SNP make city heritage plea

THE city council is facing a political challenge over the state of Glasgow's historic buildings.

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SNP councillors are to challenge the council over the state of 150 buildings – including 30 owned by the council – which are currently on the "Buildings at Risk" register.

The party will put forward a motion at a full council meeting next Thursday asking for an assurance that "no more of Glasgow's magnificent built heritage is needlessly lost."

Shabbar Jaffri, SNP councillor for Greater Pollok, said: "There are 150 buildings in Glasgow on the Buildings at Risk register and Glasgow City Council own 30 of them.

"These buildings have been neglected to the point they are crumbling.

The Buildings at Risk register is kept by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Nearly 20% of Glasgow's 'at risk' buildings are council-owned.

The SNP point to the recent demolition of Springburn Burgh Halls as proof the council needs to take better care of historic buildings.

Mr Jaffri added: "We didn't know about Springburn Burgh Halls but, had we, then we would have made a bid to save it.

"We need to make sure the council doesn't go ahead and knock down any others."

The B-listed Burgh Halls, which were council-owned, were demolished in December after an inspection said they were in danger of collapse.

Historic buildings lying empty and rotting across the city include Victorian and Edwardian schools, Pollok Park west stable block and the Barrhead Road Tollhouse.

The SNP want the council to develop an action plan to work with owners to preserve the city's built heritage.

Mr Jaffri added: "Preserving these buildings is preserving a piece of the past.

"We want to see these buildings utilised and given a new lease of life without damaging them or threatening their listed status.

"The administration may say they are factored in to the city plans but the evidence says otherwise."

A council spokesman said: "We are committed to protecting the listed buildings that we own, doing much through maintenance, repairs and payment of insurance costs.

"In addition, we have either led or supported a number of successful refurbishments of well-loved buildings in recent years.

"City Property manage and market – where and when appropriate – 30 surplus listed buildings, in an effort to find the best and most sustainable use for them."

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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