Former council boss on shared space group

Rhondda Geekie

Former East Dunbartonshire Council Leader Rhondda Geekie is to play a major role in the new public consultation process on the controversial shared space.

Ms Geekie headed the previous Lab/LibDem/Tory administration who voted through the divisive Kirkintilloch town centre scheme.

This was despite a 3,500-signature petition from local people protesting in particular at the removal of traffic lights from the busy Catherine St/Kerr Street junction with Cowgate, because of safety concerns.

Ms Geekie was ousted from her council seat in May’s local 
government elections.

She has now re-emerged as a member of Kirkintilloch Community Council, who are to work in partnership with the council and an independent firm of consultants on the “community-led engagement process”.

In a letter to the Herald, campaigner Sandy Taylor, who is blind and has been leading the protest against the £3.1m project, wrote: “The Community Council, who have recently added former Council Leader Rhondda Geekie to their ranks are to ensure all views are reflected.

“Having studied the early list of organisations which are to be consulted, it is noted that few disability organisations are included.”

He added: “If councillors are still unaware of public opinion, they must have been living on a different planet”.

Ms Geekie was unavailable for comment as the Herald went to press on Monday.

However, Gordon Carmichael, Community Council Chair said: “We will fight tooth and nail to ensure every voice of every citizen, regardless of age or ability is heard.”

Council boss Thomas Glen said: “The council has remitted officers to bring back a report on options for the reinstatement of lights at the Catherine Street junction and an update will be provided to council at its November 9 meeting.

“This will be in advance of ongoing work on a separate community-led engagement process, being developed in conjunction with Kirkintilloch Community Council, to look at the ongoing Kirkintilloch Masterplan and future of the town centre.

“A brief has been prepared with the community council which will go out to tender. It would be inappropriate to comment on potential costs at this stage.”

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