LETTERS SPECIAL - George Square

A £15million plan aims to transform Glasgow's George Square during an 18-month redevleopment.

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An artist's impression of one of the designs
An artist's impression of one of the designs

Six designs have been shortlisted and a six-strong, council appointed judging panel will make the final selection on Friday.

The decision to transform the square has attracted both support and opposition, and many Evening Times readers have voiced their views in letters to the paper. Here is a selection.

HOW can the council make a decision on George Square, which will impact on the citizens of Glasgow for generations to come, in just a few days?

Having looked at both the designs and the Consultation Report, I absolutely despair of our council.

How can a city the size of Glasgow start a process of this magnitude using focus group of just 42 people. That's right – 42.

They then consulted with seven (seven!) stakeholders – i.e., businesses, whose ideas greatly differed from the 42 local residents. The residents wanted a cafe, the businesses don't.

And then we come to the actual designs.

Lovely pictures of barefooted children running through pools of water.

We already have enough natural water features in Glasgow – the rain collecting in the potholes in the roads –without having to pay £15m for new ones.

And finally, the judging panel, which will include Geoff Ellis of DF Concerts (apparently because he helps to organise the Christmas events).

Now I might be a bit suspicious, but if the statues are removed and George Square is opened up for concerts etc, does this not benefit Mr Ellis?

The council doesn't usually wish to engage in meaningful consultation, but only in "tick box" exercises.

I now feel that the council doesn't even want this. It doesn't actually want a record of what the citizens of Glasgow want, because they already know.

We don't want £15m spent ruining Glasgow's focal point.

M McGuian Via e-mail

Not listening

WHEN will the public be allowed to give their judgment on these designs?

Council leader Gordon Matheson said that he would "listen" to what the people of the city wanted.

I do not believe any citizen of Glasgow will have requested acoustic bells, reactive lighting, sound effects nor "pop up" kiosks.

The square does not require a reflective water feature. You only have to lift your head to see the sky, trees and buildings.

It would seem that there are to be no trees or statues in the square. And what about the benches?

People use the square to sit in and watch the world go by.

RETURN the square to its previous standard, with grass, trees and benches. None of the rest of the suggestions are wanted by the people of Glasgow.

Angry Glaswegian

Wrong plans

I AM in favour of a makeover for George Square, as it is really tired looking, but on seeing the six finalists I think the city council has got it all wrong.

For example, in some designs, there's nowhere to put the Christmas ice rink and funfair rides.

In some there is a squinty water fountain, which is OK for Barcelona or Florida, but not Glasgow, where it has chucked it down practically all summer for at least the past four years. In Glasgow we already have a squinty water feature. It's called driving rain.

Even if a fountain would be nice, it would need looked after. Who would removal the discarded drinks cans, half-eaten pizzas and drunken neds?

John Russell Coatbridge

Good designs

I THINK the six new designs for George Square are world class and show Glasgow as a stage for international events.

However, I don't see any litter bins in any of the designs.

In addition, why has the council not invited any Glasgow citizens or children to be on the judging panel?

Mr Clean Glasgow

On thin ice

IT'S Glasgow's premier civic space.

In the six final designs I see no civic merit et all.

Water features and trees planted in concrete should go down a storm in our Scottish summers; or rather go down in a storm, as maintenance costs spiral beyond the need of aesthetic viability in the name of a sporting event.

Sorry to be so negative, but the new designs fail to mention that a shiny new George Square means no Glasgow on Ice – a sporting activity very close to my heart.

JC Glasgow

Priorities

IT is disgrace that £15m is to be spent on the revamp of George Square, especially when the council is closing day centres for children with autism.

Peggy Houston Maryhill

Clear agenda

GORDON Matheson and his council cronies must think all our heads zip up the back. For all his talk of creating a new George Square, the real agenda is clear: sweep the place clear of history so it can be hired out to big business to make private profits.

The square doesn't belong to the city council, it belongs to all of us. And we should all have a say in what does or doesn't happen to it.

Billy Gregg Glasgow

It's a farce

At Hillington, North Cardonald & Penilee Community Council's meeting last night feelings were running high over the council process to revamp George Square.

The consultation process, which involved a survey of just 42 people, has turned the whole redesign project into a farce.

Despite the six designs being exhibited at the Lighthouse, this is only a show, with no opportunity for people to give their opinions.

The question must be, who appointed the jury? It was not the people of Glasgow, they were not consulted.

The jury will make the final decision on which design wins. Councillors or the public only have a few days to give feedback on the designs.

The best thing to do is to let the people of Glasgow have their say.

John Goldie

Chairperson

Hillington, North Cardonald & Penilee Community Council

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/article/news-special-george-square-revamp-...

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