Following on from previous communications regarding the Active & Creative Communities and Community Facilities review, the Council at its meeting on 5 October 2023, agreed that the present library, leisure and community facility estates will remain open for at least the remainder of the current term of the council. Decisions previously taken on 28 September 2023 have now been reversed.
If you have any questions, please speak to your line manager in the first instance.
Communication issued to contracted members of staff 19.09.2023
As you may be aware, we are currently facing challenging economic circumstances that have necessitated a review of our services. The Policy and Strategy Committee will consider budget savings within Active and Creative Communities and Facility Support Services (Community Facilities). The report will be published on MARS later today and will be available att101490.pdf (northlanarkshire.gov.uk). It is important to stress at this stage that no decision has been taken and a decision will not be made until considered by the Policy and Strategy Committee on 28 September 2023.
This briefing note has been prepared to outline the method of the review, outcomes, staffing affected, proposed recommendations and the next steps contained within the report going to committee for approval.
- Method of Review
It is important to confirm at the outset that the review was data-led and evidence based, taking a co-ordinated approach across services including Active & Creative Communities, Community Facilities (Facility Support Services) and the Hub Team to ensure full consideration of the outcome for communities.
Specifically, the review process followed the previously Council approved scoping criteria for asset review and focused on the following:
- Utilisation – based on actual usage, optimum usage, and space in building.
- Condition – information on condition of building from condition survey information.
- Suitability – factors such as location, accessibility, and suitability of the internal space.
The data driven approach allowed officers to identify and review instances of facilities being underutilised, and to consider how best to promote the remaining estate to enhance provision and provide busy, vibrant centres which are functional and attractive to both communities and partners. The review also provided the opportunity to explore potential alternative uses for underutilised facilities/sites to benefit North Lanarkshire. The potential alternative uses could include community ownership, repurposing, or commercial use.
- Outcomes – Community Facilities in Scope
Using the factors of utilisation/footfall and condition a total of 25 facilities have been identified as in-scope, See Appendix 1: 5 of these facilities will not close as 3 have already transferred to Education, Children and Facilities, 1 site was closed and has now been incorporated into the new Riverside hub and 1 site is currently leased. These facilities have some additional budgets that that will go forward for adjustment.
Table 2 provides a breakdown of the number of facilities identified and how these will be phased.
Table 2 Phased Approach – Community Facilities
|Centres that have been repurposed or used by other service & buildings that are no longer utilised
|Able to implement quickly
|Centres with low utilisation/poor condition
|Requirement to find alternative locations for all users
|Centres to be incorporated into new Hubs
|Implemented in line with timescales for new buildings
Within Phase 1, there are three buildings which have transferred to Education, Children and Families for repurposing for Early Years and ASN use. These are New Townhead CC, Daisy Park CC and Wishawhill CC. Calder Community Centre was demolished some time ago and has now been replaced with the Riverside Hub and Jerviston Community Centre was transferred as a lease. Therefore none of these buildings are part of the future community facilities portfolio. These buildings will not close but are now repurposed and as such any additional Community Facilities budget held is now surplus to requirements.
Phase 2 involves fourteen sites that have less than 10 hours usage a week and it is proposed that these sites will close, and user groups will have options to move to other sites.
Phase 3 includes both Gartcosh and Joe McKay CC’s that will close and move to the new hubs currently in the pipeline.
Implementation is proposed over a 2-year basis.
- Staff Affected (Community Facilities)
From the 25 buildings identified in Appendix 1, 20 of these have less than 10hrs average usage per week. In addition to staff impacted by the Community Facilities closures, Facility Support Services also provide services within some of the venues within Active & Creative Communities which are under consideration. Full consideration will be given to minimising the numbers of employees affected in line with North Lanarkshire Council’s established Workforce Change Policy and other relevant polices. For any affected staff, we will provide comprehensive support and assistance. Measures that may be identified that may assist affected employees include offering alternative employment elsewhere within North Lanarkshire Council re-training employees or voluntary redundancy severance.
Indicatively, we expect approximately 10.5FTE employees will be affected by these proposals. It is anticipated that, subject to approval by Committee, managers will speak to all staff concerned upon the likely impact of the committee decision and discuss what next steps require to be taken. It is anticipated due to levels of vacancies within Facility Support Services, that affected staff will be offered redeployment and accommodated within the service. Whilst not anticipated, where this is not possible the service expects to manage this through wider redeployment or voluntary redundancy in accordance with the Council’s managing workforce change policies and procedures. Trade Unions will also be fully consulted and engaged as part of the process.
- Next Steps
The Policy & Strategy report will be published on MARS on Tuesday 19 September 2023. For anyone unable to access the report online, please speak to your manager in the first instance.
In addition, managers will make direct contact with staff directly affected and explain what will happen once a decision is made. We will keep you updated as the situation progresses, and information and a rolling FAQ will be available at:
Any questions or concerns can be directed to your line manager and CommunityFacilities@northlan.gov.uk (to allow the rolling FAQ to be maintained).
If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on email@example.com.
Facility Support Services Manager
Appendix One – Active & Creative Communities – Facilities in Scope
|Chapelhall Community Facility (formerly known as Senior Citizens Centre).
|Rochsoles Community Facility
|Airdrie @ Home Community Facility
|Caldercruix Community Facility
|Glenmavis Community Facility
|Plains Community Facility
|Holytown Community Facility**
|Hattonrigg Community Facility
|Joe McKay Community Facility*
|Calder Community Facility ***
|New Townhead Community Facility ***
|Shawhead Community Facility
|Westray Community Facility
|The Village Community Facility
|Wesfield Community Facility
|Burngreen Community Facility
|Antonine Community Sports Hub
|Gartcosh Community Facility*
|Jerviston Community Facility ***
|Daisy Park Community Facility ***
|Allanton Community Facility
|Waterloo Community Facility
|Gowkthrapple Community Facility
|Netherton Community Facility
|Wishawhill Community Facility***
*Community provision to be incorporated into new build hubs Gartcosh and Joe McKay Community Facilities.
**Holytown CEC, limited usage in comparison to other ex CEC buildings, poor building condition
*** 3 buildings which have been transferred to EC & F, 1 implemented into the new hub at Riverside and 1 lease agreement. These building will remain open with a base budget adjustment being undertaken.
Communication issued to casual members of staff 19.09.2023
As you may be aware, we are currently facing challenging economic circumstances that have necessitated a review of our services.
As part of this process, the Policy and Strategy committee will consider budget savings within Active and Creative Communities and Facility Support Services (Community Facilities). The report outlining the proposals will be published on MARS later today and will be available att101490.pdf (northlanarkshire.gov.uk). It is important to stress that at this stage no decision has been taken and will not be made until considered by Policy and Strategy Committee on 28 September 2023.
From the report you will see one possible outcome may be the closure of some venues within our authority. Unfortunately, it is possible that this may impact on the availability of casual work.
We are committed to open and transparent communication throughout this process and have informed the signatory Trade Unions of the budget savings that will be considered and will carry out all statutory consultation as necessary.
The significance of venues to our communities is fully understood and all possible alternatives have been considered and are being explored.
We understand that this news may be concerning for you. Please know that we are fully committed to supporting our staff and maintaining our commitment to delivering quality cultural and leisure services to North Lanarkshire.
We will keep you updated as the situation progresses and information is available: https://mynl.co.uk/knowledge-base/community-facilities-rolling-faq/
Any questions or concerns can be directed to your line manager and CommunityFacilities@northlan.gov.uk which will allow a rolling FAQ to be maintained.