by different Council service departments
amounts to incompetence and therefore falls within the definition of maladministration.

We contend the Council failed to take full account of the legal issues surrounding common
good status despite public discussion of the issues from 2004 onwards, a formal letter about
accounting for common good assets to the Director of Finance in March 2007 from the
Scottish Executive* and subsequent warnings from concerned citizens.

We also understand the council’s refusal to detail its list of common good assets is subject
of an ongoing appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner (ref 200900776).

The failure by you to properly consider all the relevant issues has resulted in unnecessary
expenditure of taxpayers’ funds as represented by staff time and out-of-pocket expenses.

Under the Freedom of Information Scotland Act we seek a full disclosure of correspondence
and details of expenditure dedicated to this project detailed on a monthly basis from the
date of the adoption of the Parks & Open Spaces Strategic Best Value Review and
Implementation Plan in 2005 to the decision of Adventure Forest Ltd in July 2009 to
abandon the project.


*Letter to all Directors of Finance dated 12 March 2007 from Finance and Central Services Department

Yours sincerely "
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