Mill o’ Mains is facing a third summer without any community facilities after council officers said they needed more time to prepare for the arrival of temporary buildings.
Just two weeks ago, community leaders were celebrating being given the green light to open a new temporary centre to replace the fire-ravaged Mill o’ Mains pavilion.
But they have now learned that, despite believing plans for the temporary replacement were due to be approved by councillors last night, the item wasn’t even on the agenda.
In an 11th-hour bid to get councillors to listen to their pleas for building work to start, campaigners gathered hundreds of names on a petition which they handed over to the city council yesterday.
Campaigner Jim Malone said: “We believed that the temporary centre would be up and running in time for the school summer holidays.
“Instead we have been let down by Dundee City Council yet again.
“We were led to believe that it was a case of rubber stamping the paperwork at last night’s meeting.
“But it wasn’t even on the agenda and we have been told that it could now be August at the earliest before it can go back to the councillors for approval.
“That is absolutely awful. It means that it will be a third summer with nowhere for the kids to go in the summer holidays.”
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Jim added: “MoM action group forwarded all details of the replacement pavilion, costs, building and the day-to-day operational plan to assist councillors and council officers to bring forward, as instructed by the full council, a paper at the earliest opportunity to support our plans.
“Unfortunately, the council has again failed to deliver.
“We are extremely angry and disappointed. We collected about 300 signatures demanding the council give us the go-ahead and have the temporary unit placed on site for at least part of the school holidays.
“Another summer without provision for our community is disgraceful.”
Jim also claimed the committee had been told that councillors had previously instructed officers to prepare a detailed report “as soon as possible”.
The response sent to the Mill o’ Mains group from the council said: “We are unable to commit to an exact timeline at this time but, clearly with council going into recess shortly, the earliest committee cycle for a report would be August 2019.
“We will bring back the requested report as soon as possible, but you will appreciate that certain aspects of such a report will require a degree of investigation and further consideration.
“We are, therefore, not in a position to report back to committee on June 24.”
Chairman of Mill o’ Mains Pavilion Group Yvonne Mullen said: “This is very disappointing and means there will be nowhere for our children to go during their summer holiday. This is not great news, particularly given the poor weather we have experienced recently.”
North East Labour MSP Jenny Marra has also stepped in on behalf of locals and demanded that the council take action. She said: “The fire at the Mill o’ Mains pavilion was a disaster for the community.
“It’s been clear since day one that the council has not been interested in engaging properly and ensuring that a replacement facility is both fit for purpose and quickly delivered.
“It’s time for Dundee City Council to listen to the petitioners and find a way forward that works for the community.”
A spokeswoman for Dundee City Council said: “The neighbourhood services committee agreed on June 3 to bring a detailed report on the replacement of the Mill o’ Mains pavilion (by way of portakabin) as soon as possible.
“We aim to bring this report back to a future neighbourhood services cpmmittee meeting.”