Councillors to decide on deal with bookies

Councillor David Ritchie
Councillor David Ritchie

A final decision is due to be made next week over a controversial deal between East Dunbartonshire Council and a bookmakers.

As revealed in last week’s Herald, the cash-strapped council has signed a deal with Betfred in Lennoxtown to move them to a former housing office as they want the bookies’ current premises for a new community hub.

The deal will see the council underwrite any loss of profit Betfred encounter during the first five years of the lease. The council will be allowed to monitor the Betfred accounts and the bookies is obliged to mitigate any losses associated with their relocation.

They will also pay £140,000 to refurbish the new premises and charge the bookies just £1 per year in rent for the first five years.

The move has been slammed by Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor David Ritchie.

Councillors were to make a site visit before deciding on the proposals at a planning board.

Plans for the new £5million community hub in the village were also due to be considered.

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