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Council rejects calls to sell Musselburgh racecourse business

Musselburgh Racecourse showing new work to the track

Musselburgh Racecourse showing new work to the track

The sale of Musselburgh Racecourse to help fund frontline services has been ruled out by East Lothian Council’s Labour-led administration.

The proposal has been put forward by the opposition SNP group, which accused the council of “mugging Musselburgh” in last week’s budget.

The Nationalists claim the sale of the racecourse business - as suggested in their budget proposals - would raise £1.5m to protect some of the service being axed by the Labour/Conservative/Independent coalition in its three-year spending plan.

The business is currently run by Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee, which pays rent to the Musselburgh Common Good Fund for the use of the land and rent to the council for the use of the facilities.

Musselburgh SNP Councillor Stuart Currie told the News: “We all know money is tight and our view is that if you want to support frontline services you have to look at everything the council owns and decide if it offers good value for the taxpayer.

“Whoever bought the racecourse business would still have to pay rent for the land to the common good, rent for the buildings to the council and employ the same people.

“We would still have the same benefits - the only thing that would change is that the council would have a sum of money to invest in East Lothian and Musselburgh. In our view it just makes sense.”

Full story, including comments from Council Leader Willie Innes, in this week’s Musselburgh News, on sale now.

 

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