Councillors vote against selling villa

25-11-2014 Bearsden, Brookwood Library, Councillor Duncan Cumming, against closure. Picture Paul McSherry.

Plans to sell or lease Brookwood Villa in Bearsden have been put on hold to allow time for other uses of the building to be explored.

The SNP ruling administration put forward a motion at last Thursday’s full council meeting for the ‘marketing of Brookwood Villa for sale or lease’ because they said ‘no viable proposal has been brought forward for other uses for the villa.’

SNP Councillor Jim Gibbons said; “The council has to make a decision about the villa now.

“Can you give me a use for this villa? Is it fit for purpose?

“I’ve not been in it for ten years and it was pretty run down then.”

However members of Brookwood Futures Group, which was set up to look at possible options for the buildings, were shocked to discover plans to sell the villa.

The Futures Group had put forward a proposal for the former library building to be used for nursery provision.

They say this will be vital in the coming years given the increased funded hours in 2020 and the diminishing nursery provision in Bearsden and Milngavie.

Council officers would need to find funding for the nursery, which is estimated would cost in the region of £2.25 to £2.7 million, and 
they suggested the sale of the villa.

One member of the Futures Group, Alan Oliver, said: “This came as a complete shock to us as it wasn’t discussed at any previous meetings.

“The Futures Group has made it crystal clear it is 100 per cent opposed to any further sale of community assets.

“We’d like to explore ideas for other uses of the villa and we only support the disposal of community assets if it is absolutely essential - which at this stage it is absolutely not.”

Independent Councillor for Bearsden Duncan Cumming was also furious about the proposal.

He said: “I was quite horrified to hear this. The villa should absolutely not be sold.

“There’s a crying demand for multi-functional space for community groups in the area.

“It’s up to the local authority to provide good quality space for rent.

“We have one opportunity to get this right with the villa.”

“I want it to be kept for the rest of time.”

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