Residents told Games fences will stay - and more are on way

GAMES bosses have confirmed that controversial security fences in Glagsow's East End will stay up until at least August.

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The fences have sparked fury among local residents
The fences have sparked fury among local residents

And there will be no financial compensation for residents in Dalmarnock who say they have put up with "five years of hell."

The Evening Times can also reveal similar fences have been erected at Hampden Park and Celtic Park, and will be installed at other venues including the lawn bowls centre at Kelvingrove and Cathkin Braes mountain biking track.

Paul Main, Chief Superintendent in charge of community engagement for the Games, said the need for the fencing will become clearer as the event start date nears, when it will become a "transport mall" for athletes and deliveries.

Mr Main said: "I think when people start visiting this venue, as well as others including for the lawn bowls, badminton and squash, they will see the same thing.

"There is no difference to the fence in Springfield Road and the fences at any other venues - Cathkin Braes, the Royal Commonwealth pool in Edinburgh, for example.

"The difference is that it's up so early because it's one of the first venues to become live. It's also in such close proximity to well-established residential communities.

"As the Games progress it could be they realise it's not just them, it will be happening across the city."

Speaking to the Evening Times, Paul Zealey, head of legacy and engagement on the Commonwealth Games organising committee, said he recognises there have been "isolated cases" where residents were not given adequate communication.

Mr Zealey said letters were issued to members of the community informing them of the work due to take place and what the impact would be for them.

Public meetings, including one in March, have also been held to find out residents' problems and let them know what Games-related work will be happening in the area.

From this week representatives from Glasgow City Council and Glasgow 2014 will take to the streets of Dalmarnock to talk to locals about their issues.

Mr Zealey said: "There is no financial compensation available to compensate residents.

"It's trying to work through the list and see what things people are unhappy about.

"Physically from this week we will be about in the area on a regular basis.

"Representatives of the council and the organising committee will be back in Dalmarnock, listening to what people's issues are and trying to answer them on the spot or take them away and get back to them,

"We are trying to work collaboratively to come up with solutions."

He is also unsure of why some residents were woken at 3am by contractors erecting banners outside their homes, as works carried out during anti-social hours are normally for emergencies.

Residents in the area say the 8ft tall fence, which has blocked local access to Springfield Road and the Dalmarnock estate, is the final straw.

They say they have faced five years of disruption; from noisy building work, contractors operating at all times of day and night, and dust and dirt blowing into their homes from the nearby building site.

Eleanor Miller, 50, lives in Springfield Road, one of the worst affected areas.

She said: "I know the fences won't be coming down, I understand that but I think there is some leeway for compensation.

"It's not too much to ask for when you are talking nearly five years of this.

"It's not just because of the fences, it's everything altogether. It's more than a disruption - rubble, dirt, drilling, dust. It's been horrendous. The fences were just the straw that broke the camel's back for a lot of people."

Another local, Anne McGuire, who lives in Birkwood Street, said she was "disgusted" to discover that there will be no compensation.

The 60-year-old said: "We've got fencing round here and there's a road going into the Athlete's Village here. It's going to be an access road as far as I know.

"The fence here, they've not put it right up in front of the houses as they've done on Springfield road, so I don't understand why they can do that here but can't do it over on the other side.

"I think the compen-sation issue is absolutely disgusting.

"We have no amenities here; no shop, no doctor and these are basic needs. It's horrific.

"From start to finish, it's been a complete lack of communication and that's why people are getting angry.

"They need to listen to the ideas of the community and maybe they'd find a better way to do things.

"The community know there will be disruption but the filth you are dragging into your house on a daily basis from all the work and all the disruption - we've had enough.

"You will not please everybody but I think appeasing them with tickets and compensation would be better than nothing.

"It would try and rebuild communications with people."

Commonwealth Games bosses have advised that locals with questions can contact the Get Ready Glasgow information line on 0141 287 2014.

hannah.rodger@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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