Stronger links will deliver better deal for families

Grangemouth Town Hall had been under threat
Grangemouth Town Hall had been under threat

Stronger links between Falkirk Council and Falkirk Community Trust to deliver a better deal for families have been promised.

A review by a policy development panel made up of Labour, Tory and SNP councillors into its first five years of operations agrees working closer together is the way ahead.

The Trust was established in 2011 to run the council’s sports facilities, town halls and libraries.

As a charitable body, it qualifies for tax relief and has access to funding that would be difficult for the council to secure.

But its performance and value has consistently been challenged by the SNP.

When chief executive Maureen Campbell presented its business plan last December and proposed to close five facilities including Grangemouth Town Hall and Hallglen Sports Centre as part of a plan to save £1.2 million a year, the SNP claimed there had to be “serious concerns” about the Trust meeting its objectives and called for a review of its ability to remain sustainable.

When the executive committee met to consider the interim report from the PDP, leader of the administration Councillor Craig Martin, said: “It was important we took time to look back.

“I recognise the successes the Trust has had and going forward hope the relationship can be further strengthened to meet the challenges facing both organisations and the PDPs interim findings can provide the platform to deliver an even closer relationship to ensure the best services for the communities of Falkirk.”

SNP Councillor Tom Coleman said: “We give them a budget and borrow money for them, but there’s little contact apart from that. There has to be a closer relationship, not just a strong financial relationship.”