Stirling Council has revealed that the total cost to date of the tendering process of sports services is £52,717.30 plus VAT of 20 percent making a total of £63,260.76
Last month, an attempt to privatise Stirling’s sports services was defeated by Councillors. In a paper, signed off by Labour Councillor Corrie McChord and Tory Councillor Martin Earl, Stirling Council had recommended that a 25 year contract for the service be awarded to private firm Sports and Leisure Management Ltd.
Currently, sports services are operated by Active Stirling – a charitable organisation. Public outrage at the move to privatise sports services forced Tory and Labour Councillors to back down with minutes to go to the Special Council Meeting called to endorse the privatisation plan.
Local MP Steven Paterson has slammed the Tory/Labour Administration after a response to an FOI request showed that the full cost of the tendering process to the Stirling taxpayer was over £63K – with further legal costs anticipated.
Commenting, Steven Paterson said:
“The outrageous Tory/Labour Administration plan to privatise sports provision was bad enough, but the revelation that Stirling taxpayers’ money has been used to pay over £63,000 in legal costs associated with it is nothing short of a scandal.
“Stirling is the only local authority in Scotland to have attempted to privatise these services, and the while the last minute climb down by Tory and Labour councillors was the right move, they should never have pursued this flawed and extortionate plan in the first place.
“This privatisation attempt seriously threatened sports services as we currently know them, and the huge legal bill pursuing this agenda is a damning indictment on the failure of this Administration.”
SNP Group Leader on Stirling Council, Councillor Scott Farmer has demanded that no more money is spent on this area until this out-of-control budget is reviewed:
“The Tory/Labour Administration marched Stirling Council to the cliff-edge and, when struck by common sense, expect Stirling taxpayers to foot their legal bill.
“It is possible that further costs could be incurred as a result of this process. The Tory/Labour Administration must offer assurances to Stirling taxpayers immediately that no more public money will be spent as a result of this tendering process until a full review has taken place.
“Local public services are still struggling under Tory-enforced austerity and people across Stirling will rightly want answers on this out-of-control tendering budget.”