Thursday, June 20, 2024

Fear that vandals could force shops out of West Lothian town centre

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Teenage vandals could force more stores in the centre of a West Lothian town out of business, it was warned this week.

It comes after Kidzeco – a popular social enterprise selling baby clothes – was forced to close its doors in Bathgate over safety fears for its staff.

Vandals also made a community space on the second floor of the building unusable by breaking a hole in the roof space causing water damage.

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Councillor Harry Cartmill told a meeting of Bathgate Local Area Committee. “It’s a dreadful thing to happen in Bathgate; for a shop to have to shut because of the behaviour of a minority within the town.”

“I fear that shop will never open again and it’s not opening because of the behaviours of certain people in this town.”

Councillor Cartmill asked PC Ross Walker: “Do you see it as societal breakdown, a lack of police numbers, a combination of those two or another factor?

PC Walker said: “I was a community officer in Bathgate four of five years ago and it was a bit of an issue then. It’s a bit off and on.”

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