Two sides of common good in Clydesdale

An issue with damp in Lanark’s Tolbooth is set to be sorted thanks to the town’s Common Good fund.

Saturday, 19th June 2021, 1:00 pm
Funds from the Common Good will be used to eradicate damp at the Tolbooth in Lanark.
Funds from the Common Good will be used to eradicate damp at the Tolbooth in Lanark.

South Lanarkshire Council has arranged for remedial works to be carried out as part of its “proactive approach to maintenance”.

Jackie Taylor, head of finance strategy, told the finance and corporate committee last Wednesday that £10,180 of repairs would be needed to fix the issues. It will be covered by the Common Good’s annual repairs and maintenance budget.

Ms Taylor said: “Tolbooth is one of the assets which sits within Common Good. The council, as owners of that building, has a responsibility to maintain the property and the estimated cost of works is just over £10,000.

“That will be funded from the £15,000 allocation that sits in Common Good for maintenance in 2021-22.”

Ms Taylor also gave the committee an update on the Common Good project at Lanark Loch.

Changes to the original scope of the works were required, which included a change to the repair method of the damaged scour valve and due to unforeseen ground conditions, the contractor was required to change the retaining wall design.

She added: “The Lanark Loch project has been under way for a period of time around paths and around the loch itself. A budget has been set aside within Common Good for this and approved by committee.

“We are now finished the works and the final costs are being assessed however, I’m pleased to say it is well within the budget that was approved by committee.”

Meanwhile, almost a quarter of Biggar Common Good funds are to be spent on street lights for a single path … because South Lanarkshire Council can’t afford it.

Councillors have agreed to use £8000 on lights for a walkway between Campsie’s Garage on Coulter Road and the Boghall Estate.

Clydesdale East councillor Eric Holford was “very concerned” the Common Good funds were being depleted, despite a council-commissioned report stressing the need for street lights.

The council’s finance and corporate resources committee was told that the path was “not an area they would prioritise” for street lighting but that it was an “absolutely appropriate” use of Common Good funds.

Jackie Taylor, head of finance strategy, said: “We had a request for funding for a project around lighting on a path between Campsie’s Garage on Coulter Road and the Boghall Estate.

“We consulted with local members and the community council who undertook its own consultation. The response was positive.

“There is £33,000 currently in the Biggar Common Good fund and there are no assets to maintain.”

Cllr Holford revealed that an application for a grant of renewable energy funding from the Clyde Wind Farm was rejected on the basis that street lighting should be a council obligation.

He added: “The wind farm is not there to replace the council’s obligation to provide street lighting. I’m very concerned this is going ahead.

“A dark path with quite steep steps – to not provide lighting for them seems to me to be entirely remiss. How that can’t be a priority just beggars belief.”