It's good to talk

SECURITY arrangements for the Commonwealth Games have been occupying the minds of councillors in recent days.

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As the sporting event gets ever closer, the public is slowly but surely beginning to realise the extent to which their lives are going to change.

For example, last week they found out where they will have to go to access their exercise classes when their local council-run sports venues close and are handed over to Games organisers.

Across the city, people are wakening up to find large metal fences held in place by substantial concrete blocks yards from their front doors.

For many, the barriers mean they cannot park near their home and for the next few months they will have to find somewhere else to leave their motors.

And on Friday, the public was warned the three road races that will take to the streets of the city are going to impact on a large number of streets.

In Dalmarnock, residents insisted they had not been consulted about the fencing and were less than happy it had appeared virtually overnight.

But the council and Games organisers took no such risks with the road races and have a mountain of information in place to ensure anyone who bothers to check can find out just how they will be impacted.

A series of 15 drop-in meetings has been organised and maps are online, along with lists of the individual streets where there will be restrictions.

Some people may not like it, but at least they can't complain they were not told in advance of the changes necessary to allow the road races to go ahead.

What is hard to fathom is how consultation on one area of council business can be so comprehensive when it is non-existent in other controversial areas.

West End residents are furious they were not told in advance about plans to open a hostel for 40 single men.

They insist the plan was presented as a fait accompli and, as a result, locals organised a protest outside a meeting set up to give them information.

In the Merchant City, it was revealed Selfridges had sold a huge site where it planned a £90million store.

The new developers intend to build quality flats and shops and have already said they will draw up their plans in conjunction with local people and businesses.

It is move that will be welcomed by everyone in the area who, for more than a decade, have had to look ay an eyesore of a site.

If a private developer can take the time to work alongside local people, why does the council find it so difficult?

It has to learn to treat local people with respect and not simply as an irritation that stops them doing exactly what it wants to do when it wants to do it.

Consultation would make a huge difference.



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