Go Ape’s Pollok Park plan approved

Sad but hardly shocking news that the lemmings at Glasgow council have approved the Go Ape proposal. The BBC covers the story, and gives the final vote as 14 in favour, 6 against. I gather this includes a number of SNP councillors, which shows the ineptitude is not even along party lines.

This *clearly* demonstrates we have councillors of all political persuasions that treat the electorate with *complete and utter contempt*. Over 4000 signatures to the petition (which is still available online), and over 800 objection letters, against a few hundred supporting. The number of people objecting outweighed the votes any one of the councillors received at last years election: A strong and compelling mandate, and also gives the lie to the ‘consultation’ that was ineptly organised they can’t even answer Freedom of Information requests about the framework they used.

The Evening Times has more, including an excellent report. One councillor interviewed explained the protesters wouldn’t sway them, as the application must be viewed on its merits. This is one of the problems with the very planning process and the council that people are “just doing their jobs”, and not looking at the wider implications of the proposal and decision, not least that there are thousands of people voicing a strong opinion against. Whether it’s a stand on principle or to enable wider political campaigning on this issue (he had to tread carefully in the run-up to the vote), but Glasgow’s only Conservative councillor resigned from the committee after the vote.

The more I learn about this proposal, the more clear it becomes that the council is intent on just doing what it wants. It’s very much my hope that this issue is kept to the fore in the coming weeks, months and years, and that the voting record of the councillors on this committee are put to them at the next election. They are intent on selling off the assets, and turning one of the biggest urban green spaces in Europe into a theme park. Before too long the trees themselves risk being endangered when the next proposal comes along to turn the North Wood pond into a boating lake…. I was running in Pollok Park earlier today, and yesterday evening, and it was delightful. For how much longer?

Go Ape should be ashamed to call themselves a considerate and environmentally sensitive company. I *had* been thinking of going and giving the Aberfoyle course a go, but I’m staying well clear of this company at least until they see the error of their ways.

Update

* G41 have a detailed breakdown of the meeting.
* ‘How they voted’ added below.

How they voted

FOR

* George Redmond, Lab
* Jonathan Findlay, Lab
* Liz Cameron, Lab
* Frank Docherty, Lab
* Alex Glass, Lab
* Jean McFadden, Lab
* Catherine McMaster, Lab
* Shaukat Butt, Lab
* Paul Rooney, Lab
* George Ryan, Lab
* Jim Todd, Lab
* Iris Gibson, SNP
* Jahangir Hanif, SNP
* John McLaughlin, SNP

AGAINST

* Jim McNally, Lab
* Margot Clark, Lib/Dem
* Craig Mackay, SNP
* George Roberts, SNP
* David Meikle, Conservative
* Kieran Wild, Green

Club winter handicap

I’ve a few posts lined up, but figured I’d start off with news on the running that I’m quite pleased with. I came 2nd in my running club winter handicap championship!

This is an annual competition, where the points are awarded based on overall improvement from last year, rather than pure outright speed. As my 10k time last year at the Barrhead 10k was 49:52, and I’d improved to 45:01 (at the Jack Crawford 10k), I got a decent number of points. But I was pipped at the post by a very deserving (and fellow ‘B’ group runner) Ian Goudie, who cut his time from 48:20 to a *very* impressive 43:04. Third was Greig Glendinning (in the ‘A’ group, no less), who took almost a minute off his last years best to go from 39:30 to 38:43. The ladies competition was won by ladies captain Claire Thompson, 2nd was Sarah Dowling, and third Jackie McGuire. Well done to everybody!

The races in the championship were quite varied: I just used 10k times to illustrate relative speed. My first ever cross country race was one of the races, but I hadn’t realised it at the time! Maybe I’d have pushed a bit harder if I’d known I was in with a chance of winning! Of course, next year I’ll have a faster time to start from: I’m really hoping to break through the 45 minute barrier this year. But that just keeps the bar high and me on my toes. A challenge is a good thing, and being a relative newcomer to a sport can have some advantages 🙂

The main club championship is of course based on outright speed, which, you’ll be shocked to hear, means I don’t have anywhere near the same chance of winning. But I am still hoping to complete the criteria (which means a couple of half marathons later this year!), and to see how I’m doing across all the race distances.

It’s all good fun, and now that the winter training is coming to an end with the clocks going forward at the end of the month, I’m really now able to look forward to lots of interesting training runs in Pollok Park, and getting a few more races under my belt after the wedding.