Council budget accused of “betraying” the people of Bishopbriggs

Bishopbriggs Library
Bishopbriggs Library

An SNP councillor has slammed the decision to “water down” plans for Bishopbriggs town centre.

At a budget meeting last night (March 17) Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem councillors voted to change the council’s capital investment programme, slashing the budget for a new community hub in the town from £5.6million down to £2.1million.

Councillor Anne McNair called the move a “complete betrayal” to the people of Bishopbriggs.

She said: “Previous plans for a new Hub have now been abandoned and we are told that the council will instead provide a new Hub within a refurbished Bishopbriggs library, similar to the conversion of the William Patrick Library in Kirkintilloch.

“The comparison is a farce. Kirkintilloch hub was an internal conversion to a substantial three storey building. There is no scope for any such conversion at Bishopbriggs library which is a much smaller building and, worryingly, the only land available for any possible extension is ground to the front of the existing library building.

“Land to the rear of the library, including the access road into the car park, is owned by Morrisons.

“Bishopbriggs has been sold short. While the sums are huge, any comparison with similar projects in East Dunbartonshire’s ten year capital budget only makes matters worse.

East Dunbartonshire Council has just opened the brand new council hub in Lennoxtown at a cost of £5.25 million.

Council hubs are also planned for Bearsden and Milngavie, with a combined budget of £7million.

Councillor McNair added: “Some of the funding previously earmarked for the Bishopbriggs Hub will be transferred for a refurbishment of the War Memorial Hall.

“While investment in this hall is to be welcomed and is long overdue the allocated £1.1 million adds insult to injury when compared to the £5.6 million currently being spent on the renovation of Kirkintilloch Town Hall.

“Our Labour and Tory councillors in Bishopbriggs who have supported all these decisions must be held to account.

“They need to explain why they are happy to continue to accept, by comparison, reduced funding and lesser town centre facilities in the heart of the community which they claim to represent.”