Plans to develop a community hub for Bearsden have come a step closer after councillors agreed to look at developing the town’s burgh hall.
The project for a ‘one stop shop’ to access essential council services under one roof had been planned for implementation before the end of the 2017 financial year.
However it was decided to bring forward plans for a hub to utilise available council facilities and because money had been re-allocated from other projects which would now be done at a later date.
The Labour, LibDem and Tory administration will look at their preferred option of re-developing the burgh hall, and when plans are ready consult with the wider community.
However, the SNP’s Ian Mackay felt there should be consultation with the public first followed by a decision on a suitable site afterwards.
Other sites considered were Brookwood Library, Roman Road Registry, and Kilmardinny House.
At last Thursday’s full Council meeting, councillors heard that following an assessment of the other sites, it was felt Roman Road was not close enough to the town centre and the library and that Kilmardinny House would need too much work spent on them to provide extra space to accommodate a hub service.
Even though significant work will still need to be done to the burgh hall, it was felt this represented the best option, even though it would mean a linked re-development of the Kilmardinny House site to accommodate services currently undertaken at the hall.
Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “We are doing exactly what we have done in other areas and were constrained by the fact we had to use a council property. “It would be very difficult to go out to consultation without a site and after looking at all the options decided on the burgh hall.”
But in an amendment to the proposal that was voted down, Councillor Mackay said the council should consult with the various user groups before making a decision.
He said: “I think the basic principle is that we should consult first with those effected before agreeing on a building, rather than agreed on a building then consult.
“In essence I don’t have a problem with this, in fact I am all for turning the burgh hall into a community hub with library and front line services, but for the sake of a month and a half of delay, we need to get this right.”
Independent councillor Duncan Cumming, who seconded the amendment, said the council had one opportunity to get this right, adding that the decision will affect people in the area for years to come.
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