DCSIMG

Council pledge to combat vandalism at derelict Kirkintilloch clinic

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A DISUSED health centre has become a magnet for vandals and firebugs – sparking fears that any resulting blaze could spread to neighbouring properties and put lives at risk.

The former Townhead Clinic has been empty since a new state-of-the-art healthcare centre opened in nearby Saramago Street in 2009.

Many of the property’s windows have not been properly secured, presenting a target for stone-throwing youngsters, while the evidence of multiple small fires can be seen in the grounds of the clinic.

Florence Cairney, secretary of Kirkintilloch Miner’s Welfare Club, which backs on to the clinic, said: “I went around the side of the building just a short while ago and there was a group of young kids smashing the windows and setting fire to a chair. It’s disgraceful.

“If the place caught fire it could easily spread to the club or to the nearby flats.”

One resident told the Herald: “Do these kids not know the danger they are putting themselves in and others around them? It beggars belief.”

The building was bought from the NHS by East Dunbartonshire Council earlier this year.

There are plans to build 17 new flats on the site, but no firm timescale has yet been established.

Grace Irvine, the council’s head of assets and property services, said: “Following a recent telephone conversation with the police, we have instructed our property maintenance team to secure access to the building prior to demolition.”

She added: “These works will be completed imminently.”

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