Eight of the twelve places on the newly formed Oatlands Community Council have been decided. They were people who were nominated. So, all eight were elected. This leaves one third of the seats on the new Community Council, vacant. The formal announcement will be made at a public meeting on Wednesday 21 December at 6pm in the Oatlands Community Resource Centre (OCRC) by the City’s independent returning Officer.
That meeting will also elect office bearers and nominate representatives to attend the Local Area Committee and the Community Planning meetings. The regulation funding to allow the Council to run its own affairs will be handed over then, too.
The new Community Councillors are: Jane Cawley; John Fallon; M. Lisa Gillen; Stuart Logue; Donna Motherwell; Tracy Noble; Marie Reilly; David Stewart.
One of the first things on their agenda could well be the allotments which are adjacent to the OCRC. ‘It is all doom and gloom here,’ says Margaret Kerr who is secretary of the Oatlands Leisure Gardens. ‘The new site is waterlogged. It was officially opened in September last year with lots of pomp and ceremony but this year we can’t get anyone to lay claim to it. The site was built on top of Wolseley Street and it has been admitted, verbally, that they only skimmed off the surface of the road and left the hard packed underlay intact. Plotholders have dug up potatoes which were water-logged and have lost fruit trees because they were growing in stagnant water. It looks like a very expensive job to fix as, I think, they would have to dig up the main path and instal deep drainage along the middle with drainage pipes leading to each plot. No one will take responsibility and we cannot even get a response from Glasgow City Council, the Department of the Regeneration Services, Bett Developments or local councillors who are responsible for the site.’
Added Margaret: ‘On top of this, the new site at Oatlands Gate, next to the Bowling Club,has ground to a halt. It was due to be completed in June 2011 but is still not open.’
By Colin Mackie
Community spirit was in full strength at the recent fund-raising day at Oatlands Community Resource Centre (OCRC) where local people and visitors alike, enjoyed free entertainment and a variety of stalls. Many thanks to those individuals and businesses who donated prizes to the raffle, including AA Auto Electrics (Fordneuk Street Bridgeton), Cox`s the Butchers (Main Street, Bridgeton), JK Entertainment (Savoy Street, Bridgeton) and others.
The OCRC has been known as the Blue Hut till recently. Now, thanks to the hard work and passion of the new committee and volunteers, the Centre has found a different direction and focus.
The future is, indeed, “onwards and upwards”. A makeover is planned which will include repainting the outside. Residents of all ages will be able to contribute to a mural design that will depict an Oatlands Timeline up to the present day.
Lisa Gillen, from the OCRC ,commented: “I feel that the people are starting to trust again and they are seeing small changes. Hopefully, soon, they will see bigger ones. It won’t work without genuine community involvement and input. That is vital for this wee community to flourish.’
She added: ‘We all want the same things – the things we were promised all those years ago – a shop and a park. The community has been 17 years without a shop. So once again Oatlands is taking a stand.”
If you go down to the Richmond Park on Sunday 17 July, you’ll get a big surprise! Teddy Bears will be having a picnic, thanks to the Oatlands Community Resource Committee (OCRC). They’ll be with their young friends each of whom will have an accompanying adult. Everyone will tuck into their own packed lunch and go treasure hunting.
This is one event from a full summer programme organised by the new committee and part-time manager, Lisa Gillen, at OCRC. An even bigger event will be a Family Fund-raiser Fun Day on Sunday 14 August starting at 2pm.
Said Lisa: ‘There will be stalls selling all sorts of wonderful things, raffles, tombola, a bouncy castle, face painter, DJ, maybe some Hip Hop………..’
All money raised will go towards activities for local people at what used to be called the Blue Hut but that will change colour as soon as paint is obtained (donations welcome!!!) ‘This helps keep our wee centre open,’ said Lisa. ‘So please show your support and come along….it will be good fun for all.’ She also hinted that a VIP has been invited, but more about that when the VIP confirms…
A regular daily programme includes a Kids’ Club, a Meet and Greet tea and chat session for newcomers and to meet neighbours in this growing district, a Pensioners’ Club, Bingo, Supermarket bus and Zumba – which is so popular a second class is being considered. A college course starts on Monday 29 August covering computer skills, adult literacy and local history but places are limited so sign up quickly. And The Oatlands Press Gang of kids is about to produce their first, monthly, newsletter.
On Sunday 24 July OCRC will hold a sponsored walk around the ‘Ducksy’ in Richmond Park when everyone is invited to join in.
Come October school holidays the committee plans to have a play scheme in place with volunteers and those who plan to pursue a career in childcare. Anyone keen to train for this form of child care should contact Lisa at the OCRC, 8 Logan Gardens, Glasgow, G5 0HP. As a registered charity the organisation can provide all training and process the vital Enhanced Disclosure Certificates.
On the down side, the area still awaits the long promised shop, children’s play park and the critical re-vamp of the listed St Margaret’s church building as a community centre.