SPORTS clubs in North Lanarkshire are coordinating to host a demonstration against council approved plans to close 39 libraries, leisure centres, pools and other sports and culture facilities.

Intense anger followed the announcement on Thursday, which led to the Scottish Labour-led council banning comments on its social media posts, claiming they have been subject to “abuse”.

In response to the go-ahead of closures, affected sports clubs are hosting a demonstration in Motherwell on October 18.

Bellshill Athletic FC, which trains at the Sir Matt Busby Sports Centre ,shared the information online, stating: “We at Bellshill Athletic have already made our feelings known about the recent proposals and have been overwhelmed by the voices from other local sports clubs condemning the ill-thought-out plans of the council.

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“In our current climate of so much uncertainty, there local hubs have been instrumental for a lot of people, by maintain their physical and mental health by attending these buildings for their sports and social clubs.

“We believe that solidary amongst clubs can show how much these facilities mean to us and our towns.

“We will join other clubs and encourage everyone to attend as we meet outside the Motherwell Civil on October 18 at 12pm midday.”

Labour leader of North Lanarkshire Council Jim Logue admitted councillors had faced an “unpalatable decision” whilst SNP Group leader Tracy Carragher said “what took place is unthinkable”.

Logue blamed cuts to local government funding and council tax freezes which have put council budgets across Scotland under intense strain.

However, Stephanie Callaghan, SNP MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill, reacted to the news: “North Lanarkshire Labour/ Tory administration voted to shut down 39 sports venues, libraries and community centres, ignoring fierce opposition from thousands of local people.

"They ignored urgent pleas from SNP councillors and other opposition parties to consult with local people – but they had no interest in hearing views.

“Instead of scrutinising the questionable report, local Labour and Tory councillors sat quietly then voted to pull the rug from under our communities feet, and trying to hoodwink the public to deflect the blame is an insult to local people – councillors were free to choose a different path.”

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Neil Gray and Anum Qaisar, who represent Airdrie and Shotts in the Scottish and UK parliaments respectively, hit out at the proposals in a statement: “We do not believe these cuts are necessary. They will leave people with poorer [physical] and mental health which will cost the council more in the long run.

“We have been working with SNP group leader Tracy Carragher to find a way for these Labour cuts to be stopped; North Lanarkshire should use the tens of millions due to them over the coming years from the Strathclyde Pension Fund surplus to embark on a programme of repair and upgrade to bring facilities up to standard.”

SNP group leader councillor Tracy Carragher, said: “What took place is unthinkable. Our group listened to the hundreds of constituents who got in touch to let us know how badly these closures would impact on their day to day lives.

“We worked hard to come up with a feasible solution – one which I believe wasn’t even given full consideration by the administration who bulldozed ahead with these cuts which will impact our communities profoundly.

“This just demonstrates that the Labour and Tory administration are once again not listening. They are failing to represent their constituents.”

Meghan Gallacher and Graham Simpson, the Tory MSPs for the Central Scotland region, said in a joint statement: “Councils can no longer bear the brunt of austerity [imposed] on them against their will by the Scottish Government.”