Give us cash to clean-up loch

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A MOTHERWELL councillor is demanding that the Scottish Government help pay for any extra work required to get Strathclyde Loch ready for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Last week North Lanarkshire Council’s environmental service committee discussed the possibility of spending £900,000 on an ultra-violet treatment for the water.

This follows an agreement between the council and the Scottish Government to split the cost of a £1.2 million barrier to keep contaminants out of the water ahead of Strathclyde Park hosting the Games’ triathlon events.

Gary O’Rorke, who represents Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig, argues the cost for the water treatment should be split too.

He said: “I can’t wait for the Commonwealth Games to come to Scotland and I am excited that the people of Motherwell and North Lanarkshire will be able to see an event on their doorstep.

“However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t look out for the tax payers I represent, especially at a time when we are having to make such massive cuts.

“The council and the Scottish Government have already come to an agreement to split the cost of the barrier work to try to prevent contaminants entering the water.

“The ultra-violet treatment, should it be required, would be for exactly the same reason. So I don’t see why should share the cost of one yet the council could be looking at paying the full cost of the other.

“We’re talking around just £0.5 million for each, which I’m sure could be found within the Scottish Government or Commonwealth Games budget, and would make life much easier for the council.”

The Times & Speaker understands council officials are planning a meeting with their Scottish Government counterparts to see if a deal can be reached.

Algae in the loch has proven a headache for council staff in recent years, with users getting regular warnings to stay out of the water.