Jo has condemned the Scottish Government Reporter for trying to push the Council into an unacceptable deal on the Kilmardinny development.
Scottish Government Reporter Janet McNair is urging East Dunbartonshire Council to accept a deal put forward by developers on the Lower Kilmardinny development which would leave Council taxpayers severely out of pocket.
In April this year, the Reporter asked developers to put forward £10 million to build a new sports centre to replace Allander Leisure. The new centre is expected to cost around £17 million, and there has already been widespread public outcry at the Reporter’s judgement that the Council should foot the rest of the bill. After months of negotiations, the developers are offering to add just 2% to their contribution – a far cry from the £7 million needed.
In a letter to lawyers representing both parties, the Reporter has said if they are not close to reaching a deal based on this proposal she will seek to impose a settlement based on the deeply unpopular conditions she suggested in April.
Commenting, Jo said:
“I find it appalling that after taking so long to decide whether negotiations should be extended, the Reporter is now trying to impose a deal which is little different from the one that was on the table in the first place. Both Councillors and members of the public have made it very clear that asking the Council to stump up millions of pounds for the new sports centre is not acceptable.
“At a time when Council budgets are being slashed and everyone is having to tighten their belts, asking taxpayers to foot the bill for a development they don’t even want is just insulting. The Council is being asked to either accept a deal which won’t benefit the community or have that deal forced upon it. Whatever happened to local democracy?”