Thu 20 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens have urged a long term recovery plan for Sauchiehall Street and the surrounding area, as the Scottish Parliament marked the first anniversary of the devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art.

Patrick Harvie, Glasgow’s Green MSP, told a members’ debate that local residents and businesses are still feeling the effects of the fire and deserve stronger commitments from local and national government.

He also reiterated calls for a public inquiry into the circumstances that led to the fire, following a report from the Parliament’s Culture committee which was highly critical of the Art School’s management.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“Sauchiehall Street is a vital part of the city’s social, cultural and economic fabric and a year on from the terrible fire it is still struggling to get back on its feet. Immediate financial support for affected businesses was welcome, recognising this was of an issue of national importance, but local firms are still struggling through no fault of their own.

“The Scottish Government must work with Glasgow City Council and the local community to put in place a long-term plan to get the area back to being even better than it was before.

“One year on from the School of Art fire it’s right that we acknowledge the deep distress and upheaval this tragedy inflicted on local residents and businesses and the serious concerns which remain, including calls for a full inquiry.”

Green councillor, Bailie Christy Mearns-MacLeod, added:

“The fire was a tragedy and more than a year on, important questions remain about why it happened and whether the art school could and should have done more to prevent it.

“But what’s happened since, including delays for residents and businesses returning to their properties, a lack of clarity about insurance provisions, and poor communications, have deepened the frustration and sense of isolation felt by many. Those who’ve had to endure such upheaval need to know that others have got their back. That’s why the Council and Scottish Government must make a long term commitment to supporting their recovery.”

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