War of words over library closures in East Dunbartonshire

A senior member of East Dunbartonshire Council has spoken out over  local library closures.

Monday, 3rd December 2018, 8:58 am
Updated Monday, 3rd December 2018, 9:15 am
28-07-2016 Picture Roberto Cavieres. Lenzie Library, 13 Alexandra Avenue - Craft Fun Event- Pauline Gillan, running the workshop from Whoopsie Splunkeo Crafty Fun

A war of words has broken out after East Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust voted to close libraries in Lenzie, Milton of Campsie (Craighead) and Westerton.

Council co-leader Andrew Polson (Conservative, Bearsden South) said:“Jo Swinson in her recent press release was indeed right to cite the Scottish Government’s multi-million pound black hole to our council budget.

“In fact in these already difficult and challenging times, it is of shocking concern that local government and its services seems to be at the very bottom of the SNP’s agenda.

“Also for Rona Mackay to hypocritically point the finger at the current East Dunbartonshire Adminstration beggars belief. It was her SNP councillors who ran away from office, not wishing to take difficult decisions and who in their own budget had some deeper cuts. “

Cllr Polson added:  “Libraries are so important to local communities and in particular to those vulnerable and needy who need access to knowledge and digital technology.

“Whilst it’s true that we have been hindered by the Scottish Government, with one hand tied behind our backs, to try and do our job effectively for our area, I did not come into politics or indeed leadership of East Dunbartonshire Council to close or shut vital services.

“It is with urgency that on this issue I and my colleagues are determined to find a solution that will be beneficial to all concerned.

“Let me assure the residents that my Conservative group colleagues and indeed the Joint Administration have their interests and needs at our heart.”

SNP Group Leader Gordan Low said: “Councillor Polson knows full well that the reason the SNP had to resign from the administration was because we were not prepared to slash front line council workers terms and conditions of employment.”

Rona Mackay, SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, added: “Councillor Polson has now admitted that there is a split in this ridiculous Tory/LibDem administration if he is saying the Tories would not close libraries.

“This joint leadership with the Lib Dems has clearly fallen apart.

“Councillor Polson should speak to his co-leader Vaughan Moody rather than playing politics and bad-mouthing the SNP.”