Claim disabled people given 
a raw deal in new £3m hub

Councillor McNair has been critical of the council's plans to transform the local library into a community hub, from the start.
Councillor McNair has been critical of the council's plans to transform the local library into a community hub, from the start.

A Bishopbriggs councillor has hit out at the lack of facilities for people with disabilities and additional needs at a new £3 million community hub.

Councillor Anne McNair hit out as plans move forward to refurbish the library and war memorial hall in the town.

While the communities of Lennoxtown and Bearsden have room for the provision of social care facilities within their new hubs, Bishopbriggs will have none, she said.

Councillor McNair, who has been critical of East Dunbartonshire Council’s plans for the hub from the start, told the Herald on Monday: “This all comes back to my original complaint that the Bishopbriggs hub, which will be situated within the town libary, is too small a space for all the 
facilities the town should have.

“It is simply not good enough. For instance, the facility at Lennoxtown is able cater for people with complex needs and severe disabilities.”

She added: “As for the refurbishment of the memorial hall, there will be nothing extra here. East Dunbartonshire Council are just rearranging the existing facilities.”

At a recent meeting of the full council, it was agreed to proceed to the next stage of the combined plans for the library and memorial hall. Work is expected to be completed by autumn this year.

Depute Leader of the Council, Billy Hendry said: “By staggering the works on these two key facilities, we will ensure that library and Hub services are continually delivered to the people of Bishopbriggs throughout these exciting developments.

“We have also worked with those community groups who currently let the War Memorial Hall to help them to find appropriate alternative accommodation throughout the refurbishment and library relocation.”

At the meeting, Councillor McNair pointed out the provision of social work areas at Lennoxtown and Bearsden.

A 41 square metre area in the Lennoxtown hub has been set aside for social work use with an adjoining 12 square metre area for people with severe disabilities. Provision at Bearsden is similar.

In a written request, Councillor McNair asked where in Bishopbriggs equivalent facilities would be provided.

The council responded that the overall provision of adult social care services is being reviewed across East Dunbartonshire.

In a written reply to Councillor McNair, the council 
stated: “Facilities provided within each Hub are bespoke to that Hub and the constraints of the assets from which the services are being delivered.

“Where it is possible to incorporate a full range of services within the scope of a project these have been incorporated.

“In some circumstances, specifically in relation to Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs Hubs it has not been feasible to include all of the required services given the constraints of the existing facilities.

“The overall provision of adult social care services is currently being reviewed across the area and there is as part of that review the potential to develop facilities within the Bishopbriggs area, which if fulfilled would incorporate these facilities.”

Councillor McNair said 
afterwards: “Let’s see the detail of that. I get the feeling Bishopbriggs is losing out again. To me the answer to my question is ‘nowhere’.”