Labour Lanarkshire Cuts: SSP Demands No Cuts Budget in Defiance of Tory austerity

The Scottish Socialist Party has condemned the decision by Labour and Tory councillors in North Lanarkshire to close 39 vitally important community facilities, including sports centres and swimming pools.

Bill Bonnar, Scottish Socialist Party candidate in neighbouring Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said:

“This butchery of community facilities is outrageous. At a time when people can’t afford daily essentials, and the ill-health epidemic explodes, facilities like sports centres and swimming pools are the hub of working-class communities.

“In voting to shut down these 39 centres the council leadership said they face a funding gap of £64million over the next three years, blaming under-funding by the Scottish Government.

“The truth is working-class communities are suffering the consequences of a chain of cuts, imposed by the Westminster Tories, spinelessly accepted by the ruling SNP/Scottish Green Party Holyrood coalition government – then implemented by equally spineless local Labour Party councillors, with the help of their Tory allies.

“This is a warning to the people of neighbouring South Lanarkshire of what to expect from a Labour government led by Sir Keir Starmer, and his man in Rutherglen & Hamilton West. Cuts to council workers’ jobs, council workers’ pay, and community facilities will continue to blight communities even if we get rid of the Tory government and Labour get in.

“The Scottish Socialist Party has never voted for a single cut throughout our history of having MSPs and councillors. Instead of obediently implementing Westminster austerity, we advocate that both the Scottish Government and local councillors should set ‘No Cuts’ budget, in defiance of the Tories. They should refuse to implement Tory butchery to jobs, pay, services, and community facilities, set budgets that at least protect what we have, and then mount a massive campaign of local people and council workers to win back some of the £5billion stolen from Scottish budgets by Westminster over the past ten years.

“The SSP has been out this week in support of workers in schools and colleges, fighting for the funds to protect their pay, their jobs, and the services they provide. We will continue to do so, including in North and South Lanarkshire. We offer our solidarity to workers and communities fighting back against these closures.

“In this high-profile by-election, our stark message is ‘don’t trust the parties of council cuts and austerity’.

“That includes Starmer and Sarwar’s Labour, who have openly declared they will continue with Tory spending limits – which means even more savage cuts and closures in the years ahead, with devastating impact on families and their health.”

For more information, or to interview Bill Bonnar, contact SSP Campaign Manager Richie Venton on 07828278093 or