The SNP has accused the Labour-led council administration of hypocrisy regarding the fate of the West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust.

News of the spat comes after new SNP councillor Gordon Scanlan raised a motion in a council meeting last week to reverse a proposed restructure of the trust that would potentially result in job losses.

The motion was later voted down by the Labour majority.

Cllr Scanlan admitted he walked into Wednesday’s meeting confident his motion would be given the green light.

He said: “I was astounded when it didn’t pass.

“I felt it was absolutely going to be passed based on previous comments.

“Not only that, but the previous restructure going to full council in February 2021 was voted down and blocked cross-party, every single councillor including the entire Labour group voted against that previous restructure.

“So, when the administration decided not to support the motion, I was quite shocked to be honest.”

West Dunbartonshire Leisure, described as an arms-length function of the council, runs Clydebank’s public sports facilities and Active Schools programmes.

But in March, the executive of the body outlined details of a restructure that could see around five jobs axed.

Clydebank Post: New SNP councillor Gordon Scanlan has worked as a coach for ten years with Active SchoolsNew SNP councillor Gordon Scanlan has worked as a coach for ten years with Active Schools

The issue was a major talking point amongst those who attended both the Dumbarton and Clydebank hustings events ahead of May’s council election, where the Labour Party won back control of West Dunbartonshire Council.

And Cllr Scanlan pointed to comments made by Labour councillors at those hustings as evidence the new Labour regime has gone back on its word to the people of West Dunbartonshire.

He continued: “I’m very very disappointed because I felt we had cross-party support on the actions of the potential restructure of the Leisure Trust pre-election.

“It was spoken about at both hustings and I was very pleased at the time because both Labour candidates had spoken out against the restructure and as I say I felt we had cross-party support on that.”

Cllr Scanlan, who spent 10 years working as a coach for the Active Schools scheme, admitted it is a topic close to his heart.

“It’s something I’m very passionate about for the staff and the service and ultimately the children whose sport development Active Schools reach out to,” he added.

During the husting’s events in April, Councillor Martin Rooney, now council leader, told Dumbarton he would look to reverse any budget cuts.

The following night, in Clydebank, Councillor Craig Edward asked: “Why is a restructure of the Leisure Trust needed when the budget has been increased?"

But, after being contacted for comment, Cllr Edward said: "Labour’s position is very clear. The consultation exercise is ongoing, and it was inappropriate for the council to consider any such motion at this point. 

"Labour’s emergency motion on the cost-of-living crisis committed almost £40,000 in initiatives to help residents with free access to leisure over the summer period including free summer swim for school pupils, free all-inclusive family memberships from July to August for families identified by Working4U, and free gym membership for 14 to 18-year-olds at the fitness suites.  

“What a successful programme this is for the Leisure Trust and our residents. Real action by this Labour council rather than the immature and inexperienced political point-scoring the SNP have indulged in. 

"Whilst families are enjoying access to the Leisure Trust facilities, perhaps the SNP will use the summer for quiet reflection and humility after leaving West Dunbartonshire in such a mess."