25 June 2021
Falkirk Community Trust Update
On 20 January 2021, Falkirk Council, decided to manage all the services delivered by Falkirk Community Trust from 1 April 2022. These services include the cultural, recreational, sports and library services that the Trust has been managing, on behalf of the Council, since the Trust was established in 2011.
Although we were disappointed with this decision, at a time when we are focusing all our efforts on our recovery of our front-line customer services from the pandemic, since January, we have been working with Falkirk Council to deliver as smooth a transition as possible.
On 27 May, we proposed to Falkirk Council that to maintain our successful and effective customer led approach, operational efficiencies, and entrepreneurial spirit of Falkirk Community Trust, that Falkirk Council keeps the services intact and transfers them to Place Services within Falkirk Council. This is a new service which has been created to “ensure a structure that is more attuned to the needs of our communities, businesses, and partners”. It is one to which we are already culturally aligned and to which we believe we will be able to provide significant expertise and market insight.
However, the Council report of 24 March 2021 noted “that it is important that we do not simply bring the Trust back into the Council structure and ‘bolt’ it on to one of our existing services without consideration of how it is most appropriately aligned.’
Falkirk Community Trust subsequently advised the Council on this matter and on 27 May suggested a list of significant and reasonable concerns with their current proposal for integration and asked Falkirk Council to act in the best interests of the community and of the staff. However, on 24 June Falkirk Council decided to progress with their proposed structure by splitting our current service areas up and allocate these to three of their existing service areas as follows:
- Culture, Arts, Museums and Parks will be integrated within Place Services
- Libraries will be integrated within the Housing & Communities Division
- Sport & Leisure will be integrated with Children’s Services
- Business Development Team will be integrated with Growth Infrastructure and Climate Team within Place Services but will provide marketing and booking and sales team support across Place and Children’s Services.
The details behind the Council’s decision will need to be carefully considered to ensure that our services can continue to work effectively and efficiently and this will need the consideration of every member of staff’s role, especially those whose current remit involves working across several Trust service areas.
This is not the outcome we had hoped for, but we will continue to work closely with Falkirk Council in the coming months and to ensure that this transition is as successful and smooth as possible for everyone.
We will continue to champion and work towards Falkirk communities becoming the most creative and active they can possibly be, and will achieve this by continuing to deliver on our commitments by acting with the utmost professionalism, integrity and by continuing to place people’s needs at the heart of everything we do.