The TOPS team in Oatlands have produced their first newsletter. The school aged, local children fancy being journalists. Under the guiding hand of volunteer media mentor, Colin Mackie, they have come up with a cracking headline story: ‘Where is our Park?’ Pictured in front of metal fencing and a tractor, the youngsters point out they have nowhere safe to play. The Richmond Park is across major, busy roads. So they are left to play around a building site. ‘That’s dangerous.’ they point out.
Glasgow City Council has been asked what has happened to the promises of 1998 and earlier when a shop, a children’s play area and the St Margaret’s church building were all going to be available for local residents. ‘We’re still waiting,’ said one disgruntled local person. When the Council responds their answer will be posted on this website.
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.
Parents from a school that teaches children with learning and physical disabilities are ready to stand their ground with Glasgow City Council.
The Council aim to move the 23 pupils of Richmond Park school in Oatlands up to Kelbourne School in the north end of the city.
But with concerns over the upheaval and disruption to the children this may cause, parents are saying they will defy the council, and not send their kids across the city to the new school.
Anna Williams, from Parkhead, has a son Frazer, 11, who is primary 7 at Richmond Park School.
She said; ‘The Kelbourne School is an old Victorian building, it’s not built for the purpose. And at the end of the day it’s me that will decide if my child is going or not. Personally I’m not sending him there.
‘They will be sharing with kids at Kelbourne, but that’s not the problem – it’s the fact that my boy, who is in primary 7, will will to move school for a few months then have to move again to Secondary school – it’s all very disruptive.’
Councillor Jonathan Findlay, Executive Member for Education explained that this is just one part of a process involving five schools, for children with varying degrees of learning difficulties, across the city.
The plans will see the children from Hampden School relocating at Richmond Park.
He said: ‘The Council is taking the potential impact on each child at each of the schools involved in the consultation very seriously indeed.
‘It is envisaged that by merging, relocating and investing in these schools, they will be better able to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children.’
A further spokesperson for Glasgow City Council insisted that a full consultation process was in place, but were unable to pass comment until it’s completion, on 11 November.
Anna Williams went on to explain that the meetings so far have been of little hope to the parents.
She said; ‘We met with a representative from the council and Frazer asked him if he would help to save his school for him.
‘The man replied that he would have to send something in in writing. I think this gives you some idea how out of touch the council are with our childrens’ needs.
‘The parents along with the good people of Oatlands Community are all working together to reverse this crazy decision.
‘The people round here are brilliant and are helping us every step of the way but it’s going to take a miracle to reverse the decision already made by the council.’