Ellie Ames 04 October 2023

Council U-turns on decision to close 39 facilities

Council U-turns on decision to close 39 facilities  image
Image: Peter Turner Photography / Shutterstock.com.

North Lanarkshire Council has reversed its controversial decision to close 39 community facilities after Scotland’s First Minister blasted the decision as ‘short sighted’.

The North Lanarkshire SNP Group said the U-turn followed ‘intervention from the leadership of the Labour Party, who were worried about the impact of the closures on the upcoming general election chances given the scale of public outrage at the decision.’

The group has tabled a motion of no confidence in council leader Cllr Jim Logue, submitted for inclusion at a full council meeting on 5 October. SNP Group leader Tracy Carragher said: ‘Councillor Logue’s time is up. He has lost all credibility and authority to lead.’

‘While we welcome his change of heart, forcing through these decisions at the policy and strategy committee, where only the most loyal Labour and Tory councillors to him personally sit amongst their number, rather than at full council where a decision of this scale should be taken, shows once and for all that he had no regard whatsoever for the democratic will of the council body, or the people it is elected to represent.’

Council leader Jim Logue reportedly said the U-turn was made ‘despite a total lack of support’ from the Scottish government.

Cllr Logue said the local authority would protect the facilities for the rest of the council term but that its ‘financial situation remains dire’.

He added: ‘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.’

A North Lanarkshire Council spokesperson said: ‘The council will consider any proposed changes to the decision taken last week by the policy and strategy committee in due course.’

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