Axe to fall on sports cen­tre

Burn­hill fa­cil­ity faces chop in coun­cil bud­get cuts

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Burn­hill Sports Cen­tre is fac­ing clo­sure as South La­nark­shire Coun­cil at­tempt to bal­ance the bud­get.

The axe is set to fall on the com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity af­ter a re­view of leisure and cul­ture ser­vices.

Coun­cil­lors will meet to­day (Wed­nes­day) for more dis­cus­sions on the cuts pack­age be­ing pro­posed by of­fi­cers to help the coun­cil save £36.8mil­lion in 2016/17.

In pa­pers pro­duced by of­fi­cers, mem­bers will be told: “It is pro­posed that there will be clo­sure to fa­cil­i­ties

where there is low us­age and al­ter­na­tive pro­vi­sion nearby.”

Burn­hill is listed as one of the fa­cil­i­ties un­der threat, along with White­hill Li­brary in Hamil­ton.

It is un­der­stood the build­ing was ini­tially ear­marked for clo­sure in 2013 but was given a re­prieve.

Cou­pled with a higher than in­fla­tion in­crease in some charges and changes to con­ces­sions for un­der 16 clubs, pre-fives and over 60’s, the move is set to save the coun­cil £285,000.

A re­view of re­sources will also see school meal prices in­crease from £1.50 to £1.60, saving £22,000.

The Burn­hill fa­cil­ity is used by the Burn­hill Ac­tion Group, who are sup­ported by Healthy ‘n’ Happy.

But the com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment trust said this week it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for them to com­ment at this stage.

Lo­cal coun­cil­lor De­nis McKenna said the build­ing was used by a few other groups, but it wasn’t used as a sports cen­tre much.

He added: “When I be­came a coun­cil­lor in 1999, the first thing I was asked was when the sports cen­tre was clos­ing.

“The sad­dest thing is, the cen­tre was rarely used by peo­ple from Burn­hill, more by peo­ple from out­with it.”

Coun­cil­lors are also set to dis­cuss a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the pack­age at to­day’s meet­ing.

An in­for­ma­tion leaflet de­tail­ing the pro­posed sav­ings will be sent to all house­holds in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, at the cost of £16,000. The con­sul­ta­tion is ex­pected to last un­til the end of Jan­uary.

A mem­bers sem­i­nar will take place on De­cem­ber 9 pro­vid­ing fur­ther de­tails on cross re­source re­views.

The coun­cil does not yet know its full grant set­tle­ment for next year, but they are ex­pected to re­ceive the de­tails on De­cem­ber 16.

Around 411 jobs are set to be shed with class­room as­sis­tants, com­mu­nity war­dens, grounds main­te­nance staff and day care work­ers un­der threat.

Ed­u­ca­tion is set to be worst hit, with 190 job losses and cuts of nearly £7m.

Un­der threat Burn­hill Sports Cen­tre

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