McArthur: SNP threat to leisure facilities rightly sunk

Responding to reports that the Scottish Government is set to reject the Barclay Review's recommendation of additional charges for local authority arms-length external organisations providing leisure and cultural facilities, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur, who has written to the Finance Secretary and campaigned against the changes, said:

"Rather than face defeat in parliament, the government has rightly backed off a proposal that threatened facilities across the country.

“While this is certainly welcome news, charitable trusts have faced months of unnecessary worry about the potential loss of their exemption from business rates.  Such a move would have increased costs to trusts and charges to customers, in turn reducing access to sport and leisure facilities, particularly for the most vulnerable. 

"At a time when the Government urgently needs to boost the promotion of healthy lifestyles, this was never going to be a sensible move. It is good news that the plan has been sunk, but Ministers should never have left it floating for so long."

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