This post is the first in what we’re hoping will be a regular series of posts in which one of our members reports back on what matters were raised and discussed a local council meeting.
Today’s notes were taken by East Renfewshire Green Shoma Mazumder, who has put a lot of work into condensing them for this post – thanks Shoma!
NEW BARRHEAD HIGH SCHOOL
East Renfrewhire Counil Education and architects Property Tech Services gave a presentation on the new building and its re-siting, now without the loss of the bandstand in Cowan Park. Legal action by ERC has been dropped and construction of the new school is due to start from July 2015, with completion in December 2016.
The new site will sit where the existing Johnny Kelly Pavilion and new skatepark are; they will be placed elsewhere within the existing Barrhead High School campus. The skate park and the pavilion will be built in new locations before work on the school starts.
Highlighted features included new access points for pedestrians and cars/coaches and how this will impact on the surrounding area, a new 3G pitch, 400m running track, and 200 parking spaces. There will be outdoor learning spaces – rangers from Dams to Darnley are developing a wetlands area for learning/teaching.
Concerns were raised about safety for pupils and possible flooding round the burn near the new site. There will be fencing around the campus and it’ll be sited at higher ground to the burn, avoiding flooding.
The cost of hiring the school hall for community events was raised. Calibar PS is very expensive if you require the seating out – this is because it is privately run by BAM. The new Barrhead HS remains within ERC and will only charge ERC rates.
Concerns were raised about the development for new housing in south Auchenback and the effect on the number of school places needed in future. The new school has the capacity to take 800 students and 100 vocational students. ERC has conducted forward projections, including increases in the town’s population and are confident there are enough places to accommodate future numbers.
NEW FOUNDRY OPENING
The former Barrhead Leisure Centre had a £3.8 million upgrade and reopened as a multi-purpose learning, leisure and business centre, at the end of January 2015. There is a new façade, new gym and the library is now located there. The rear of the building and the swimming facilities have not yet been upgraded, but that is due to happen this year.
A civic square will be placed by the entrance, either a sculpture or a clock, with seating and landscaped gardens too.
A letter was sent recently to residents in Barrhead regarding ERC proposals to change/restrict parking on streets in and around Main Street/ Cross Arthurlie Street. Great concern was expressed due to lack of parking currently available because ERC staff use them. Business owners concerned on the impact for them and their customers, fearing people will stop coming to the town as they’d only be able to park for 10 minutes under the new proposals. Cllr Tommy Reilly (SNP), said that residents should send in their objections, but Barrhead Community Council members said that the letter did not make it very easy for residents to understand why the changes are being brought in.
One BCC member said ASDA are happy for people to use their car park. LIDL has a 90-minute maximum stay sign and the car park behind the Main Street has signs up with a maximum stay of about 2.5 hours.
WAR MEMORIAL FUNDING
The BCC are looking for funding for the war memorial. The Parks Dept look after the war memorial, but BCC is looking to find funding to help maintain it and make repairs where needed.
BCC contacted both St Luke’s HS and Barrhead HS with an invitation for 16 year-olds at both schools to be involved in the decision making of a local issue that affects them. The BCC has received a reply from a teacher at Barrhead HS, but has heard nothing from St Luke’s HS. Invitation to be sent again to both schools. BCC want to be accessible and involve young people in local issues.
CHP is changing its name to Health and Social Care Partnership.
Barrhead News are now based in Clydebank. Problems with staff numbers, and the printed copies of the paper have dropped considerably. Internet readership is increasing, and are looking to improve their website. Concerns about what the paper actually contained – more adverts than actual news, and the paper copies are pricey.
The paper is keen to feature more local news stories and community activities once the new website is up and running. BCC want to place an advert, looking for new members and to promote its activities.
The BCC Climate Change Fund application had been unsuccessful.
Next meeting: Thursday 5th March, ERC Offices, Main Street, Barrhead, 7pm.