Glasgow City Council criticised over delayed repairs to parks damage caused by gigs

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The concert organisers are said to have paid handsome fees to Glasgow City Council

Damage to Glasgow parks following major gigs and festivals is taking years to be fixed, community representatives have said, as the council “promises the Earth and delivers nothing”.

Community councillors in Craigton and Calton criticised the city’s neighbourhoods team over delayed repairs when councillors met [Wednesday] to consider licence bids for events such as TRNSMT at Glasgow Green and Arctic Monkeys in Bellahouston Park.

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Promoters DF Concerts pay “handsomely” for work to be carried out when required, and one city councillor said a lack of action from the council is “not acceptable”.

The TRNSMT festival is staged on Glasgow Green.The TRNSMT festival is staged on Glasgow Green.
The TRNSMT festival is staged on Glasgow Green.

Sheila Yuill, from Craigton Community Council, said there is “outstanding damage” to Bellahouston Park from gigs in 2018, 2019 and 2022. “The problem is NRS [ the council’s neighbourhoods, regeneration and sustainability department] comes out, goes round the park and promises the Earth and delivers nothing,” she said, adding just last week 1,000 wildflowers had been “destroyed”.

“We’ve been given assurances and they’ve not been kept. Five years of damage is unacceptable to the local community.” She later added: “Unless NRS get their act together, there will be a formal objection next year. I have done everything I can, I’m getting nothing back from NRS.”

While Tricia Fort, of Calton Community Council, said one of its members had “noticed that holes drilled in aid of TRNSMT festival had not been filled. NRS said they would look into it, we have heard nothing since,” she added. “If fences are put up which make holes in footways and these are not filled, during winter these can fill with water, become ice, expands and before you know it, the footpath has broken up.”

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Glasgow’s licensing committee granted temporary public entertainment licences to DF Concerts for four events this summer. These are TRNSMT, in Glasgow Green from July 7 to 9, and Muse on June 23, Arctic Monkeys on June 25 and Guns ‘N’ Roses on June 27, which all take place at Bellahouston Park.

Cllr Alex Wilson, SNP, who chairs the licensing committee, said DF Concerts is “not at fault” and “pay handsomely” for any damage. He added feedback from the community councils would be passed on to NRS.

“Glasgow badly needs entertainment, especially following the pandemic,” Cllr Wilson said. “Glasgow, I think, is a very, very good crowd for any band. I think we should be open for business in terms of allowing people to have fun.”

Archie MacIver, representing DF Concerts, said the firm has “years and years of experience” of delivering “huge events”. “They recognise their responsibilities,” he added. “DF have done their bit. There is a bond lodged for these events, any damage is taken out of that bond.”

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Cllr Thomas Kerr, Conservative, said there is “a wider problem with NRS”. “I think it’s up to all councillors on this committee to raise that. DF Concerts are paying a handsome amount of money to the council to get repairs done. There are no serious objections to these events taking place, there’s an objection to how the council is acting afterwards. It’s not acceptable, DF Concerts are paying the money and afterwards the communities are not getting the benefit of that.”

Previously, cherry blossom trees in Bellahouston Park were vandalised. Mr MacIver said the trees would be fenced off during the concerts.

Cllr Zen Ghani, SNP, said he shared concerns about Bellahouston Park, particularly the trees. “I’m pleased to hear that steps will be taken to protect those trees going forward,” he added. “I’m sure that’s very encouraging news for local residents and the community. We should be opening Glasgow’s doors, reinvigorating the city after a difficult pandemic and bringing life back into the city.”

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