Falkirk councillors agree ‘as you were’ for community trust

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Members of Falkirk Council have agreed not to disband the organisation responsible for local cultural, leisure and library services.

At a recent full council meeting, the council agreed not to bring these services back in-house and to continue operating Falkirk Community Trust, the arms-length organisation it established in 2011.

The council’s funding for the Trust has fallen year on year since it was created. The first year’s budget was over £13 million, but in 2018/2019 this dropped to under £11 million.

In line with recommendations from Audit Scotland, the council undertook an appraisal to determine if it should continue the present arrangements going forward.

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Councillors considered a report which provided an evaluation of three options – the status quo, giving the Trust greater autonomy or bringing the services back under direct control of the council.

Councillor Malcolm Nicol said: “I am agreed that we should acknowledge the success of the Trust to date, but there is some concern that it sees itself as a fully detached body.”

The recommendations were supported unanimously by councillors, albeit with an additional condition proposed by Councillor David Alexander stressing achieving a shared vision between council and Trust should be the top priority.