Queen’s Park group call for more resources

A group set up to improve Queen’s Park has criticised Glasgow city council for a lack of transparency over park funding.

Friends of Queen’s Park has submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the budgets of individual parks across the city.

According to the group, — set up last year — the park suffers from a lack of funding because of its district park status, as opposed to the city status given to parks including Kelvingrove and the Botanic Gardens.

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The council responded that FQP would need to pay £301.28 for the request to be met, under Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations.

Chair Tony Halifax told The Extra: “We believe the situation at Queen’s Park is getting worse. There are even less resources going into the park, and we have no structural information to work with.

“We have come to the view that we’ve spent a lot of effort on clean ups — but we’re never going to change much unless we campaign for more resources.”

The group will appeal the FOI cost with the Scottish Information Commissioner, and are in talks with other Friends groups across the city.

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Tony added: “If we fight collectively then more parks may benefit. We’re now working on a strategy.”

Southside central councillor Mhairi Hunter has voiced her support, and said: “It is fair to say that there is a cost for providing the information but FQP are a voluntary group and the amount asked is a lot of money.

“I will also be pursuing the status of Queen’s Park as a district park — it is not clear what this categorisation is based on, and I am not sure it is helpful.”

A GCC spokesman responded: “The group has already been advised that the council can levy a charge when a request will place a financial burden on the council. Given the level of information requested, and financial pressures on the council, it would be unfair to expect the taxpayer to meet the costs.”

He added: “The council is happy to work constructively with the group and in a way that makes best use of the parks budget.”

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