End of an era as shuts

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

The long-term fu­ture for staff at Burn­hill Sports Cen­tre re­mains un­clear, union chiefs have said on the eve of the cen­tre’s clo­sure.

Three leisure at­ten­dants who work at the Burn­hill cen­tre learned in Fe­bru­ary they would be re­de­ployed when South La­nark­shire Coun­cil­lors agreed to close the fa­cil­ity to­mor­row, March 31.

Part of the 2016/17 bud­get, the move is ex­pected to save the lo­cal au­thor­ity £88,000 over the next two years.

Stephen Smellie, of the South La­nark­shire branch of Uni­son, said the cen­tre’s three mem­bers of staff were last week told where they would be lo­cated, but said these place­ments were tem­po­rary.

“Ob­vi­ously clo­sures like this are un­set­tling,” Mr Smellie said.

“This is an on-go­ing process. There is a good num­ber of peo­ple across the leisure trust and the coun­cil who are in a sim­i­lar situation.

“What we have con­firmed with the trust and the coun­cil is there are no re­dun­dan­cies, peo­ple will have their earn­ings pro­tected and they will have em­ploy­ment. It may take time to get them into per­ma­nent posts but their salaries are pro­tected.”

Mr Smellie ad­mit­ted morale across the pub­lic sec­tor was low as lo­cal au­thor­i­ties make more cuts with ev­ery bud­get they set.

He said staff were in­creas­ingly stressed at work as they faced an ever- grow­ing work­load.

“All that is putting more pres­sure on staff as we con­tinue to pay for aus­ter­ity as the rich con­tinue to do al­right,” he added.

A spokes­woman for South La­nark­shire Coun­cil told the Re­former last week that it was cur­rently dis­cussing new work lo­ca­tions with staff at Burn­hill Sports Cen­tre.

Gerry Camp­bell, general man­ager of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, said: “We would like to thank all the staff and com­mu­nity groups that have sup­ported the cen­tre over the years.

“We are work­ing with our cus­tomers to find al­ter­na­tive fa­cil­i­ties for them to use. We have ex­cel­lent fa­cil­i­ties at Life­style East­field and Fern­hill Com­mu­nity Cen­tre which we hope our cus­tomers will visit and con­tinue to use and en­joy the fa­cil­i­ties pro­vided by South La­nark­shire Leisure and Cul­ture.”

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil said ear­lier this year the num­ber of peo­ple at­tend­ing Burn­hill Sports Cen­tre - an av­er­age of 50 per day - was not enough to make it fi­nan­cially vi­able, stat­ing the build­ing needed sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment to re­main op­er­a­tional.

Un­sus­tain­able South La­nark­shire Coun­cil says the cen­tre needs big in­vest­ment

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