Eighteen senior Labour figures demand ‘devastating’ North Lanarkshire Council cuts are halted

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Labour-run North Lanarkshire Council is below big strain to shelve “devastating” plans to shut sports activities centres and group services.

Twelve social gathering councillors, two MSPs and two Westminster candidates have demanded native authority chief Jim Logue halt the cuts.

The council is closing 39 swimming swimming pools, sports activities centres, libraries and different group providers to plug a price range shortfall.

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Included are websites named after legendary Labour figures just like the John Smith Pool in Airdrie and the Keir Hardie Sports activities Centre in Holytown.

Nevertheless, the plan has triggered an offended backlash amongst locals and there are requires an emergency council assembly.

In an unprecedented intervention, 18 senior Labour figures have put their identify to a name urging a rethink.

Of their letter to Logue they wrote: “The potential lack of 39 leisure and group sources can have a devastating impression on our cities and villages and those that make use of them.

“As has been highlighted in emails, cellphone calls, at conferences and surgical procedures, and within the press and media, many of those services are on the coronary heart of group exercise.

“Everyone knows the supply of those cuts is the decimation of native authorities budgets by the SNP Authorities in Holyrood and it has been shameful to see SNP MSPs and MPs direct their fake outrage in direction of councillors as an alternative of their very own Authorities in latest days.”

They added: “Whereas the blame for cuts rests firmly with the SNP, we imagine the seismic nature of those proposals require additional assessment, particularly given uncertainty over potential new funding which may be secured.

“We ask that each one proposals as outlined be instantly halted while all avenues are absolutely explored. We collectively imagine that every thing potential must be finished to avoid wasting as many of those cherished native services as potential.”

Labour councillors Heather Brannan-McVey, Jean Jones, Paul Kelly , Ayeshah Khan, Pat Patton, Anne McCrory, Barry McCulloch, Peter McDade, Frank McKay, Frank McNally, James McPhilemy and Jim Reddin backed the decision.

So did Central Scotland MSPs Mark Griffin and Monica Lennon.

Katrina Murray and Pamela Nash, who will contest aggressive seats for Labour in North Lanarkshire subsequent 12 months, are additionally on the record.

McNally is a councillor in addition to a candidate.

Former MSPs Cathie Craigie and Karen Whitefield additionally urged the plan to be ditched.

A senior social gathering determine mentioned it was “loopy” for the cuts paper to be launched days earlier than the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election in neighbouring South Lanarkshire.

The insider mentioned the mass closure plan would even be an enormous blow to Anas Sarwar’s probabilities of choosing up seats within the space subsequent 12 months.

North Lanarkshire will obtain further money from decreasing employer pension contributions and critics imagine this cash might be used to cease some cuts.

It comes after two former Scottish Labour normal secretaries additionally hit out on the plan.

The council has been contacted.

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