People power has forced councillors to investigate the cost of rebuilding a Dundee community centre destroyed by fire.
The Mill o’ Mains Community Pavilion was destroyed in a massive blaze last July.
Although the building had been insured, Dundee City Council, which had to spend £15,000 demolishing what remained of the building after the fire, said it did not have the money to rebuild the centre when it set its budget for the year in February.
But councillors have now agreed to investigate how much it will cost to build and run a new centre following a heated meeting of its neighbourhood resources committee on Monday night.
Around 20 members of the Mill o’ Mains community demonstrated outside the City Chambers before the meeting and then packed the public galleries for the meeting itself.
North east Labour councillor Brian Gordon had placed an item on the agenda calling for the volunteer-run to be rebuilt.
Yvonne Mullen, chairwoman of the Mill o’ Mains Community Pavilion, made a deputation in which she pleaded with councillors to rebuild the centre.
She said activities that used to take place in the pavilion were now being carried out in the lounge of a nearby sheltered housing complex, which she said was not suitable.
“It was a very popular place that was the heart of the community,” she said.
“It has been run by volunteers and nobody was getting any wages – we were doing this because we care about our community.”
She added there was now nowhere safe for children in Mill o’ Mains to play, with many playing on roads instead.
Mr Mullen said: “It scares me. There’s going to be an accident and it’s going to be a tragedy.”
Mr Gordon put forward an amendment calling on the council “to instruct officers to prepare a detailed report on the replacement of the Mill o’ Mains pavilion with a new build for consideration by the Committee as soon as possible.”
However, north east SNP member Willie Sawers put forward his own amendment, which called for council officers to explore all options for replacing the centre and to carry out a full consultation with members over the community over what facilities are needed in Mill o’ Mains.
This led to arguments over the precise wording of Mr Sawers’ motion, prompting West End Liberal Democrat councillor Fraser Macpherson to say councillors were “arguing on the head of a ha’penny”.
Councillors eventually agreed to Mr Sawers’ reworded amendment, which instructs council officers to “carry out a full options appraisal on the need for a new build community facility”.