£50m move will bring street cred

A £50million scheme has been launched to bring every one of the Glasgow Housing Association communities up to scratch.

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  • The scheme will improve every GHA community
    The scheme will improve every GHA community
  • The scheme will improve every GHA community
  • The scheme will improve every GHA community
  • The scheme will improve every GHA community

It is putting tenants at the heart of plans to help boost the award-winning Evening Times campaign to improve the city street by street.

Jacqueline Norwood, the association's assistant director for neighbourhood services, said: "Our Gold Standard plans dovetail with the Streets Ahead campaign because they are both about people who want to improve their communities."

Tenants are being asked to help raise environmental standards by grading their communities and agreeing how they can be improved.

It is hoped all communities will reach the new 'Gold Standard' and become some of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in the city.

Residents are being invited to join panels – called Local Environmental Action Forums – to score their neighbourhoods gold, silver or bronze and draw up a plan to reach the highest standard.

Issues they will look at include the cleanliness of back courts, closes and foyers and the state of grassy areas around homes.

Those on the panels will become part of our Street Champions network across the city. GHA will listen to their recommendations – and GHA environmental teams will take the action needed to dramatically improve the areas.

Gordon Sloan, chairman of GHA, said: "Our investment work has already improved tenants' quality of life in our communities, but we want all our neighbourhoods to be safe, clean and well-maintained.

"The new groups will grade neighbourhoods and agree a plan on how they can be improved.

"Tenants will play a central role in helping us raise standards all over Glasgow – and make sure we maintain them."

The plan is for tenants to help all GHA neighbourhoods reach the Gold Standard within three years.

A total of 14 Local Environmental Action Forums panels will be set up, with up to 15 tenants in each.

The groups will be part of Glasgow Housing Association's integrated environmental service, with locally-controlled environmental wardens, arborists, gardeners and mobile night wardens.

They will work in partnership with Glasgow City Council and, for example, GHA's new Enforcement Officers, who also monitor the environment to make sure dog fouling and fly-tipping are not blighting communities.

Ms Norwood added: "Our new Gold Standard will be a mark of excellence – a consistent standard everyone is entitled to.

"We want people to be proud of where they live and proud to have friends and family visit.

"So far, the response from tenants has been fantastic.

"The Evening Times' Streets Ahead campaign has already shown people in Glasgow are willing to work to improve their communities and we plan to build on that and take things one step further."

Barry Moore has lived in Scotstoun for nine years and was delighted to take part in the GHA's successful Gold Standard pilot last year.

The 43-year-old said: "GHA has already improved the inside of many homes here, but it is the exteriors that really make a huge difference to how you feel about where you live and how people see it.

"The Gold Standard is a great idea because it encourages people to look after the areas they live in. Things such as the Evening Times Streets Ahead campaign are changing the city for the better."

Henry Weldon, Barry's neighbour, moved into the area three years ago and has seen a huge change in standards.

He said: "It used to be quite depressing, with overgrown hedges and litter, but it has been tidied up and is a much nicer place to live in.

"People now treat it with respect and that is good for all of us."

ann.fotheringham@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Environment

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