“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine”- Che

When compiling this Blog it became apparent to us that it is far easier to verbally discuss what we have or intend to achieve than it is to write about it.

This is a problem that Merrylee Matters has always had, you either understand how our ethos works completely, or you don’t understand it at all and make the mistake of diminishing our capabilities and achievements.  We have not one aim, objective or mission, although many would like to slot us into a box, may be a coffin, sorry couldn’t resist.

A local Councillor once asked us to describe “the whole” of what Merrylee Matters had achieved and how exactly did it work.  Someone answered “that you don’t need to look at the instruction manual every time you use your washing machine, it becomes instinctive”  To me that sums it up perfectly, we have no manuals, no check lists, no guidelines, we are not dictated to or controlled by any other organisation or individuals, we work intuitively for the social welfare of others, whatever that requires. Our activist are not bosses or employees, but are comrades, striving collectively for the same purpose.

We undertake many projects, from gardening for the elderly and vulnerable, to representation and advocacy dealing with the various agencies; have campaigned on local and wider issues.  Have given advice, support and our expertise to other individuals and groups. When trying to compile a comprehensive list it became impossible, an accolade to all involved.

However, for those who would like an insight I will give one of many, many examples:-

As previously mentioned our community has been ravished unmercifully by the developers, they have left no scrap of land that could be bought or sold untouched.

This started as far back as the late 1990’s when a local Councillor, along with the Chair of a local Community Council supported the leasing of Public Land, football pitches, to a Private Tennis Club for the sum of £1.00 a year, this had been reported at the time to Audit Scotland, who deemed the deal unlawful, however this still went ahead despite the protests of the local community.  The lands value at this time had been estimated at £125,000.  The Tennis Club promptly built a car park for members, and their own car park was sold and developed on, making them a huge profit. Oh, the same Chair is now a Glasgow City Councillor.

No one from this Community could afford the fees for membership, so we lost part of our sports facility and the tennis club made a profit.

Later, Glasgow City Council’s education department decided to close three local schools and build a new “Super School” on the remaining football pitches, Merrylee Matters had campaigned vigorously against this, insisting that the local school should be refurbished, even Development and Regeneration Department of the Council had stated that the building of the school would impinge on recreational green space in the area, in fact created a massive green space deficit, although this development breached the guidelines of Glasgow City Councils, City Plan the development went ahead.

However, there had been one thing the Council had failed to take into consideration and that was the Right of Way which had been established across the pitches.  Again Merry lee Matters fought to preserve this.  What we could not have predicted was the nasty and vindictive interference demonstrated not only by the Council but from the local Community Council regarding the preservation of this historic ROW.  What made this even more ridiculous was that many members of the Community Council had knowledge of this ROW and had used it personally, however when it came to demonstrating its existence they went so far as to produce documentation refuting its use,  how these documents even came into existence is a mystery, they could only have been falsified, so much for Community Councils being an appropriate voice of the Community.  In the end Merrylee Matters saved the Right of Way, and the Council had no choice but to adapt the original plans of the new school to incorporate this Foot Path, which is now lodged with Scot Way and should be preserved for all to use.  The strong resistance to the existence of the ROW had not been because the ROW did not exist, it had been purely disputed because Merrylee Matters had shown the tenacity to disagree with this development.  Although it was impossible for the Community Council to demonstrate that the ROW was not in use, there arrogance and pomposity even challenged the integrity of the Community, and this is the type of organisation who on a daily basis can make life changing decision ion our so called behalf.

This fiasco raised many further issues which Merrylee Matters have dealt with regarding regulating of Community Councils, Ethics in Public Office regarding  local Councillors, wilful failure by Glasgow City Council to adhere to the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act thus breaking the Law, irregularities with Housing Associations.

This is just an example of what we have uncovered in our own small Community, and this only represents a very small percentage of the all of the issues we have and continue to address.  This is why we are always more than happy to assist other individuals and groups when faced with similar problems.

 Over time we will introduce a timeline on all our findings with links to relevant documents.