The People’s Plan for Glasgow offers the opportunity for a collaboration of organisations, campaigns and individuals to co-create a revitalised local democracy and a Glasgow that works for people, the planet and future generations.
The aim of the People’s Plan process is to recognise and play an active role in the development of the amazing transformative work already being done locally on issues such as housing, migrant justice, transport, city planning, equality, sustainability, health and economy.
It is hoped that through different ways of working and by acting as a platform for alternative ideas, a commonly owned ‘humanifesto’ will emerge, which rejects the current market based, corporate perspective that fails to offer many residents wellbeing in any form.
The People’s Plan is a process, a plan, and a platform. The pandemic made it even more abundantly clear that we live in a world of haves and have nots where the numbers of the have nots are growing daily. During lockdown, the SANE Collective and Enough! Scotland joined together with individuals, groups and organisations in a series of ‘Conversations for Change’ about the state of Glasgow and what the alternatives might be. Connections were made between those who were working with children in poverty, refugees and asylum seekers, women fleeing violence, young people who are facing unemployment and more. And so began the journey towards A People’s Plan for Glasgow.
Drawing on the themes that emerged from Conversations for Change, a People’s Plan week was launched and between 22nd and 27th February 2021, 15 different sessions were open to the public online. These sessions covered issues such as fair planning, children’s play, community growing, the struggle for an effective public transport system, fair trade and cooperatives, tackling violence against women and developing a fair and just local economy.
The summing up session of Peoples Plan week drew out five themes to organise around as one strand of the People’s Plan process going forward. These themes were:
- Developing a caring economy as the basis of an alternative form of economic planning for the city
- Forging a democratic transformation built round the ideas of radical municipalism, people’s assemblies, development councils and where elected representatives are more answerable to the people
- Recognising the interconnections between place, people and the environment drawing together fair planning where protecting community spaces, facilities and resources from closure and cuts, a fair transport system, protecting community spaces, facilities and resources from closure and cuts
- Developing city where everyone is treated fairly and justly recognising that people can face many different forms of injustice and making clear and transparent what this means and how it might be addressed
- Growing a ‘Dear Green Place’ where the climate crisis is taken seriously, and where land and space is made over for community food production
At the same time, the need to describe the Landscape of Resistance emerged as a vital piece of the People’s Plan jigsaw. This both overlapped with the themes above and focused more on the types of activity that exist in Glasgow. All of these ideas are now taking shape and are represented throughout the People’s Plan website.
Since the inception of the People’s Plan process, the SANE Collective has commissioned four reports critiquing the state of Glasgow City Council’s current strategies for private and public investment, venue closures, and tackling the climate crisis. These works, which contain in places quite startling revelations about the inadequacy and inefficiency of our current direction of policy, help to paint the picture of the need for a People’s Plan.
Through developing this work we were able to forge vital connections on behalf of the People’s Plan. Glasgow Strife led us to working closely with the Glasgow Against Closures campaign, who since early 2021 have been a solid example of the kind of work we want to see under a People’s Plan – drawing attention to the importance of localised community facilities, connecting residents with their local campaigns, engaged with trade unions, reinvigorated community councils across the city, and harnessed the power of the people to save individual venues while challenging the policies and lack of democratic accountability over the decisions making that have caused, and continue to cause damage.
Our discoveries in Glasgow’s Alchemy and Glasgow’s Money hammered home the need for a radical upheaval of the city’s financial strategies. In early discussions surrounding scope for a People’s Plan People’s Assembly process, we were further concerned by the ‘business as usual’ rhetoric that came from 2021’s ‘State of the Economy’ conference just months before the 2021 COP26 Climate Summit, and in our desire to host an alternative event in which to present a more honest and proactive picture to the people of Glasgow, the ‘Reclaiming Our Economy People’s Assembly’ began to take form. These reports also formed the basis of our contributions to a panel on ‘Future Cities’ held as part of the COP26 People’s Summit in November 2021.
Glasgow’s Greenwash was sent to key councillors and MSPs in Glasgow on the 100th morning since the end of the COP26 conference, along with a request to acknowledge and act to repair the dire situation facing the city. The report should be seen as a call to action to anyone in an incoming or future position of power in the city, as its implications have far reaching consequences far greater than our own lives. In March 2022 we hosted an event bringing together organisations referenced in the report with climate activists to discuss their concerns for the city, and scope for alternative processes and practises to remedy them.
The People’s Plan continues to grow with a range of projects and processes designed to engage the People That Make Glasgow with the decision making that affects them. But there’s always room for more voices and always more space to listen. Get in touch if you or your organisation is interested in joining the People’s Plan for Glasgow!