Over half of those who answered (52%) felt that the town centre was poor, with another 24% feeling it was ‘very poor’. 21% felt it was acceptable. Only 3% felt it was good or very good. A very sad state of affairs! Overwhelmingly, respondents felt that there was a lack of decent shops and entertainment facilities – 83% noted this as a concern. Numerous people felt that there were too many empty shops. A lot of people mentioned that the area was generally just very ‘run down’, with one resident noting that “it is just a big car park”.
Lairdsland Primary School
I asked about plans to turn the current Lairdsland Primary School site into housing. 64% felt this was a good idea, and 18% felt not. A lot of those who did not support it felt that the area should be landscaped and turned into a community space. It should be noted, however, that the school is a listed building and so it is unlikely that it would be knocked down.
A third of people who took part in the survey had been to the new community hub in the library. Of those, the majority – 58% – did not feel it was successful. A number of those people felt that the library facilities had been reduced as a result of the changes. One of the most frequent comments was that the new requirement to walk through the café to get to the library was inconvenient.
As you may be aware, the Council are hoping to restore the town hall and turn it into an arts venue. Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents – some 74% – felt this was a good idea. Ideas for the space included a rehearsal space, theatre and concert space.
There are certainly lots of interesting ideas for the future of Kirkintilloch. It seems that there is a huge appetite for change in the area, and I hope that the Council’s masterplan will address this. I will certainly be passing on the results of my survey to the Council to consider.