April 2015: Widespread political and public support for campaign to “Clear out that Mess!!”

HCWG’s campaign to clear out the large mounds of logs and debris from the former woodland at Cumberland Avenue has received strong support across the political spectrum. Jackie Baillie MSP (Labour) has told HCWG that she “is happy to support the campaign and will write to Angus Gilmour (the Council’s Head of Planning)”. Mr Gilmour’s department has also received strong representations from Councillor James Robb (SNP), while Councillor Gary Mulvaney (Conservative) has advised HCWG that he “agrees with the desire to get things tidied up” and that he also would be taking up the matter with council officials. Councillor Aileen Morton (Liberal Democrat) and Councillor Maurice Corry (Conservative) have added their voices to the call for action, writing to Mr Gilmour and sending strong messages of support to HCWG. As Councillor Morton says: “This is a substantial green space in what is a fairly densely built-up area; residents deserve better than its current condition.”

Over the last three weeks, HCWG members have also been calling house to house and gathering signatures from friends and family on a petition requesting the Council to take action under Section 179 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 to require the debris and logs to be removed from Cumberland Avenue. The petition with a total of 308 signatures was handed over personally to Councillor David Kinniburgh, Chair of the Council’s Planning, Protective Services and Licensing (PPSL) Committee on 14 April.

In all, 190 of the 308 signatures (62%) came from the immediate area around Cumberland Avenue, with the remainder mostly drawn from elsewhere in Helensburgh. The 190 signatures gathered around Cumberland Avenue represent 60% of the properties in the area. At a further 32% of properties, no-one was at home when HCWG called, leaving only 8% of properties (18 people in total) where residents refused to sign the petition.

With such strong political and public support for action, we now await the meeting of the Council’s PPSL Committee on 22 April, at which the matter is to be decided.