Public will be consulted further on Bishopbriggs Hub, promises council leader

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The leader of East Dunbartonshire Council has responded to an accusation from a Bishopbriggs councillor over a lack of public consultation for a new community hub for the town.

Councillor Rhondda Geekie insisted today (Wednesday, July 27) there would be wide public engagement.

Bishopbriggs North Councillor Anne McNair (SNP) hit out at the council yesterday for holding an “information session” on the revised plans for the hub tomorrow (Thursday, July 28), at a time when many people are away on holiday.

Councillor McNair said: “If the council is serious about public consultation and feedback, this is the worst time possible for holding this type of event.

“The consultation meetings need to be accessible to as many people as possible, not the fewest.”

At a budget meeting a few months ago, Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem councillors voted to change the council’s capital investment programme, slashing the budget for the new community hub from £5.6 million down to £2.1 million.

The hub will now be within the existing library, rather than in a revamped building as was previously planned. Bishopbriggs Memorial Hall will also undergo a £1.1m internal refurbishment.

Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said today (Wednesday) that another meeting similar to tomorrow’s event would be held soon.

She added: “I know how much these facilities mean to the people of Bishopbriggs and that is why we are listening to what they tell us about what they want for the future.

“It is disappointing that we cannot take forward the original plans which relied on land from the Morrison’s development so now rather than investing in one site the Council will be improving the library and the hall for the people of Bishopbriggs who have waited long enough for improvements within the town centre.

“The plans as they stand at the moment represent a significant and immediate investment of just over £3m in these two important buildings which will see positive change happen as soon as possible.

“By investing in both buildings at the same time and as part of one plan we aim to offer the services that the community wants and provide the type of spaces they tell us they need.

“For some time now, Officers have been talking to the groups who use the library and the hall to make sure we know what their aspirations for the new-look buildings are.

“Thursday’s session is one part of a wider public engagement plan which ensures that there are multiple opportunities for people to have their say. Another event, similar to Thursdays will be held again soon and anyone who is interested should come along then to see what is on the table.”

The information session at Bishopbriggs War Memorial Hall on Bamuildy Road, Bishopbriggs will be open to the public from 4pm-8pm tomorrow.