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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
03 October 2023
North Lanarkshire Council U-turns on decision to close facilities

Motherwell Civic Centre | Alamy

North Lanarkshire Council U-turns on decision to close facilities

North Lanarkshire Council has U-turned on its decision to close 39 community facilities, including swimming pools, sports centres, and libraries.  

The committee vote last week sparked outrage and received criticism from Labour councillors in the Labour-run council.  

The council’s leader Jim Logue said: “We have taken the decision to protect these important community assets, despite a total lack of support from the Scottish Government to do so”.  

But he warned the council’s financial situation “remains dire”.  

Logue continued his criticism of the government adding that they “refused to offer a single penny more” to save the facilities “despite receiving £6m to support swimming pools from the UK Government”. He confirmed that they will be protected for the duration of the council term.  

He added: “However, our financial situation remains dire after more than a decade of cuts to our budget from the SNP in Holyrood, but Labour will always stand up for families here.

“It remains the case that North Lanarkshire Council will face difficult budget decisions as a result of failure of the SNP to properly resource local government.”

The move comes two days before the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election in neighbouring South Lanarkshire, where Labour are currently bookies’ favourites to win.  

North Lanarkshire Council had planned to shut the 39 facilities in order to save £4.7m a year.  

Reacting to the U-turn, the SNP group in the council has submitted a motion of no confidence in Logue. 

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