A local charity say they are having difficulty keeping up with mixed messages from the council

​A group in Clydesdale say they are becoming frustrated with the shifting sands scenario employed by South Lanarkshire Council.
Thankerton HallThankerton Hall
Thankerton Hall

The Thancard Trust says ​the situation at the village hall has changed and wanted to provide residents with an update.

A spokesman said: “Information from South Lanarkshire Council, subsequent to the announced closure of many facilities in Clydesdale including Thankerton, Carmichael and Pettinain Village Halls, has proven to be contradictory and somewhat unclear.

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“The Council have it seems changed what might be possible with our hall. Previously we were told a full Community Asset Transfer would be needed. However it seems we may now be able to lease the hall for a short time at least.”

An official Expression of Interest application for Community Asset Transfer for the hall has been made to the council by the Thancard Trust who are seeking to lease it for 12 months only initially.

The spokesman continued: “Unlike nearly every other hall, Thankerton is not able to access REF (Renewable Funding) to cover this cost. Other communities are able to access three years of funding, but Carmichael and Thankerton seem to be excluded.

"We do get 'Community Fightback Fund" access, but that will only cover us for one year. This seems very unfair, but that is apparently all we can have. We are seeking 12 months CAT (Lite) for the hall. This means the council will continue to manage it, while the trustees have more time to resolve the long term plan for the future of the hall.

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“The council has yet to assess our bid and while they have a duty to do so, it is not at all clear how they will proceed.

"We understand the hall should now automatically be retained until the end of May while they decide things. Technically the council have to hand it over to us 'wind and weathertight', but they have made it clear they don't want to spend any money to fix the leaking kitchen roof. The council definition of weathertight might therefore prove to be a little flexible.”

Joanne Forbes, Head of Property Services at SLC, said: “The Community Fightback Fund was set up to keep halls open on an interim basis while organisations developed their proposals, rather than to provide funds for capital projects. The council has well-established arrangements in place to assist community organisations pursuing asset transfer, which includes identifying funding routes for repairs and refurbishment.

"We are proactively working with community groups across a large number of halls and recognise that, as each situation is different, solutions need to be tailored to specific circumstances.”

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A spokesman for Thancard Trust went on to explain another priority remains the playpark, which is still due for a re-design.

They have stated several times before the trustees cannot run the hall for the community in the long term. If people want to come forward to help send a message via email to: [email protected]

The Trust has also now agreed to widen its geographical area to include Pettinain Village. This was following discussions with their community council and the group trying to save their local hall. The advantage is that as a charity and development trust agreeing to take over their hall will be much quicker. This will only go ahead if the council accept their own 'espression of interest' which has been submitted. Luckily Pettinain should have access to REF funding of up to £20,000.

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