JIM LOGUE We’re making real progress
Well, we’re now almost one year on since the new administration took up office and I can proudly look back and say that real progress has been made in North Lanarkshire to achieve our vision of being a terrific place to live, work, invest in and visit.
We are currently in the third phase of our ambitious modernisation programme to rebuild and refurbish schools, including plans approved for joint campuses at Tollbrae and St Edward’s primaries and a replacement school for Dunrobin and Petersburn.
Work is also well underway at St Dominic’s Primary, which is expected to open later this year.
Through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, we’ll shortly see the new £2.6 million Glenboig link road open, which is fundamental to connecting the Gartcosh and Glenboig communities.
There’s great demand for future housing in these areas, but it was essential to have the right infrastructure in place which then frees up land and opportunities to attract further investment.
This is the first project through City Deal that we’re actually seeing realised and it bodes well for other exciting plans, including the East Airdrie Link Road which will create major potential investment opportunities for communities in and around Airdrie.
This is the biggest single roads and infrastructure investment in North Lanarkshire’s history, which will effectively join the M74 in the south with the M80 in the north.
Proposals to improve access and public transport at Eurocentral, as well as new developments such as Lidl’s regional distribution centre, will undoubtedly see improved connectivity in the area, the creation of thousands of jobs and a significant boost to the local economy.
Things are really changing in North Lanarkshire at an astonishingly fast pace – and will continue to do so.
We’re also in the midst of the biggest council house-building programme in a generation and we have inspiring proposals to significantly transform housing and revitalise our town centre areas.
Which brings me to the latest movements on our hugely ambitious plans to demolish all 48 residential towers over the next 20 years.
Residents in those council tower blocks identified in the first phase of our plans in Airdrie and Coatbridge will each receive hand-delivered packs by housing officers this week.
It’s vital that residents complete the survey form included to give their views on the redevelopment plans and future housing requirements.
We understand that there will be mixed views on our plans for the tower blocks so it’s important that every resident has their say.
These are bold, aspirational plans, which have support from all political parties, to really transform the landscape of North Lanarkshire’s towns and communities.
And we’re delivering all of this with less budget from the Scottish Government as we continue to see the cuts, in real cash terms, that local government receives, which was highlighted last week by Audit Scotland.
These developments all take time, but I would honestly say that over this last year, we’ve seen our plans start to take shape.
We’re seeing new roads, schools and housing developments being built, investment in our industrial and commercial sites, the creation of new attractions for visitors, like the new crannog play facility at Drumpellier which links to the Seven Lochs Wetland Park.
Latest statistics indicate that North Lanarkshire’s economy is the strongest and fastest growing in Scotland and this investment is creating jobs, hope and aspirations for the people in our communities.
We’re being hugely ambitious and this last year has witnessed some great change.
Indeed, there are some exciting times ahead and I am proud to be leader of North Lanarkshire Council.
Exciting times Mr Logue (second from left) meets with (L-R) Shirley Linton, head of planning and regeneration, Kevin Stewart MSP, minister for local government and housing, and housing development manager Pamela Humphries to discuss future plans for North Lanarkshire