We are recruiting

WE ARE RECRUITING!

Sadly, Jayson is leaving us and moving on to a full time permanent position in Fife. We’d like to send on our best wishes Jayson and his family who have played a part in meadow and wood life over the past few years.We’d like to say thank you Jayson’s hard work over the past few months in this job role. He has implemented some positive changes to the land which make the meadow and wood look even more amazing and he has encouraged more people within the community to get involved.

We are now recruiting for someone to take over Jayson’s part time position. The job role will last until March 2017, with the possibility of extending. Please submit CV’s to childrenswood@hotmail.com no later than 20th July.

Schools & Community Engagement Officer (10 HR PT @ £21k equivalent FT)
Role Responsibilities
• delivery of the Children’s Wood Sustainable Futures Program outcomes and targets
• maintain a personal implementation plan and record against owned target metrics
• facilitate community use of greenspace
• application and development of suitable resources
• support in breaking barriers to outdoor participation and tackling inequality
• seek collaborative projects to support Children’s Wood charitable goals
• facilitate improvements to maintenance, reporting and planning of activities
• maintain the relevant web pages with respect to events and activities
• support further fundraising and proposal preparation to sustain operations into the future
Management
• report to line manager and trustees on activities
• attend monthly meetings with line manager, and if requested, monthly committee meetings
• record activities against timesheets and manage a small operations budget
• perform any reasonable tasks as requested by their line manager in line with charitable goals
• ensure compliance to charity’s constitution, child protection policy and legal obligations
• act in a manner reflecting The Children’s Wood values as determined by trustees

Expected Attributes
• enthusiasm for working with children and community members in outdoor setting
• ability for flexible and autonomous working against high level outcomes
• willingness to work outdoors in a urban woodland environment in all weathers
• knowledge of the curriculum for excellence and/or experience of community engagement
• experience in urban woodland and meadow maintenance and use
• experience engaging with a diverse section of society
• first aid, teaching or outdoor learning qualifications
• be fully disclosed for working with children (CRB checked, can be facilitated by charity)

Scottish Reporters recommend deleting housing proposal H023 in City Plan 3

Scottish Reporters recommend deleting housing proposal H023 in City Plan 3

Brilliant news! the appointed Scottish Reporters have deleted the housing proposal for the meadow and wood in City Plan 3.

There are two issues currently related to North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood:

1. The way the land is zoned in the plan for the City, in City Plan 3: housing or open space. This has been with Scottish Government reporters since last year and he and his team have decided, after thorough investigation, that the housing proposal for the site should be deleted in the forthcoming plan.

2. The specific housing application submitted by New City Vision for housing which was ‘called in’ by the Scottish Government. A reporter has been appointed and he has indicated that there will be a public inquiry or hearing soon.

Given the deletion of the housing proposal for the site in City Plan 3, we cannot see how the specific housing proposal submitted by New City Vision can be given the green light. Here is what the reporters said about North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood in their report for City Plan 3:

“the land at Clouston Street is a highly valued open space which is well used and maintained by the local community, and which should continue to be safeguarded for that purpose. Its development for housing would be in conflict with planning policies which seek to protect such areas. I have therefore decided to modify the Proposed Plan by deleting Housing Proposal H023”

This result is a huge step forward and a wonderful recognition that this land is valued, maintained and has a future that should be preserved.

If you wish to read the report you can find it through the link below, the report can be found on page 290 to page 304.
http://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?id=115843

“On entering the website, click on the tab “Examination Report” in the middle of the page and then under the “Document Name” tab, click on the blue highlighted “Report” document. The report will then download and you then click “open” to read the report.”

Well done and thank you to all the organisations and individuals who have loved and fought for our land over more than 20 years.

 

The Children’s Wood AGM

Friday 24th June 7:30-9:30pm.  Maryhill Community Centre. Avenue Park Street.  See the flyer below for a map.

Come and celebrate with us this Friday and find out more about our plans and how you can get involved.

 

Did you receive a letter/email?

You may have received a letter or email today from The Scottish Government about the high end housing development that was ‘called-in’ for further scrutiny. If you are happy for us to represent your objection letter at the inquiry or hearing then you do not need to respond to the letter from the Government.

As you may know the Children’s Wood has full planning permission from Glasgow City Council to develop the land as a community garden and greenspace. We now have two funded employees working on the land to build community and grow the land: Andrea Fisher and Jayson Byles.  They have been working with schools and the community: running sessions, building meadow patches, raised beds, compost bins and planting.  We plan to do more for the community and we have funding to upgrade the existing shed. This puts us in a strong position for acquiring the land for the community and stopping any future housing development. We’ve asked both the City, and now the Government, to either lease or sell the land to us through the Community Empowerment Act when the housing application is rejected.

We will be drawing in the relevant people/groups from the community and beyond when the reporter decides on whether he will use a hearing or an inquiry as his method of investigation. So when it comes to the investigation there will many difference voices speaking against the development plan and for the alternative plan of community empowerment.

Update on the ‘call-in’ – we want an Inquiry

Update on the ‘call-in’ of the  planning application submitted to Glasgow City Council by New City Vision to build 90 high end houses on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood.

A Scottish Government Reporter has been appointed to investigate the ‘call-in’ of the housing development submitted by New City Vision to Glasgow City Council, to build 90 high end houses on North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood.

The plans were approved by Glasgow City Council on 26th of January 2016, who were minded to grant planning permission for the development after a planning committee vote of 8 against 6 in favour.

The Children’s Wood and community members delivered 6,000 petition signatures, and supporting evidence and letters, to the government on the 2nd of March asking the Government to ‘call-in’ the development plans for further scrutiny

The application was ‘called-in’ on the 11th March 2016 with the government report stating ‘given the loss of valued open space and possible conflict with policy, as well as the Council’s financial interest in the proposal it is considered that, on balance, it raise issues of national significance as to merit further scrutiny and determination by Scottish Ministers rather than by Glasgow City Council.’

Plea for a Public Inquiry 

The reporter will now decide on which method of investigation will be used; a hearing, report or Public Inquiry and we are calling on the appointed reporter to employ a full Public Inquiry. A Public Inquiry will allow a thorough investigation to be carried out and the truth to emerge.

There are good reasons for the reporter  to embark on a full Public Inquiry.  There has been no consultation on the proposals for the land in spite of claims that local “consultation” has taken place and this planning application goes against both local and national policies, it will destroy a highly valued and vitally important community greenspace and there is a clear conflict of interest within the council in terms of the financial gain.

Glasgow City Council have been determined to  build on this piece of land, despite thousands of people objecting to the idea. We want to see this application get the investigation it deserves, and only a full Public Inquiry will do justice to the thousands of people who love this land and what it represents.

We believe that the Public Inquiry is the best method to use since it will call on witnesses and will get deeper into the issue and show that we have an active history an active present and a sustainable future.

Precedent is on our side;  an almost identical housing plan(1996) was ‘called ‘-in’ and the appeal decision (ref P/PPA/260/5) rejected the housing plans. ‘That application was for 132 flats on the site of the current application. The reporter in that case found that “In an area of high residential density, this open space area is an amenity feature providing recreation of a quite different type from that which can be enjoyed in the nearby Botanic Gardens”. The Reporter continued “I am unable to find from the evidence that there will be no loss of amenity or that alternative provision of equal community benefit will result”. That appeal was dismissed and planning permission refused.”

We believe that we have an even stronger case given the level of community engagement and the Children’s Wood Sustainable Futures Project. The Children’s Wood project received full planning permission on the 26th of January (all present voted in favour of the plan) and now we are seeking to aquire land owners permission and to use the Community Empowerment Bill to either lease or buy the land so that the land can be passed on for generations to come.

However, true to form, Glasgow City Council have rejected our requests to lease or buy the land and they have even denied us the missives which were signed between New City Vision and the Council 7 years ago. Our Freedom of Information Request was rejected with Glasgow City Council stating that it was ‘commercially confident’ information and it was’not in the public interest”to show us the missives.   We believe that it is unacceptable and unfair that a private developer can sit back and have priority to purchasing land for 7 years while the community is treated unfairly. We believe that they have no legal privilege because of the passage of time and are confident that if the need arises to take this to the commissioner we would be proved correct.  We will also be highlighting this to the reporter.

Meanwhile, The Children’s Wood has funding secured from The Robertson Trust, The Royal Bank of Scotland and The Postcode Lottery (among others) and there are now two part time paid employees delivering our Sustainable Futures Project which includes building on work with 22 schools and nurseries, playgroups, develop growing projects for the foodbank and to create other community and intergenerational links as well as make the land even more beautifully wild.  We just planted wild meadow plots with the RSPB and built more compost bins. Alongside this, are the many other informal uses of the land. The land has been continually in use for local recreation, enjoyment and leisure since the early 1990s, far longer than the developers claim and we want to see a full Public Inquiry so that the community gets the investigation they deserve.

Press Articles:

The Herald.06.06.16  Front page, page 3 and page 15 with Open Letter

Evening Times   06.06.16

Next Steps:

  • We will be sending all relevant campaign information to the appointed reporter
  • We urge you to get in touch with MSP Angela Constance asking her to ensure that a full public Inquiry is made and that the plans are rejected-  and we will be helping people to do this over the next few weeks.  Ultimately she will be the person who decides whether the plans get rejected or not.   Angela.Constance.msp@parliament.scot
  • The reporter will visit the land at the end of July.

Read our Letter to Angela Constance

 

 

 

An Open Letter to Angela Constance asking her to preserve North Kelvin Meadow

We the undersigned welcome the decision by Alex Neil and the Scottish Government to call in the proposed development plan for North Kelvin Meadow. We are now appealing for a full inquiry into the future of this land and ask that it should be protected indefinitely from future residential development.

People have been using this land for decades, and campaigning to save and repurpose the space since the late 1990s. This land now supports a community-led initiative used by 22 schools, nurseries and playgroups each week: teachers and local people are being trained in outdoor learning. It is a resource for groups with additional support needs, asylum seekers and the elderly. North Kelvin Meadow hosts regular events, organises food growing and has over 200 volunteers. It has achieved charitable status, won National awards, and has obtained grant funding. All this community passion and action are driving an immense long-term investment for the city and its citizens, yet costing it not one penny.

Having access within urban communities to green space like the Meadow is vital for addressing the most urgent issues in our cities: reducing health inequality, social isolation and crime, tackling food poverty and increasing well-being through the connection that children and young people have with nature. These places make people happy and well. We need more of them. This is why we are calling on the Scottish Government to protect this site against speculative residential development in perpetuity.

The vitality of North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood is a great example of the community empowerment advocated by the Scottish Government. We want the Scottish Government to promote the economic and social value that these green spaces can give to urban communities: a value with far broader, more sustainable and lasting returns than property development.

It is claimed that there has been consultation on the future of the Meadow with the local community and yet no such consultation has taken place. Their voice has not been heard and they are threatened with the loss of a much valued of amenity that they have enjoyed and cultivated for decades. We call on you to hold a full public inquiry into the circumstances under which this land that was neglected by the city council for twenty years, and has never been built on came to be sold for private development. Please preserve North Kelvin Meadow as an open space so that it can be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

 

Tam Bailie, Children’s Commissioner for Scotland

Emeritus Professor Gill Scott, Glasgow Caledonian University

Prof Mark Reed, Professor in Social Innovation, Newcastle University

Prof John McKendrick, Glasgow School of Business and Society, Glasgow Caledonian University

Professor Eleanor Gordon, Economic and Social History, The University of Glasgow

Professor Alexandra Shepard, School of Humanities, The University of Glasgow

Professor Lynn Abrams, School of Humanities, The University of Glasgow

Dr Carol Craig, Director of The Centre for Confidence and Well-being

Dr Niamh Stack, School of Psychology , The University of Glasgow

Sue Palmer, Writer and literacy expert, Upstart campaign

Dr Margaret Sutherland, School of Education, The University of Glasgow

Monica Porciani Lecturer, School of Education, University of Strathclyde

Dr Henry Noltie, Botanist

Julia Donaldson, Author

Alan Sinclair, Economist, The Work Foundation

Iain Abercrombie, Head of Faculty for Creative and Digital Industries, Glasgow Kelvin College

Scottish Network for Able Pupils

Marguerite Hunter Blair, CEO Play Scotland

Woodcraft Folk Scotland

Alistair Gray, Artist & Writer

Bernard MacLaverty, Writer

Cathy Forde, Writer

Andy Wightman, Writer

Tam Dean Burn, Actor

Kate Dickie, Actor

Alec Finlay, Poet

RM Hubbert, Musician

David McCluskey, The McCluskey Brothers

Alex Neilson, Trembling Bells

Paul Thomson, Franz Ferdinand

Richard Wright, Artist

Dr Sarah Lowndes, Writer

David Hayman, Actor

James Morton, Baker and Writer

Laura Fraser, Actress

Christine Grady, Heritage Manager, Maryhill Burgh Halls

Queen Margaret Drive Traders Association

Amanda Patterson, Director, The Hidden Gardens

Woodlands Community Gardens

Battlefield Community Project

Gregory Chauvet, Managing Director, The Bike Station

Norman Armstrong, Managing Director, Freewheel North

Friends of the River Kelvin

Glasgow Regional Outdoor Woodland Learning

GOW Community

It’s West-end Festival Time

Come and join us on the meadow for our annual WEF community events. The Nature Festival on the 5th of June and the Big Lunch Foraging Festival on the 12th of June.

On the day of the Nature Festival  the wonderful Eco Drama will be coming back to perform The Worm: An Underground Adventure, Tam Dean Burn will perform Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man, there will be nature activities, home baking and much more. On the 12th of June  for the Big Lunch we will have our annual Dog Show and Baking competition as well as lots of other foodie activities: smoothie bike, apple pressing and much more. We hope to see you there! Bring a neighbour.

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DogShow.jpg

Postcode Lottery Funding

Great news! Our project has just received £20,000 from the Postcode Local Trust for the Sustainable Futures project. The funding will enable us to expand on our current work with schools and the community to organise new outdoor education, play and community events and ensuring the land is well maintained in the future. Postcode Local Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

For more information about funding of the trust, please visit http://www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk

 

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