Consultation re future of People’s Palace and Winter Gardens believed to be a sham

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The Friends of the People’s Palace, Winter Gardens and Glasgow Green believe that:  “the consultation about the future of the People’s Palace building & Winter Gardens recently launched by Glasgow Life and the Glasgow City Council is a sham and an abdication of previous commitments.”

“In 2019 the Council’s City Administration Committee pledged to carry out a public consultation which would “put citizen engagement at the heart of the project”, promote “collaboration and empowerment”, and “create opportunities to collaborate and coproduce elements of the project”. (See PDF Glasgow City Council, City Administration Committe, Report by Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of the Council and City Convener for Culture, Vibrancy and International Co-operation 10 October 2019 cacoctober2019 (PDF)1

At the same meeting a commitment was given that Council staff would test and advise on the technical viability of proposals put forward by the public in the course of the consultation.2

In the consultation now underway the promised collaboration and empowerment have disappeared and have been replaced by the feeble “we invite you to share your thoughts (and) have your say”.3

An online survey has been created which largely consists of ambiguous, irrelevant and incomprehensible questions.4

Participants are asked, for example, to identify and rank potential “partners” for the People’s Palace & Winter Gardens – with no explanation of the role of a “partner” and no option to say: “None required.”

The survey does not even ask the question: “Do you think the Winter Gardens should be restored as was?” – although 70,000 people have signed an online petition calling for this.5

The consultation is being carried out to support a bid by the City Council to secure funding from the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund. Consultation ends on 1st July. But bids have to be submitted by 6th July.

There is, therefore, no possibility of the outcome of the consultation being subject to democratic scrutiny by elected councillors, local community groups and other stakeholders.”

Out in the Open

A spokesperson for the Friends group said: “One event being organised as part of this sham consultation is an outdoors event on Glasgow Green entitled “Out in the Open”. The only thing out in the open about this event is the venue.

Given the lack of any chance for meaningful public input into this consultation, it should really be called: ‘Behind Closed Doors’.”

1) See attached GCC CAC document: “Glasgow Green People’s Palace and Winter Gardens. cacoctober2019 (PDF)

2) See: 26 mins 51 seconds into City Administation Committee – Thursday, 10th October 2019 at 10:00am – Glasgow City Council Webcasting (public-i.tv)

3) People’s Palace and Winter Gardens – Your museum, Your say — Glasgow Life)

4) PPWG_PublicSurvey (typeform.com)

5) Petition · Save the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens for the City of Glasgow · Change.org

www.friendsofppwggg.org.uk
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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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