NICOLA Sturgeon has been accused of “shameful” neglect over the potential mass-closure of sports venues, libraries and community centres on her patch – while vowing a £6billion spending splurge on other policies.
SNP-run Glasgow – which famously hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2014 – has said a staggering 40 sports venues or pitches, five libraries, and 11 community centres or halls will stay shut following lockdown.
Three museums are also listed as not due for re-opening, including the city’s historic Scotland Street School – though it’s hoped the museum will ultimately be turned into a nursery under plans approved as the second lockdown hit.
The huge cuts to sport and culture facilities – in a pattern feared to be repeated in other parts of Scotland – come despite health experts warning of the importance of getting people active after lockdown.
Opposition leaders tonight slammed the move, which emerged just days after the SNP unveiled their manifesto with a list of freebies and spending increases costing £6billion extra over the next five years.
Following the policy launch, economists warned Ms Sturgeon’s SNP election pledges could mean “trade-offs”.
And opponents said planned closures of facilities showed the poorest communities would be hardest hit.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Across Glasgow, including in the First Minister’s own constituency, scores of vital facilities such as libraries, gyms and football pitches are being closed due to SNP cuts.
“Glasgow Southside may be Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency – but it is my home.
“As an avid book-reader, Nicola Sturgeon must know the importance of libraries.
“We can’t have communities that have been through the collective trauma of Covid left without vital facilities.
“Scottish Labour has a recovery plan for our communities that will ensure that everyone across Glasgow has access to the facilities they need to learn, socialise and stay healthy.”
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “For the SNP to use the pandemic as an excuse to mothball vital community facilities across Scotland’s largest city is shameful.