Council U-turns on axing 39 community, sport and leisure facilities:

In an effort to save £64 million over the following three years, North Lanarkshire Council has scrapped plans to permanently close 39 locations.

A council has changed its mind about closing 39 recreation centers and community centers.

During the next two years, hundreds of venues that were previously scheduled for closure will permanently close, according to a Thursday announcement made by the Labour-run local authority.

Out of the eight swimming pools in North Lanarkshire, five were scheduled to close.

The following locations were impacted by the cuts: Shotts Leisure Center, Aquatec in Motherwell, John Smith Pool in Airdrie, the Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex in Bellshill, and Kilsyth Swimming Pool.

Following the release of a report on the state of venues, utilization, foot traffic, and the anticipated costs of maintaining them in the upcoming years, local authority executives stated they were faced with making “tough decisions”.

However, a statement from Scottish Labour Party council leader Jim Logue on Tuesday stated that the local government would reverse its earlier ruling and safeguard cultural and recreational spaces.

“We have made the decision to safeguard these significant community assets, even though the Scottish Government has completely disregarded our request,” stated Logue.

“The SNP has accepted £6 million from the UK Government to finance swimming pools, but has refused to provide a single penny more to support these facilities.

“For the duration of this council term, North Lanarkshire Labour will safeguard these vital facilities.”

Though the SNP in Holyrood has halved our funding for more than ten years, our financial condition is still severe, but Labour will always defend families in this area.

“It is still the fact that the SNP’s reluctance to adequately fund local government will force North Lanarkshire Council to make difficult budget decisions.”

The Scottish Government had previously stated that “democratically-elected councils” should decide on local priorities and take facility usage into account.

“While Scotland is facing the most challenging budget settlement since devolution due to ongoing UK Government austerity, this year North Lanarkshire Council will receive £779.7m to fund local services – which equates to an extra £25.4m on last year,” a spokesperson said.

“Work is also ongoing with COSLA to establish a new fiscal framework for councils through the Verity House Agreement, a landmark agreement that is forging a stronger partnership between the Scottish Government and local councils through the spirit of collaboration and engagement.”

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