A stay of execution for library

Brookwood Library
Brookwood Library

Campaigners trying to save Brookwood Library and Villa from being sold off by the council are claiming a small victory this week.

They have been assured that the council will not make a decision on the sale of the buildings until early 2017, when the handover to the new hub building in Bearsden Burgh Hall is expected to happen.

This, according to those who object to the proposal, means that the ruling councillors would be ‘committing political suicide’.

Opponents argue that if councillors sell the library and villa they would lose votes in the local election which is being held in May the same year - because it’s so unpopular with Bearsden residents.

Campaigner, Alan Oliver, said: “We’ve proposed that Brookwood Library and Villa is used as an Enterprise centre which would bring jobs and revenue to the area. This had already been approved by the council.

“We outlined the benefits of such a centre and, although we could not get any of the ruling councillors to support our proposals outright, we are happy with Councillor Moody’s assertion that no decision can be made until the new hub is fully operational in early 2017.

“This means that we will get a chance to elect Bearsden councillors who will NOT allow East Dunbartonshire Council to sell any more of our structural crown jewels like was done with Boclair House.”

Bearsden Councillor Vaughan Moody said: “The likely handover of the library to the new hub building would be in early 2017 and after this the council would deliberate and make a decision about the next steps for the former Brookwood Villa and Library. When it is open the new library, hall and hub will reinforce the town centre as a focal point for the local community.”

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “The decision to sell property has to go to committee and before any offer is accepted it would go back to committee.

“The ten year capital plan includes major investment in Bearsden and this depends on selling property as well as investment including new build. We revisit the plan regularly and update it but we do have to make sure it remains affordable.

“Once the Hub is in use we will decide what happens to Brookwood but the revenue needed for running costs will have to be considered as well.”