Milngavie library under threat

MILNGAVIE LIBRARY AND CE. CENTRE'EMMA MITCHELL'13/7/11

MILNGAVIE LIBRARY AND CE. CENTRE'EMMA MITCHELL'13/7/11

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The future of a public library is in doubt after it appeared on a property hit list drawn up by East Dunbartonshire Council.

Milngavie Library and Community Education Centre is one of more than 50 properties the council is considering selling off as part of its Strategic Asset Review.

The library and community centre would be incorporated into a new ‘Milngavie Hub’, with its current site being sold off for residential development if the proposals are passed.

The plans have caused concern amongst residents who say the facility will be missed.

Gerard McCluskey (81) said: “It’s a very important part of Milngavie and I want it to stay where it is.

“It’s well used and it’s a great place to socialise. It’s important for older people to have somewhere like that.”

Another resident said: “It’s integral to the community, people rely on it.

“It would be missed.

“I’ve used it a lot over the years, I’ve gone to classes there and my children went to playgroup so there’s a family history.”

Other properties that could be sold as part of the Strategic Asset Review include Boclair House and Brookwood Villa.

Budgets

The review aims to help the council improve its customer service and slash £30million from its budgets in three years.

Diane Campbell, the council’s director of corporate and customer services, said: “The proposal to incorporate Milngavie Library into a Community Hub is part of the council’s wider asset investment strategy.

“Details for the hub will be worked into a comprehensive project plan after June 2012 and this will be done in consultation with the community.

“The plan will include the phasing of the project to ensure continuity of service. As the plan is for the library to be incorporated into the Hub, the proposal would be for the original library to remain open until the hub is in place and a transition plan would be implemented to minimise disruption during the changeover period.

“The proposal is for the Hub to house various public sector services including council, potentially Health and Police and voluntary sector services thus providing a truly joined up public service centre.

“As a result, customers will have much more choice in how they engage with the council and other agencies, making public services more accessible to all.”