Review of Properties in Tillicoultry
Thursday 21st April 2011
Clackmannanshire Council has agreed to rationalise the number of properties we run in Tillicoultry. The Council made this decision in February and officers are now looking at the way all our buildings in Tillicoultry are used. Many of them are underoccupied and we could save money while retaining services if we can move them into fewer, better-maintained buildings. This will be done in consultation with users. More detailed proposals will be brought back to Council before any final decisions are made.
This decision was reiterated today as Councillors heard from Tillicoultry Community Action Group. The group presented the Council with a petition opposing the closure of buildings in the town.
Council Leader Sam Ovens said: "The petition inaccurately states that we are proposing to close key public services - it confuses buildings with services. Our plans are to retain and enhance public services.
"The Council is developing innovative and progressive ways of supporting vulnerable families with children aged under five. We are continuing to provide a Clackmannanshire-wide service from two, rather than three family centres. We already have positive results with the support we offer to families out with family centre buildings and we expect better outcomes for families from the new approach. The new service is more targeted with improved early intervention and is being delivered through co-ordinated partnership working.
"The Council has not taken a decision on the Community Centre building and will only be asked to decide how to dispose of the building or the land if it is first decided to close the building. At the budget meeting, it was agreed to rationalise facilities in Tillicoultry, subject to review. We are currently looking at the way all buildings in Tillicoultry are used.
"The Council is about to begin a settlement plan process in which we will fully engage with service users examining how we can provide services from fewer buildings in every settlement in Clackmannanshire. This is in line with the results of the budget engagement exercise, in which the majority of residents who replied stated that they would prefer to save money by working from fewer buildings. Up to 15% of Council budget is spent on property alone and our aim is to provide better services through fewer, better buildings. Tillicoultry Community Centre needs significant investment and has low levels of use, with a maximum of 35% of the rooms used during the week.
"The Council is keen to take into account building users' views on how we can best make use of the facilities in Tillicoultry. This is why we are currently consulting with existing users of community buildings to assess their needs. Findings from this exercise will be reported back to Council in June."