The Public Hearing for the asset transfer request made by The Children’s Wood was on Monday 26th October, 10am 2020. The Public Hearing was requested by The Children’s Wood in relation to their Asset Transfer application for a 25 years lease for The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow. The council have offered the Children’s Wood a 25 year lease for The Children’s Wood and Meadow. The Children’s wood are delighted to accept the Asset Transfer offer, however they could not accept the clause added by the council. The clause would allow the council to take back an undefined part of the land for educational purposes with only 12 months notice. The Children’s Wood believe this is not an offer of Community Empowerment since there would still be uncertainty over the land and therefore would provide no security to the local community. The Children’s Wood have asked the council to remove the clause. A decision will be made by Friday 30th October 2020. We’ll keep you posted
Below is part of the Children’s Wood statement made on 26th.
“What more can the local group do to show the council that this community wants empowerment. For 25 years the local community has fought to prevent building on the Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow, and have created inventive ways of using the land for valuable local community activities.
For the last nearly 10 years these have been combined with also showing an alternative use for the land i.e. The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow; a space for all of the community aged 0-100. The Children’s Wood charity has proven that they can deliver high quality outdoor education and look after a much loved local greenspace for all local people to use. The Children’s Wood plan is not an idea or a concept, they are making community happen and have shown that this works. They employ well trained staff and volunteers and are seen as experts in the outdoor learning field and work with well over 20 local educational establishments many of whom are Glasgow City Council run. The Children’s Wood supports the curriculum for excellence.
Over the last 25 years the community in North Kelvinside/Maryhill have been through 2 public hearings in relation to retaining the site for the community, 10 years of Compendium Trust, and now why will the council not recognise that this community wants to be empowered. The Children’s Wood wants this clause removed
The past 25 years have been about community self-empowerment, they did it themselves. If this isn’t an exemplar for community empowerment then what is the point of community empowerment in Scotland? We can hardly see a better example, The Children’s Wood seems to be a model candidate.
The range of activities now supported by the local community include high quality educational services, mental health provision (prescribed by local GP’s) gardening and many other social and well-being functions.
So, The Children’s Wood put the Asset Transfer in, and The Council say they can have the Asset Transfer, BUT that they won’t have any control. Is this really community empowerment?
The Council cite all the planning regulations as a protector of the CW and local community rights, but this negates community empowerment. The whole point of this asset transfer is not to have battles again and again but to let the community be free of any threat to the land and to allow them to be truly empowered.
In summary, given the 25 years of continual action from the local community to keep the land, and the almost 10 years of continual community development from the Children’s Wood, are they not an ideal candidate for enacting the Community Empowerment Bill? If they can’t do it, then who can?”