Petition launched to save Mossend centre

Mossend SNP members are joined by local SNP Youth Members at Bellshill Street Fair.
Mossend SNP members are joined by local SNP Youth Members at Bellshill Street Fair.

Mossend SNP Group has officially launched a campaign to save Mossend Senior Citizens’ Centre as a community facility.

After Culture NL announced it planned to close the centre in August due to budget cuts, the group took a stall at Bellshill Street Fair on Saturday and approximately 300 people signed a petition to save it.

A spokesperson for Mossend SNP said: “We have written to Culture NL, expressing our disappointment in, and utter objection to, the proposed closure of the senior citizens’ centre.

“Already we have seen the attitude of Culture NL to our views being told the facility was “under-used” despite our correspondence clearly stating it was not common knowledge the “senior citizens’ centre” could be used by the wider community.

“Mossend has no other central community facilities and at the Street Fair it was clear our views were shared by the majority of people we spoke with.

“If the facility had been advertised properly as a community hall for all, including our senior citizens, it may not be under threat of closure for under-use.

“Mossend SNP will continue to campaign to stop this closure, and ensure the slogan “a community hall for all” is Culture NL’s view too.”

Among those to sign the petition were SNP politicians- Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Richard Lyle, Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill MP Philip Boswell and Bellshill councillor Marina Lyle.

Bellshill Labour councillor Harry Curran also gave his signature, saying: “The closure was not discussed at the Labour group so I felt comfortable with signing the petition as my late mother-in-law and all her friends used to frequent the centre.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be run by Culture NL. It could be handed over to a community group like Gardenside Senior Citizens’ Centre was rather successfully a few years ago, but all options to keep it open should be explored.”

Newarthill Community Council continues its fight against Culture NL’s planned closure of the village library in August with another protest to take place outside it tomorrow (Thursday) from 6-7pm.

Secretary Josephine McKenzie said: “It’s important we get a good number of residents to attend so there can be no doubt about the strength of feeling in the village about the proposed closure.”