Plans for a new community hub for Bishopbriggs “completely lack any ambition”, an angry councillor has claimed.
Bishopbriggs North and Torrance Councillor Anne McNair hit out this week at cuts to the facility by East Dunbartonshire Council.
She said: “Why should the people of Bishopbriggs be expected to accept poorer facilities than those being provided elsewhere in East Dunbartonshire?
“The original plans for a substantial council hub in Bishopbriggs have been scrapped.
“The budget has been slashed from £5 million to £2 million and all the facilities will now be squashed into the existing library building.
“The building is too small, will be too cramped, the plans are completely lacking in any ambition or imagination and no alternative options offered.
“Having failed over the past three years to negotiate and deliver the hub as originally planned, the council is now in a headlong rush to provide facilities which fall well short of what is needed and what the people of Bishopbriggs are entitled to expect.”
Councillor McNair said she wants to know why Bishopbriggs is being singled out.
She said: “The comparisons are revealing – Bishopbriggs Hub £2m, Lennoxtown Hub £5.25m and Bearsden Hub £3.2m .
”Bishopbriggs Hub will be about three quarters less the size of the William Patrick Library Hub in Kirkintilloch and will have reduced opening hours.”
The council is simultaneously planning to refurbish the War Memorial Hall in Bishopriggs with a budget of £1.1m.
The current refurbishment and extension of Kirkintilloch Town Hall comes at a cost of over £5.6m and the refurbishment and extension of Kilmardinny House in Bearsden at over £2.6m.
Councillor Anne McNair said: “This really is not good enough. Bishopbriggs is being treated poorly and deserves facilities which are every bit as good as those elsewhere.”
Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Council officers developed options that sought to introduce a new community hub within the town centre but these all required an agreement with Morrisons and the Archdiocese which was not forthcoming.
“It is disappointing we cannot take forward the original plans which relied on land from the Morrisons 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 the community wants and provide the type of spaces they tell us they need.
“An information session on Thursday was one part of a wider public engagement plan. Another event will be held on Thursday 18 August between 4 and 7pm and anyone who is interested should come along then to see what is on the table.”