The future of nearly 40 community services hangs in the balance as councillors meet to discuss the future of swimming pools, libraries, community and sport centres.

In what has been called an "unforgivable sell-out of communities", 39 leisure facilities across North Lanarkshire face closure as the council blames the Scottish Government for straitened budgets.

Council leader Jim Logue said this afternoon’s policy and strategy committee meeting face an “unpalatable decision” as they discuss the £4.7 million cost-cutting move.

The local authority faces a £64m budget gap over the next three years and Mr Logue said politicians were now faced with "decisions that no councillor would wish to take."

Local MPs and MSPs said they had been swamped with constituents raising concerns about the loss of major facilities such as the John Smith pool in Airdrie and Shotts leisure centre.

Neil Gray MSP and Anum Qaisar MP are campaigning for a stay of execution for centres in their Airdrie & Shotts constituency while Steven Bonnar MP in a neighbouring constituency has joined their calls.

In a joint statement Mr Gray and Ms Qaisar said: "We do not believe these cuts are necessary and will leave people with poorer health, which will cost the council more in the long run.

"We have been working with SNP group leader Tracy Carragher to find a way for these Labour cuts to be stopped; North Lanarkshire should use the tens of millions due to them over the coming years from the Strathclyde Region Pension fund surplus to embark on a programme of repair and upgrade to bring facilities up to standard."

The Motherwell and Wishaw constituency could lose the Aquatec, Cleland library and three Wishaw community centres.

Steven Bonnar MP says his constituent face 11 closures in his Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill constituency and he has written to council chief executive Des Murray and to all committee members asking that the closures be reconsidered.

He said: “Closures should not proceed without proper and detailed community consultation – the move to close these facilities with no prior engagement is deeply troubling and it’s time for elected members to do the right thing for the people we all serve.

"I have grave concerns about the impact these decisions would have on the communities we serve; these closures represent a significant loss for our community, affecting access to essential services, employment opportunities for staff [and] vital opportunities for social interaction and engagement."

Me Bonnar's colleague Fulton MacGregor MSP said: “If these proposals go ahead they will not only impact on health and wellbeing opportunities but ultimately also on many people’s jobs and income during already difficult times.”

Petitions against the closures have been set up locally and residents have been sharing their outrage on social media in a bid to drum up signatories.

Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “We have been warning for some time that 15 years of insufficient funding to local councils from the Scottish Government will lead to cuts to services that are hugely valued by local people.

“We can see the same pattern repeated in councils the length and breadth of the country, and we are far from alone in making hard decisions about the sustainability of leisure and community facilities.

“In the face of these budget cuts we have done everything possible to protect services.

"But with £64m to save over the next three years, we are now in the realm of making some very unpalatable decisions, decisions that no councillor would wish to take.

“Councillors will consider a full report on the exercise to review community facilities on September 28 and will be faced with extremely difficult decisions.

"The review has been comprehensive and considers usage and condition, as well as the amount of money which would be needed to modernise older facilities.

“The council is continuing with a hugely ambitious investment programme, which will see some facilities replaced in new hubs.

"But the reality is that we need to meet the needs of people across North Lanarkshire in a way which reduces our overall estate and which also means the remaining facilities are sustainable.”