Kilbowie Outdoor Centre to Remain Open

News from North Lanarkshire – Kilbowie Outdoor Centre to Remain Open

The option of closing Kilbowie as part of North Lanarkshire Council’s budget savings review has been rejected by Councillors and the centre has been included in the Council’s budget plan for the next three years.

Following a wide-ranging consultation process on savings options Councillors took note of the extensive support by residents, schools and employees to keep Kilbowie open. The projected savings, if Kilbowie were to close, would have been £750,000 per annum.

Other options rejected associated with Outdoor education were:

Increase of 10% in charges for Kilbowie, with a projected saving of £30,000 per annum. These will be kept within 3% per annum.

Provision of 5 day residential at Loch Eil Outward Bound for 20% of 4th year pupils, with a projected saving of £320,000 per annum.

Considering savings of £62.4m have been taken leaving a budget of £713.4 this shows a positive commitment to frontline services and to outdoor education within North Lanarkshire Council.

Hopefully any other SAPOE members facing potential cuts in budget can use NLC as an example of what importance is placed in maintaining these services.

Below is the press release form Corporate NLC which gives an overview of budget savings programme.

NLC Press Statement

Council budget for 2013/14

Decisions made on a package of savings totalling £62.4m

North Lanarkshire Council today (Thursday February 14) set its budget for 2013/14 and made decisions on a package of savings totalling £62.4million for the next three years.

The council agreed to spend £100million on building new schools, taking the amount spent in this area to half a billion pounds over a 10-year period from 2006.

And there was further investment of £3.4million in the council’s flagship Youth Investment Programme which aims to support 5,000 people into work.

The council also agreed to invest a further £3million into dealing with the effects of the UK Government’s welfare reform programme.

Following a consultation across North Lanarkshire in 2012 on £104.75million of options for savings, the council agreed to a three-year savings package of £61.395million, taking 58% of the options, and a further £1m saving in the administration of the capital programme.

The council rejected options for savings including:

  • The closure of two residential care homes;
  • A review of classroom and ASN assistants;
  • The cessation of nurture classes;
  • Closing breakfast clubs in schools;
  • A change in the school transport mileage limits;
  • Stopping lunchtime school crossing patrols;
  • A reduction in funding to Citizens’ Advice Bureaux;
  • Kilbowie closure;
  • Major reductions to budgets for home support;
  • The closure of some First Stop Shops;
  • Charges for community alarms

The council also set its rent levels for 2013 with a below-inflation 1.5% increase, meaning North Lanarkshire still has among the lowest rents in Scotland. And more than £37m was allocated to improve current housing stock including £16.5m to continue kitchen and bathroom replacements, £4.5m to continue boiler replacements and £7.1m to continue roofing and rendering replacements.

The council agreed to freeze council tax and maintain teacher numbers for a further two years.

Council leader Jim McCabe said: “This is a responsible budget which meets the needs of the people of North Lanarkshire.

“We have been able to protect frontline services and, even in the face of the biggest storm facing the public finances in history, we have been able to invest where money is needed most.

“The cuts passed on to us by the Scottish Government are horrendous and the UK Government’s welfare reforms have a significant impact. But in deciding on which options to take we have been able to avoid substantial cuts to frontline services which affect the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“And we have listened to the people of North Lanarkshire throughout this process. They told us that they did not want to see cuts which had an impact on vulnerable people. We have listened to that message.”

Councillor Bob Burrows, the convener of finance and customer services for the council, added: “We have scrutinised every single option for savings and challenged every assumption made over more than a hundred hours of meetings.

“The result of that scrutiny is that we have been able to come to a responsible budget which balances our residents’ need for vital services with a focus on investment where we can.

“Yes, this budget delivers cuts and these cuts are painful. But we have taken responsibility and delivered a prudent budget which ensures we are able to continue to deliver excellent services.

“While we cannot guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of our decisions, we believe that the vast majority of staffing reductions will be achieved through the deletion of vacant posts, voluntary redundancy, early retirement and redeployment.

“In reducing the establishment by 750 full-time equivalent posts over the last two years, only three were compulsory. For those three, the people involved were offered alternative employment but declined that offer. So we have made it clear that compulsory redundancy is an absolute last resort.

“I would also like to place on record our thanks to our hardworking staff who have been patient in waiting for the outcome of our decision-making and who have worked tremendously to deliver services in difficult circumstances.”

In the documents on the right you’ll find the savings options accepted and rejected. In the savings rejected there are two categories. The council decided that some of the savings options, while not required at this time, may be revisited for consideration should the financial outlook change over the next three years.


  • The council has approved a revenue budget of £713.487million for 2013/14.
  • The council has agreed savings of £62.395m for financial years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16.
  • In autumn 2012 the council consulted on savings options totalling £104.745m. The consultation took place with residents, staff and other stakeholders.
  • The council has approved one-off expenditure on: Youth Investment Programme (£3.4m); early years collaborative with NHS to improve learning and health of young children (£1m); mitigation of effect of UK Government’s welfare reform programme (£1m); community and economy regeneration (£1m).
  • Revenue investment of £6.1m to generate capital investment of around £100m in extension of Schools and Centres 21 school building programme.
  • The options taken equate to a reduction in the council’s establishment of 744 full-time equivalent posts over the three-year period. Many of these will be dealt with through deletion of existing vacancies, with the remainder being voluntary severance, early retirement and redeployment. This equates to a 5.5% reduction in the council’s establishment.


Download attachments: