Dumbarton Public Library with trees growing out of the roof.

By Democrat reporter

West Dunbartonshire Council’s bio diversity policy is growing apace.

Not only is the grass growing under our feet, but trees and bushes are sprouting from the rooftops of some of our most important buildings.

Following on from the trees on the tower of the Burgh Hall in Church Street – cleaned up during a £15 million refurbishment – the public are beginning to complain.

There is enough greenery growing out of the roof of Dumbarton Public Library to supply the props for Macbeth.

Local taxpayer Chris Pollock said: “It’s a lovely building, but a shame there are weeds all over the roof and out the front”

He suggested it would take just a couple of hours to clean up the historic building in Strathleven Place.

Carolynn Bowman agreed that neglecting the problems was allowing the Strathleven Place building to deteriorate.

“It has annoyed me for years,” she said.

A clever use of words by Jim Crosthwaite drew attention to the matter – “Maybe the Library will get an external ‘spruce’ up if they go ahead with the plans to turn it into a museum?”

He added: “I know where you are coming from Chris. When the contractors were putting the lights under the old bridge over the Leven, I noticed trees growing out of it and no doubt damaging the stonework.

“I so asked why they could not be cleared away whilst they had the upside down Cherry Picker crane available.

“The answer seemed to be that either no one in the Council had thought to include this in the contract, or it was not possible for the contractor, or council workers, to use the contractor’s crane (which I assume the Council were paying for) to do this work.”

It now looked likely that if the Council were to become involved in clearing the greenery under the Old Bridge that they would have to bring in a new contractor – “Now if we want to clear the plants on the bridge, we will need to pay again for another contractor to do it. Or maybe this time they will be wise enough to get both the library AND the bridge done on the same contract.”

An impressive lighting display has been installed at the bridge, but the greenery is still there.



Only in Dumbarton – trees growing under the newly-lit bridge and a tree growing in a barge on the River Leven. Pictures William Wilson

Elleinad Donnachie said: “Lovely building, in need of a tidy up to keep it that way. Here’s hoping going forward it’s still a library for us all to use.”

Hugh Sweeney suggested drones should be brought in to spray weed killers, but Jim Crosthwaite countered – “They have let it get that bad I think we need a tree surgeon.”

Jay Hardie suggested: “Weed killer might damage the old stonework. It seems mad they had a cherry picker and didn’t take the weeds out at the same time. Cherry pickers cost a ridiculous amount of money to hire.”

West Dunbartonshire Council refused to comment.

Community councillor, Linda Speir, said: “What a shame to let a historic building like this get into such a state.  I raised the issue of the weeds growing out of the building with councillors at a Silverton and Overtoun CC meeting a few months back. I don’t think there is money available to do anything about it.”

But Carolynn Bowman said:”For all the time it would take in the short term it would be cheaper than what they would have to pay long term.”

Linda Speir agreed but didn’t see it happening – “sensible to do something before it gets worse!”

Brian Flaherty commented that there was plenty of money available to build the new council offices “and those responsible for doing NOTHING need to be named and shamed”.

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