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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Adam Robertson

Thousands sign petitions to save North Lanarkshire facilities ahead of public protest

THOUSANDS of people have signed petitions in a bid to stop a Scottish Labour-run council from closing 39 sports facilities, libraries and community spaces.

A public protest is being planned for this Thursday afternoon outside North Lanarkshire’s Civic Centre headquarters following the decision.

Opposition politicians have vowed to campaign to save the facilities although council leader Jim Logue says there has been “collective amnesia” over an agreement for cuts being made in this year’s budget.

Both the SNP and Progressive Change North Lanarkshire groups opposed the closures and called for the decision to be delayed for public consultation.

A number of petitions are online, with more than 10,000 people signing their name to one to save the Sir Matt Busby Sport Complex in Bellshill – it can be accessed HERE.

Another more general petition simply calls for all the community facilities to be saved with five swimming pools, seven leisure facilities, seven libraries and 20 community centres to close.

Almost 4000 people have signed the second petition and it can be found HERE.

The latest public protest will come as council members arrive for the latest quarterly full council assembly.

The protest has been organised by Airdrie resident James Cassidy who said: “I am utterly disgusted at the decision by a small group to close 39 community facilities across the area – many of these have received significant investment of our money and are vital to our community.”

We previously told how sports clubs were also planning on staging a demonstration in Motherwell on October 18. 

Around 180 people have so far expressed an interest in attending.

Elsewhere, SNP MP Anum Qaisar (below), the Airdrie & Shotts MP, said she has been “inundated with emails” on the issue.

She said: “Labour have shown themselves to be heartless when it comes to selling out our future generations as a direct result of their mismanagement of finances and services; as SNP councillors demonstrated this was an unnecessary decision and we will work with local communities to fight it.”

Council leader Logue said: “We have done everything possible to protect services, but with £64 million to save over the next three years, we are now in the realm of making decision that no councillor would wish to take.”

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