Local people have been involved in Thriving Places in a number of ways, using different consultation methods. A common theme to these consultations was that local people were asked what they liked and disliked about Easterhouse and how they would change things about the area. People were also asked if they wanted to become more involved in Thriving Places.
‘It’s our community, let us decide.’ - Local Resident
Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Networks Partnership commissioned a survey of 987 people in 2015 who have visited or live near to Seven Lochs Wetland Park. The aim of the research was to gather information on the views and aspirations of people who visit or live near the Seven Lochs Wetland Park. Face-to-face and telephone surveys with local people were also carried out in parks including Auchinlea and Bishop’s Loch.
In the summer of 2017, Glasgow East Arts Company ̶ supported by local people, the Community Organiser and Easterhouse Thriving Places Steering Group - consulted local people on the future of Shandwick Square Shopping Centre, the surrounding area and the connections to other parts of the area, including The Fort, Provan Hall and Easterhouse Rail Station. To help engage with local people, a unit was rented within Shandwick Square.
634 people were spoken to individually over a 5 week period in summer. This was followed by four days of workshop sessions involving local people, local services and planners. The workshops were led by a team of planning consultants. 214 people took part in these sessions and around 100 people dropped in for short periods.
The Community Organiser regularly engages with local community groups and she helped set up the Easterhouse Residents Group, which directly involves local people in the ongoing development of Thriving Places. There are currently 16 local resident members in the group, which is open to anyone who lives in the area. The group has met six times to date.
The Community Organiseer and the Health Improvement Team also hosts Community Breakfasts every three months, with an average of 60 people attending. At the breakfasts, service providers and local people give short five-minute talks based on services available or life in the area. These are received very positively and more local people and volunteers are encouraged to come along. The breakfasts are a great opportunity for local people and services to find out what is going on in Easterhouse, make links with community groups, local organisations and find out more about services.
What Local People Say About Their Area
Local people said that there are a lot of positive things about Easterhouse, for example, local amenities, things to do, friendly people, better housing and improved public spaces. The things deemed not so good by local residents included transport, anti-social behavior, feeling unsafe going out at night, litter and vandalism.
‘Easterhouse people are brilliant’ - Local Resident
The parks survey found that local residents and park visitors liked the Seven Lochs Wetland Park and local parks, with most people considering them somewhere they could relax and unwind. People thought they were a safe place for physical activity and attractive place and a good place for children to play. Around a fifth of people surveyed reported that a café area, toilets, and organized community/family events would have made their visit more enjoyable.
Other suggested improvements included: more general waste bins, more dog waste bins, more litter collections and patrols, improved paths and cycleways, gritting paths in winter and more benches. The survey results show the most common reasons people visited Auchinlea and Bishop’s Loch were to entertain a child, exercise a dog, spend time with family and friends and fresh air.
The consultation on Shandwick Square and surrounding area identified a number of local issues. People spoke about wanting improvements to the shopping centre, including better toilet facilities and a community hub, improved access for disabled people and parents with prams and buggies, action to deal with concerns about anti-social behaviour at entrances and exits and at cashpoints, better quality and variety of shops, improved lighting and overall feel to the centre. Additional support for people looking for work was also identified including ideas about creating an enterprise zone within the centre. Issues around access to the centre and transport were also highlighted within the consultation.
Planned Development for Easterhouse
A Town Centre Action Plan is being developed for the area around the Shandwick Square and Fort Shopping Centres. This plan focuses on physical regeneration of the area and will fit alongside this plan. There are also a number of housing developments planned for the local area. These are shown on the map on the next page. There are plans to build potentially around 1,359 housing units in Easterhouse. This is a mix of private and social housing. Some greenbelt land has been released and this means there could potentially be further housing development to the southeast of Rogerfield and northeast of Lochend.