GLASGOW BEGGING STRATEGY

GLASGOW BEGGING STRATEGY

GLASGOW BEGGING STRATEGY

INTRODUCTION

Begging is a complex issue. Over recent years many cities in Scotland have experienced an increase in begging, and Glasgow has been no exception.  Begging has a significant life impact on vulnerable individuals as well as on wider society.  It is a multi-faceted issue and requires innovative, integrated partnership working to deliver sustainable solutions and interventions.

The Glasgow Begging Strategy was developed by a Short Life Working Group (SLWG) which was established by Glasgow City Council’s City Centre Strategy Board as a multi-partner forum. Chaired by Councillor Allan Casey, the SLWG comprised a wide range of public sector agencies, third sector groups, and private businesses and business networks. Importantly, people with lived (or personal) experience of street begging were involved in the development of the Glasgow Begging Strategy and will continue to be involved in its implementation going forward.

In September 2020, Glasgow City Council’s City Administration Committee approved the Glasgow Begging Strategy for a 6-week public consultation. The feedback from this exercise was used to inform the strategy document, and a revised version was formally approved by the City Administration Committee in March 2021.

PROJECT SCOPE

The Glasgow Begging Strategy identifies three strategic objectives:

  1. To support people on the street who are begging
  2. To reduce the need for people to have to beg
  3. To provide cash-alternatives for people who wish to support vulnerable individuals

The Glasgow Begging Strategy has been framed around four Key Projects in order to deliver these strategic objectives.

  1. Alternative Giving
  2. Financial and Digital Inclusion Services
  3. Environmental Strategy
  4. Public Perceptions

During the development of the Glasgow Begging Strategy, it was recommended that some actions should commence at the earliest opportunity and in advance of formal document approval. Accordingly, delivery of the Financial and Digital Inclusion Services, and the Alternative Giving Key Projects were expedited.

The Alternative Giving Key Project (Street Change Glasgow) was formally launched with the installation of the first contactless donation point in Glasgow Central Station in March 2020. Managed by Simon Community Scotland, the Street Change Glasgow initiative is a citywide response to begging and rough sleeping and is the first of its kind in Scotland.

Street Change Glasgow has been designed alongside people with lived experience and is open and transparent in how funding is disbursed to those seeking support. The initiative is a result of a significant collaboration between citizens, business, communities, and organisations, working together to help develop creative solutions, and deliver support and opportunities to those who need it most.

The Financial and Digital Inclusion Services Key Project commenced in 2018/19. Funded by both Glasgow City Council and Simon Community Scotland, it seeks to ensure that vulnerable users have access to their maximum benefit entitlement whilst also investigating ways to increase their access to key services, including:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Skills training and development
  • Other meaningful activity
  • Other tailored services appropriate to the individual

The Environmental Strategy Key Project is designed to increase street safety and encourage positive uses of public space, and will explore options which:

  • Encourage businesses to take a more proactive approach to securing vacant unit shopfronts
  • Reduce negative use of space through effective street design e.g. Secured by Design
  • De-clutter unnecessary street furniture

The Public Perceptions Key Project will seek to raise awareness and change behaviours so that members of the public:

  • Can understand and access existing support services
  • Can access information about what they can do to help and how to do it
  • Remain informed of key issues
  • Are aware of alternative options for public donations

This activity will also align with aspects of the Alternative Giving Key Project, through which the Street Change Glasgow initiative will endeavour to:

  • Change negative public perceptions about begging and provide positive narratives
  • Obtain buy-in and develop partnership working with businesses and city entrepreneurs

IMPLEMENTATION

An outline Action Plan has been included within the Glasgow Begging Strategy to provide an overview of the initial outputs. As a “living” document, the Glasgow Begging Strategy is intended to continue to develop and evolve according to the needs of the local community and its most vulnerable members.

A Project Management Group has been created to oversee and coordinate project delivery against the outline Action Plan. Reporting and governance mechanisms have also been established to ensure open and transparent communication on progress achieved throughout the agreed lifetime of the project, with quarterly reporting to a Steering Group and annual reporting to the Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community & City Engagement City Policy Committee (WECCE).

STAKEHOLDERS

The Glasgow Begging Strategy was developed by a working group which included such influential and important stakeholders as Big Issue, British Transport Police (BTP), City Centre Retail Association (CCRA), Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP), Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Missions, Homeless Network Scotland, Marie Trust, National Health Service Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Police Scotland, Simon Community Scotland, and Turning Point Scotland.

It is hoped that the range and scope of project partners will continue to increase as activity progresses, through public sector agencies, third sector groups, and private business networks. Particular emphasis will be given to local community groups that want to become involved, especially given their knowledge and understanding of local issues and the impacts they can have.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

The Street Change Glasgow Ambassador programme provides an opportunity for people and organisations to become involved and help support project delivery.

Further information about Street Change Glasgow can be found via the project website:

https://www.streetchangeglasgow.com/

CONTACTS

A copy of the current version of the Glasgow Begging Strategy can be accessed here:

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=49525&p=0

Enquiries about the Glasgow Begging Strategy can be made to:

citycentrestrategy@glasgow.gov.uk

Sauchiehall

Sauchiehall

(Y)our Sauchiehall

The District Regeneration Framework was approved by the Council in April 2016 and work is underway to complete the implementation planning. Find out the latest news about Sauchiehall here.

The Framework documents can be downloaded from the links below:

Full Sauchiehall and Garnethill Regeneration Framework April 2016 Full Document [6MB PDF]

Sauchiehall and Garnethill Regeneration Framework April 2016 Summary Document [4MB PDF]

In addition to the key projects identified in the Framework, the District will also benefit from the Avenues project which is part of City Deal. This means that Sauchiehall Street to Charing Cross as well as Renfrew Street to Killermont Street will be redeveloped.

The proposals have been developed to maximise the benefit of the Districts existing assets such as:-

The arts and cultural institutions, including The Glasgow School of Art, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, The Theatre Royal Glasgow, The Glasgow Film Theatre and the Centre for Contemporary Arts, The 0² ABC, the Pavilion Theatre, Cineworld and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The west side of Sauchiehall Street has capitalised on its multifunctional night time economy and has evolved into a social entertainment destination.

The west side of Sauchiehall Street also acts as a pivotal connector to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Mitchell Library.

The developments will improve the connectivity of this District with the rest of the City Centre and the City generally which will benefit residents as well as visitors and businesses.

The high number of entertainment and art venues and how close together they create unique opportunities to improve the pedestrian experience. This will ensure the District makes the most of all these things, particularly at night. Reducing the amount of the roadway given over to the car will reduce the impact that constant vehicle movement can have.

Sauchiehall District

Map of Sauchiehall District (click to enlarge)

Blythswood

Blythswood

(Y)our Blythswood

The Blythswood District Regeneration Framework (DRF) was approved by Glasgow City Council, and we are now focusing on the implementation of the action plan.
The documents are available here Full Version  Summary Version

Blythswood marks the western edge of the city’s central business district. The deep cut of the M8 creates a divide between the city centre and its adjacent west-end neighbourhood.

The District has a large element of business and commercial use. There is little in terms of pedestrian realm and the modern buildings tend to be high rise with little or no ground floor activation – again nothing which makes the pavement a place for people.

The M8 dominates this area, as a major approach to the city centre. It presents a major challenge to people trying to approach the city from the west on foot. The gap sites and the St Vincent Street overpass, which can be reconfigured to create a strong pedestrian and cycle link directly to the city centre, are great opportunities to re-connect the city.

The following Avenues project for this District will significantly improve the look and feel of this public space.

  • St Vincent Street

A project to complement the Avenues by significantly improving the pedestrian and cycling experience as well as wayfinding.

  • North Street – Motorway

Find out the latest news about Blythswood here.

Map of Blythswood District (click to enlarge)
Central

Central

(Y)our Central

The Central District Regeneration Framework (DRF) was approved by Glasgow City Council, and we are now focusing on the implementation of the action plan.
The documents are available here
 Full Version Summary Version

The Central District is the fourth of nine developed as part of the City Centre Strategy. As its name suggests, the area defined as the Central District Regeneration Framework (CDRF) is at the heart of the city and the wider city region. Indeed, this area captures the essence of central Glasgow. The strongly defined urban street grid, the two major terminus rail stations, the riverfront, the principal streets including Buchanan Street, Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street and civic squares such as George Square are all synonymous with Glasgow. In most people’s mental map of Glasgow, the area between and around Glasgow Central and Queen Street Stations is the city centre.

The area covered in the Central District Regeneration Framework can be considered as the most ‘complete’ and intensive piece of the city centre, with the planned grid sweeping up Blythswood Hill still characterising this area. As Glasgow flourished following the Enlightenment and throughout the Industrial age the city centre expanded westward rapidly, leaving a rich urban architectural heritage in the contemporary cityscape. George Square is the natural civic gathering space in the city. Royal Exchange Sq., Nelson Mandela Sq. and Blythswood Sq. provide further evidence of Glasgow’s historic grandeur. The “Golden Z” or “Style Mile” of Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street, and Argyle Street has long been the spine for Glasgow’s retail and commercial core.

This District Regeneration Framework outlines a vision, projects and an action plan to refocus the Central District of Glasgow over the next ten years. It overlaps with adjacent DRFs, notably Broomielaw, St. Enoch, Blythswood and Sauchiehall & Garnethill and is intended to align with these DRFs and set out a framework for adapting Glasgow to the changing demands of contemporary city life as it faces local and international challenges.

In short, Glasgow is a city of perpetual change and its various transitions from a religious centre to a seat of learning to a city of merchants to the hyper-intense Industrial Glasgow and through to the present day has left a significant legacy, not least in this part of the city centre.

Preparing this Framework has been a collaborative effort involving many people with a stake and interest in the Central District and the wider city centre. Public Sector resource constraints will make partnership between the Public and Private sectors essential. Despite this, CDRF outlines a vision, objectives and proposals to redefine the Central district in the next ten years and beyond.

In summary, the many opportunities to regenerate Central are positioned around five main themes.

  • (Y)our Updated Mobility
  • (Y)our Great Streets and Spaces
  • (Y)our Great Buildings
  • (Y)our Vibrant Central
  • Transforming (Y)our Central

Within these themes are large, medium and small projects. The next stage is to assess feasibility and deliver change over the ten-year life of the project.

This city’s motto is “Let Glasgow Flourish”. If Glasgow is to flourish in the 21st Century the city centre will have to be at the vanguard of wider regeneration, with Central District at the fulcrum; right at the heart of (Y)our Future City Centre.

(Y)our Central
Map of Central District (click to enlarge)
Broomielaw

Broomielaw

(Y)our Broomielaw

This District was Glasgow’s first quay and home to commercial paddle steamers. This part of the city is characterised by long north-south blocks, with narrow streets connecting Argyle Street with the waterfront. The waterfront, in turn, connects with the south bank via the King George Bridge and the new pedestrian Tradeston Bridge (The Squiggly Bridge).

Broomielaw has benefited from significant investment and it has evolved to be part of the IFSD (International Financial Services District). Major public realm improvement works at the water’s edge have significantly improved the waterfront in this area, creating a high-quality public realm which pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy.

The slowdown in office development caused by the world’s economic crisis provided an opportunity to appraise the success of work already carried out and identify a strategy to create a thriving and sustainable mixed use Business District. The opportunities identified include providing more amenity (food, retail, hotels, events, etc.) to those that work and visit during the day as well as looking at the profile of the area’s night-time environment. To help support this the importance of residential development has also been identified.

In addition to the District Regeneration Framework and Masterplan, the Avenues project will also have a positive effect on Broomielaw. The Avenues identified are the Waterfront and Argyle Street. This would be in addition to other development opportunities which exist on both the North and South Banks of the river and the potential expansion of IFSD.

(Y)our Broomielaw

Map of Broomielaw District (click to enlarge)