The Council doesn’t have all the answers and can’t provide all the solutions to all the problems faced by people in Govanhill or indeed any other community in this city. But we are committed to doing as much as we can to help through a partnership approach, working with other agencies and most importantly with the local community.
Work is already underway to tackle poor housing conditions, overcrowding and bad landlords, supported by a partnership between the Council, Scottish Government and Govanhill Housing Association. We are committed to completing this work and will provide the leadership and resources to ensure it succeeds.
We will build on this foundation to create a series of strategic frameworks focussed on key areas to deliver progress for people living and working in Govanhill and to change the perception of the area.
This paper outlines our priorities at this time. However, it is by no means exhaustive and we will work with local residents and partners to take forward these initiatives and develop further initiatives if necessary.
Following a very successful pilot, the South West Govanhill Acquisition Programme (jointly funded by the Council and Scottish Government working in partnership with Govanhill Housing Association) will now be rolled out to a wider area. This will be supported by expanding a designated Enhanced Enforcement Area to assist with tackling bad landlords.
Action to address poor housing conditions in existing stock will be supplemented with the construction of 350 new housing units to suit a range of needs.
The aim of the programme is to create a sustainable tenure balance; eliminate overcrowding; improve housing conditions, management and repair; bring empty homes back into use; support tenants and drive out bad landlords.
Full details of the programme are set out in the recently published Council document ‘A Strategy For Govanhill Going Forward -2017/18 – 2020/21’. An SNP administration will implement this strategy in full, ensure it is properly resourced and make sure the Council does all it can to help achieve the desired outcomes.
A successful outcome will require a partnership between the different agencies involved and the local community. We are committed to the widest possible engagement and will ensure local residents are able to contribute to the process and are kept informed and updated as the programme is progressed.
Govanhill is home to a wide range of small businesses and has a particularly strong focus on food and drink.
We will encourage the formation of a Govanhill/Strathbungo Business Association bringing local businesses together to work with the Council and other partners to promote Govanhill and attract customers to the area, providing new employment and investment opportunities.
Negative portrayals of Govanhill in the press and on social media are damaging to businesses as well as to local residents. We will develop a strong and positive media strategy to counteract stigmatisation and showcase the many advantages of living, working and doing business in Govanhill.
We are determined to raise attainment and ensure all our young people have the same opportunities to move on to higher education.
We will ensure local nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools are properly resourced to provide high quality education for all, with increased language support and support for family learning.
We recognise the huge advantage that linguistic diversity can potentially bring to Glasgow businesses and will work closely with schools and businesses to make the most of the opportunities.
We will guarantee funding for Sistema to continue to provide musical tuition for Govanhill children in local nurseries and primary schools and support other local initiatives.
We will bring a renewed focus to reaching out to disengaged young people and increase the training and employment opportunities that are available locally.
Cleansing issues have been a problem in Govanhill for years. We are committed to ensuring that all tenemental properties are provided with modern bins and replacing the galvanised ash bins which are not fit for purpose.
Where necessary we will instruct an increased frequency of uplifts.
In the public realm we will replace on street bins with smart bins, giving up-to-the-minute updates to ensure speedy collection of waste.
Reducing flytipping will be a top priority and we will pursue the highest penalties possible for those who are caught dumping rubbish on our streets.
We will work with the Friends of Queen’s Park and other local groups to ensure local parks and gardens are accessible, safe and well maintained.
This will include a specific examination of lighting in and around Queen’s Park and other areas where people feel unsafe.
Our wider investment in LED lighting will make Govanhill brighter as well as greener and cheaper for the public purse.
We will appoint a neighbourhood manager for Govanhill.
Govanhill currently has reasonably good public transport links by train and bus but walking and cycling can be a challenge.
The South City Way will provide a segregated cycle route from Queen’s Park to the city centre. This will not only help cyclists it will help focus attention on Govanhill as a place for sustainable transport.
We will also invest in repairing and maintaining pavements and footpaths - as well as roads - to make walking safer and more enjoyable.
Fear of crime is a problem in Govanhill, particularly for elderly people. We will work with the police and community safety officers to ensure they maintain a very visible presence and continue to support the use of mobile and static CCTV to deter crime.
We will develop a street harassment strategy as well as ensuring that improvements to the public realm enhance safety.
Improvements to lighting will also help deter crime.
We will stabilise funding for Dixon Centre, which plays a vital role in supporting older people and carers in the wider area.
We will support the particular needs of local GPs and Govanhill Health Centre and support a public health focus on poverty-related health issues in the area.
In partnership with third sector organisations we will prioritise local programmes based on preventative services and early intervention.
Govanhill has a long history of being a reception centre for migrants arriving in Scotland and this continues to be the case. The diverse nature of Govanhill is what attracts people from many different backgrounds and cultures to make it their home.
We recognise the challenges new migrants can face integrating into a new community.
We will continue to support existing integration and support work but we will also create a new Roma Centre to provide increased support and advocacy for a group who are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and poverty.
Govanhill has a very vibrant community sector and a wide range of community centres, groups, activists and activities.
There are a range of organisations working in Govanhill to improve lives, such as the work being done by South Seeds to challenge fuel poverty. The Govanhill Baths Community Trust is nationally recognised as an outstanding example of a community-led initiative that has paved the way for similar projects.
We will work with the full range of community organisations and local residents to boost empowerment and engagement.
This will include bringing together residents and local community groups - representing all strands of the community and businesses - to work directly with elected members and council officers to take forward the above actions.
Participatory budgeting will enable local residents to have a direct say on how public spending will help deliver their priorities.