Up for sale?

editorial image

THE B-listed building Rhuallan House could be sold by East Renfrewshire council in order to make savings for next year’s budget.

Selling the property — estimated to date back to the 1880s and currently used for council offices and community hire — is one of the proposals put forward in ERC’s budget consultation, now available to view online.

The consultation document lays out possibilities for savings in order to bridge an estimated £10.96 million gap for 2013/14.

The document reads: “Rhuallan House...is a beautiful old building which is not fully utilised and which has a backlog of maintenance.

“It is unlikely that the council will be able to afford to maintain the house properly in the future, and a new owner could provide more investment to restore the house.

“[Council] staff can be accommodated in other office buildings with community bookings relocated to other facilities”.

Further plans are suggested for an increased community space at Giffnock library, as a replacement for room lost at the historical house.

One reader — a regular visitor who does not wished to be named — contacted The Extra amid “widespread concern” about the future of community groups using the facility.

And although Giffnock community council, which hosts its monthly meeting at the house, has yet to discuss the proposal, secretary Ross McKemmie believes that losing it “would be a blow”.

He told The Extra: “Rhuallan House has never been the most ideal of venues, but it’s certainly better than anything else we’ve got.

“I believe the preferred alternative is the library, which is due for a refurbishment that has been promised for many years — but in my opinion it’s not enough as a substitute for Rhuallan House”.

An ERC spokeswoman responded that the sale “is one of many savings proposals that have been put forward”.

She continued: “Asset savings are where we have identified buildings that we either no longer use, or which are not used as well as they could be.

“It has then been decided that we can continue without holding on to a particular building.

“We are asking residents for their views to involve them openly in decision-making, before difficult decisions are made”.

Anyone who wishes to respond to the budget consultation can fill in a survey at here before a closing date of December 16.