Pipe band crisis talks held

A MEETING has been held which may help secure the future of Milngavie Pipe Band.

The popular group’s founder Hector Cruikshank has met with East Dunbartonshire Council leader Rhondda Geekie, Provost Eric Gotts and local authority officials to try and thrash out a solution to a problem which was highlighted by the Herald at the end of April.

Currently the band has to go through a laborious application process, involving filling out forms every time it wants to perform in Milngavie Precinct to raise funds. This has then to go to the police for approval - which can take anything up to two weeks.

Loss of revenue from being able to perform regularly in the town had put the 50 year old band’s future in doubt.

Speaking after the meeting in Tom Johnston House recently, Provost Gotts said: “Following concerns expressed through the local press by Milngavie Pipe Band a meeting was held to try and resolve the issue.

“A range of measures to simplify the process for applying for licenses were discussed, including the use of the internet and having annual block bookings.”

Welcoming what he called a very constructive meeting, Mr Cruickshank said: “The meeting went very well and at this stage we are hopeful we can streamline the procedure. The council will now need to consult with the police so a decision is not expected for another couple of weeks.”

The council also offered assurances on funding maintenance work at the Corbie Ha’ which it owns but leases to the band. As a listed building which is one of the oldest in Milngavie it is currently in need of some repair work.