Communities rallying to save their facilities

01-03-2016. Picture Michael Gillen. BAINSFORD. Bainsford Community Centre, Bainsford Community Hall. Group of pensioners who use the centre calling for a management group to run it as council propose to close it.
01-03-2016. Picture Michael Gillen. BAINSFORD. Bainsford Community Centre, Bainsford Community Hall. Group of pensioners who use the centre calling for a management group to run it as council propose to close it.

A community has pulled together to form a group in a bid to save its local hall from closing after council cuts placed it under threat.

Residents in the Bainsford and Langlees areas of Falkirk hope to take over the running of Bainsford Community Hall in David’s Loan following a crisis public meeting to rouse support for a management committee.

To help make savings of £25 million this year, Falkirk Council will no longer manage community centres to trim £190,000 from its annual bills and instead wants communities to take them over to keep them open.

There are around 20 premises and the council is at the second stage of talks with ten communities and is beginning consultation with the other ten.

Recent interest has been shown in Laurieston and Thornhill while committees are already in place at Bowhouse and Brightons.

A public meeting has been organised for 5.30pm this evening at Thornhill Community Hall to explore interest there.

Langlees, Bainsford and New Carron Community Council convenor Val Hunter is pleased her community has stepped up.

She said: “We are really happy we now have a basis to go forward and form a group that can run Bainsford Community Hall.

“This is a vital resource for older people in this community by providing activities that help them remain socially active and feel part of the community. We would welcome any additional help.”

SNP Group Leader on Falkirk Council Cecil Meiklejohn says she is “deeply concerned” by the asset transfer process of community halls to the public.

She said: “Not only are the Labour/Tory Administration putting at risk the network of community halls, but are also potentially putting at risk the personal finances of those who will take on their responsibility.”

Council Leader Craig Martin hit back saying: “There will be no risk to anyone’s personal finances through this process.

“The idea is to empower people to run their community halls, something that is already happening, and give them the opportunity to make it a venture they can prosper from.

“Discussions so far have been positive and. They are going well and have been consistent.”