Sally Pattle, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Scottish Parliament constituency of Linlithgow, has called upon the West Lothian Council not to market the Low Port Centre for sale without giving sufficient time for a proposal for a community asset transfer of the centre to a community organisation.
In a letter to the Chief Executive of the Council, Sally said:
"We were so disappointed at the short-sighted decision by West Lothian Council to declare the centre ‘surplus to requirements’, meaning in the short-term groups like Lochside Playgroup or the Dementia Café are being evicted with no suitable options of alternative locations being provided. In the long-term, Linlithgow has lost another valuable community hub.
We cannot understand why West Lothian Council can see no viable future for a centre as well appointed and well-loved as Low Port. Generations of children have enjoyed the world-class outdoor education provision that was pioneered at the centre, plus countless community activities that have taken place there over the years."
The future of the outdoor activities centre has been in doubt since West Lothian Leisure announced in February that it would be ending its tenancy of the Council owned building. On top of this, the community groups that use the building have been told to find accommodation elsewhere – something that is in short supply. This means the town is not only losing a well-used leisure facility, but could potentially lose the community groups as well.
A few weeks ago, we launched a petition to save the Low Port Centre. We have been overwhelmed by the response and the strength of public feeling about the loss of outdoor provision here in Linlithgow.
Sally also said:
"The West Lothian Liberal Democrats fully support the move to protect the Low Port Rigg Garden as a lasting legacy of the centre. We would also support a proposed community asset transfer of the centre to any interested organisation, and we ask that West Lothian Council guarantees in writing not to market the Low Port Centre without giving sufficient time for such a proposal to be developed and submitted."