Neil Somerville with the rubbish he pulled out the burn'em'22/10/11
Neil Somerville with the rubbish he pulled out the burn'em'22/10/11

A PENSIONER has hit out at East Dunbartonshire Council after it refused to clean up a burn he claims is its responsibility.

Neil Somerville (75), who used to run a horse riding stable from his property at Kilmardinny Farm, Bearsden, said rubbish has been accumulating in a stream that runs past the fields at the bottom of his land and reckons it is coming from pupils at the new Bearsden Academy.

Mr Somerville has lived at his current address for almost 60 years and said the problem of footballs, plastic bottles and take-away cartons has become a lot worse since the new school opened and has been exacerbated recently because of heavy rain.

He blasted: “It is an environmental issue. The council should be doing something about this. It has got a lot worse since the new school opened up.”

Although Bearsden Academy is more than a mile away from Mr Somerville’s land he says there is nowhere else the rubbish could be coming from.

The burn runs past the Academy, snakes its way down to Bearsden Cross before going under Roman Road to re-appear at Hillfoot, running alongside the perimeter of Mr Somerville’s land before going under the railway and draining into the Allander river.

The former owner of Kilmardinny Riding Stables also hit out at the council, claiming it replaced a grid in the burn at Glebe carpark with a new one near the Indian restaurant on Kirk Road that had wider holes in it. The result of this is that more rubbish flowed through it.

He said: “They took away the old grid at Glebe carpark a couple of years ago. I reckon they did this so they didn’t have to clean it out so often.

“They should put up a new grid in to catch all the rubbish that comes down the burn, especially at the moment with all the heavy rain we have been having.”

Mr Somerville said he was what is known as a ‘riparian owner’, a legal term referring to the right and responsibilities over the burn on the edge of his land which, in effect, states that the burn is jointly owned by himself and East Dunbartonshire Council.

However the council dispute this. Head of Roads and Neighbourhood Services, David Devine, said: “The area in question is not maintained by East Dunbartonshire Council and comes within the responsibility of the landowner.”

In response to the grill claim, a council spokesperson said: “The grill, which was replaced by the Roads Service last year is cleared twice a week and more often when there is heavy rain. The new grill is of a standard design, similar to those across the authority.”