In October, 38 Degrees members Ben and Stephen heard that plans were in place to demolish the much-loved steps at the top of Buchanan Street in Glasgow. They set up a petition on Campaigns By You which quickly attracted thousands of signatures.
The plans to remove the steps are part of a development of the shopping centre, and the developer wants to replace the steps with a new glass ‘rotunda’ entrance. The steps are a popular part of Glasgow’s landscape, used by buskers, dancers, protestors, or just as a place to sit. As public space in our city centres becomes increasingly privatised and built upon, Ben and Stephen felt it was vital to protect this landmark.
The decision on whether to keep the steps is about to be made by Glasgow City Council, so 38 Degrees members organised a rally to show the strength of feeling about the issue across Glasgow. On Sunday around 400 people gathered on the steps for a noisy, colourful rally. Ben was interviewed for STV and other newspapers covered the event. Green MSP Patrick Harvie and Radical Independence co-founder Jonathan Shafi were among the speakers who addressed the crowd.
Thanks to 38 Degrees members, the threat facing the steps has received a huge amount of attention and publicity, and the developers face a real fight on their hands if they want to push through their insensitive plans. Ben said on the day: “If the council say that ‘People Make Glasgow’, they’ll have to prove that by listening to the people of Glasgow now, and protecting the steps”.
Let’s keep up the pressure on the council – Save the Steps!
If you live in Glasgow, please contact your local councillors now – even if they’re not on the planning committee, they can voice their opinion and discuss it with their colleagues. It’s easy to email your councillors – just click the link and enter your postcode.