Falkirk leisure trust directors are named

The board of the new trust
The board of the new trust

The five local residents who will help oversee Falkirk’s culture, leisure and parks services have been revealed.

Historian Ian Scott will chair the new Falkirk Community Trust which is due to come into being on July 1.

The former assistant principal of Falkirk College is also an author and musician.

He is joined on the board by independent directors Bob Tait, Ann Cowan, Alex McQuade and George Craig.

They will be responsible for running such landmark facilities as Callendar House, Bo’ness Hippodrome and Grangemouth Stadium, as well as sports centres, major parks and libraries across the district. Five hundred council staff will transfer to the new body.

Vice-chairperson is Councillor Adrian Mahoney, while Provost Pat Reid and Councillor Malcolm Nicol are currently the two other council appointees.

Two places, allocated to SNP members, remain unfilled at present.

The Nationalists are opposed to the leisure trust which they have labelled as “privatisation” of the services, although this is strongly denied by the Labour-led administration.

The buildings and facilities will remain in council ownership but officials believe it will generate savings of just under £1 million a year on non-domestic rates and VAT.

Councillors are due to debate the issue at next Wednesday’s full meeting of the local authority.

They will also discuss rebranding the service.

People were asked to put themselves forward for the voluntary, independent director roles and 10 were interviewed before the final selection.

Delighted to join the board, Mr Scott said: “The directors believe the activities and services which will now be provided under the trust’s management are vital to the health and wellbeing of our community.

“In the present economic climate the new trust not only offers the chance to protect existing jobs and services but a real opportunity to build on what has already been achieved by developing new and exciting ideas in all the areas of the trust’s work.”

Mr Tait is a former music teacher, Mr McQuade is a businessman and president of Falkirk Rugby Club, Ms Cowan has established community and sports groups in Bo’ness and Mr Craig is currently managing director of Falkirk FC.