Calls to make Glasgow parks safer with lighting in front of the council
CALLS to make Glasgow’s parks safer with lighting and to end ‘no-go zones’ for women and children at night will be presented to council next week.
Councilors will be asked to support calls for lights to be installed on key roads after a police diversion during COP26 forced residents through Kelvingrove Park late at night.
Hundreds of people are expected to rally in Kelvingrove next Friday to demand council action in a campaign launched by Radio Clyde.
Council bosses have previously said they don’t encourage people to use the parks at night, in part because the lighting would disrupt nighttime wildlife.
But at a plenary council meeting on Thursday, two councilors hope to gain support for motions calling for an investigation into the installation of lights.
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Jill Brown of Labor will ask councilors to ask council staff to write a report on “the infrastructure needed to provide sensitive lighting solutions.”
She said: “I refuse to believe that Glasgow’s parks and open spaces should be considered ‘no-go zones’ for women and children.
“Why can we light up the Botanic Gardens when people have paid for their tickets, but not if they want to go for a run, walk or bike ride after 4pm in the height of winter? ”
Councilor Brown wants “Dear Green Place” to be “welcoming, accessible and safe” year round. “We can see great examples of the way this is done around the world – all it takes in Glasgow is a little imagination and a little courage.”
A spokesperson for the council said public safety is “a top priority” and that it “is actively reviewing the experience of other places” as well as academic research.
Conservative Councilor Thomas Kerr plans to bring forward a motion that calls for public consultation on the issue and a report on the “feasibility of implementing additional lighting in city parks.”
He also believes the council should apologize for the tone of the messages which “appeared to indicate that women and vulnerable residents should be excluded from access to public spaces after dark.”
Councilor Kerr, the leader of the Conservative group, said: “The people of Glasgow have been rightly outraged to learn from their council that parks and green spaces are no-go areas after dark, which at this time of year is as early as 4 pm. ”
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He added that “we will all appreciate the importance of preserving the habitats of nocturnal animals”, the planners made it clear “that technological solutions exist to both protect wildlife and reassure women and vulnerable residents”.
Lighting in parks has been a long-standing issue, with women’s groups and runners calling for improvements, and generator-powered lights were put in some areas during COP26.
The council spokesperson said the issue was “complex” with “competing priorities” but “ensuring personal safety in public spaces is a top priority”.
“We want people to feel safe moving around the city and we are aware that this can be a particular problem for women, LGBTQ + communities and those from black and ethnic minorities.”
He added that a draft active travel strategy focuses on “safe routes” for walking, cycling and cycling and that there is also a “responsibility to protect and promote the city’s biodiversity”.
He said: “It is crucial that we fully understand the potential for unintended consequences in changing the lighting patterns in these natural spaces.
“Careful consideration of possible measures needs to be undertaken to fully understand the potential impact on the city’s flora and fauna, but also whether any changes will create a safer environment for people to use. ”
The demonstration at Kelvingrove Park will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 10 at the Stewart Memorial Fountain.