Friday, 30 August 2013

An open letter to Glasgow City Council regarding Westercraigs Nursery School

Dear Glasgow City Council,

I am in receipt of a copy of a letter to my neighbour and also their original communication to Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council.

Both she and the vast majority of the residents at my home and neighbouring buildings have repeatedly been in touch with Glasgow City Council regarding the temporary situation of Westercraigs Nursery School opposite our homes since it was placed there in summer 2007.

We have made phone calls and sent numerous letters and emails. We have even had a meeting to discuss this nursery school. Over and over again we are told that everything is being done to minimize the disruption to our lives which results from the situation of this establishment too close to our homes which arrived with no consultation, just a letter dated 26.06.2007.

I have placed temporary in italics throughout this letter since the definition of temporary conjures up an idea of 6 months to a maximum of 2 years, not 6 years!

To date some things have been done to reduce its adverse environmental impact most of which arose from the meeting of 09.06.2011 at 1030am in the temporary Westercraigs Nursery. The first major improvement was making the operation of the school term time only which occurred in 2012 due to the involvement of Jennifer Dunn the local SNP councilor.

Our patience with the constant noise, adverse visual impact, additional traffic has long since run out and we have to suffer it on a daily basis (since summer 2012 except during holidays) particularly during nice weather when it is noisier and we want to open our windows.

We have been told that the council does not have the money to build a new nursery school for the children on a different site. However it can find £18 million for its initial abortive attempt to completely revamp George Square which nobody wanted except the Council and £15 million for its latest attempt. What is the Council going to spend the £3 million it has saved on it original George Square plans? Can I suggest a new nursery school building for Westercraigs?
It is interesting to note that Glasgow City Council has £18 million at its disposal for George Square but not a fraction of this to improve the lives of the nursery school children  in Dennistoun who currently and will in future attend the Westercraigs Nursery School in its present location. The children presently have to put up with a temporary building in an unsuitable site, a long strip of playground which has an access road dividing it in two.

It is also interesting that the Council is prepared to spend a large amount of money on something it can see from its own Chambers front windows (i.e. George Square) but not a fraction of this for something we can see (and hear!) from ours.

The above article (see above link) is interesting as it is for building a new nursery school for the total cost of £849970.00. I accept that it is situated in a Spain so weather proofing and other requirements will be very different. But just mentioning this gives some food for thought.
Although the noise and inconvenience created by the children is a symptom of the problem, it is not the root cause i.e. the City Council and its decision to temporarily situate Westercraigs school in an unsuitable place (and to neglect its original building to the point when it was condemned).

We are delighted that the Council indicates it has no plans to move Whitehill Secondary School which unlike the nursery was one of the reasons to move here as it offered an open outlook with only limited disruption. We do however continue to look forward to hearing that Westercraigs Nursery School will be moving to its new permanent home for both the resident’s and the children’s benefit.

Yours sincerely
Christopher Crawford

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