THE Winter Gardens in Glasgow Green look “neglected” and “abandoned” following its closure in January, campaigners have warned.

The appearance of the Victorian glasshouse in Glasgow’s east end is “distressing” volunteers who have been refused access by the city council to tidy up its perimeter.

The Friends of Glasgow Green, People’s Palace and Winter Gardens asked Glasgow City Council if they could access the area to do a “much needed tidy up”, but were told it is a restricted area.

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Group member, Mairi Robertson Carrey, told The Evening Times: “The much-loved Winter Gardens is beginning to resemble a forgotten relic, the steps and masonry are being taken over with weeds and long grass, rubbish bags allowed to pile up, trash strewn around the grounds.

“Despite pledges of maintenance, during the past 6 months of temporary closure, it does appear to have been abandoned.”

She added it is “disappointing” their volunteers have not been granted access to clean up the area.

“We hope the inside is faring better than the outside,” Ms Robertson Carrey said.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council told The Evening Times the area within the perimeter fence is restricted for safety reasons for both staff and members of the public.

The spokesman said: ”Our staff routinely work in Glasgow Green and we are not aware of any ongoing issues of rubbish being scattered within the restricted area.

“There was an isolated incident where it was suspected that a fox pulled rubbish from a bin but this was resolved.”

The glasshouse and adjoining People’s Palace were closed in January after structural engineers ruled they were no longer safe.

The People’s Palace reopened in April after a £350,000 refurbishment, which included a covered walkway for the fire escape and upgraded sanitary facilities.

The Winter Gardens remains closed after the sealant used to secure the glass panelling was deemed to have “reached the end of its life”.

But, as The Evening Times previously reported, structural engineers warned the council as early as 2014 that the wrong sealant was used in a 1998 refurbishment, resulting in its quick deterioration.

The concern for the cultural site comes as the third council led workshop into its future concluded the People’s Palace, Winter Gardens and “spaces immediately surrounding these buildings” need to be considered “as one asset”.

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The People’s Palace is currently maintained by Glasgow Life, while the Winter Gardens is controlled by the city council.

The workshop also identified the Heritage Lottery Fund as a potential funding avenue for any future project to restore the Winter Gardens.

But campaigners have expressed concerns at some of the conclusions, which said the focus of the buildings should be on “people functions, with limited areas for displaying plants”.

Ms Robertson Carrey said they were yet to be included in the ongoing consultations, despite being promised inclusion by the council.

“We want a written agreement as to People’s Palace and Winter Gardens not being moved into the private sector.

“And a proper consultation plan laid out, readable to ordinary Glaswegians, not council language.

“We want proper consultations with interested groups and the public.

“We are hoping the Council understands the differences between tokenistic ‘engagement’ for tickboxing, consultation for evaluation or development, and powers for full decision making,” Ms Robertson Carrey said.

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A spokesman for the city council said the focus of the workshops has been to establish “the basic principles” for how the buildings may be used in the future, “while retaining the essential character of a much-loved feature of the Glasgow landscape”.

They added the council want Glaswegians to be part of the discussions and “will bring forward how we intend to do that in the near future”.

The spokesman added: “We are currently working to a timetable that includes the option of submitting a notice of interest in Heritage Lottery Funding by the end of October this year.”