MSP: ‘Council must not break its word’ on facilities at new £33m Allander Centre

As well as  older members, the Allander Indoor Bowling Club also has a junior section, above
As well as older members, the Allander Indoor Bowling Club also has a junior section, above

Local MSP Gil Paterson is calling on East Dunbartonshire Council to keep its promise to provide ‘like for like’ facilities and activities at Bearsden’s new £33m Allander Centre.

His call comes after Allander Indoor Bowling Club were told by representative of the councilrecently that their hall will not be included in the plans for the new leisure centre.

The bowling club, which has more than 300 members has branded the decision “a disgrace” and says the decision will deprive many people, particularly their elderly members, of their only source of leisure activity.

SNP MSP Mr Paterson 
described the decision as “extremely disappointing”.

He has written to Lib Dem council leader Vaughan Moody and Conservative co-leader Andrew Polson 
requesting a review.

In his letter, Mr Paterson pointed out many residents opposed the huge housing development at Kilmardinny due to the impact it would have on roads, education facilities and the environment. He said the compensation to the community for the loss of greenspace was new, improved sports centre with enhanced facilities.

He added that there was a very firm commitment at the time to provide an agreed level of facilities at the replacement leisure centre but, now the housing has gone ahead, the promises repeated several times, have “proved false”.

He said: “Allander Bowling Club is a very successful club which has made an enormous contribution over the years to the health and wellbeing of our communities, particularly among our older population.

“There has been a drive in Scotland to keep people active as they age so that we can all enjoy a good quality of life for longer. One of the most effective ways is participation in sports activities like bowling.

“The council has a contract with the local community and it must not break its word.”

The Herald contacted the council and in response, joint council leaders said work had been brought forward by 18 months for the centre and it would be “much improved.”

They added: “Council and Leisure Trust officers recently met with Allander Indoor Bowling Club to advise a dedicated facility for an individual club would cost millions of pounds of public funding and would therefore not be recommended for 
inclusion. Officers have committed to working with the club to look at alternative provision if their recommendation is followed at the council meeting later in the year.”