North Lanarkshire Council has reversed a controversial decision to close 39 community facilities.

In a move that caused outrage last week - and pushback from Labour councillors against their own Labour-run council - a committee voted to shut swimming pools, libraries, community centres and sports facilities.

Now, the council's Labour group has announced a sudden u-turn on the decision.

READ MORE: North Lanarkshire Council votes to close 39 community facilities

The reversal comes just 48 hours before the crucial Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election over the border in South Lanarkshire where Labour are pushing to win. 

Announcing the news that North Lanarkshire Labour will rescind its previous decision, North Lanarkshire Labour leader councillor Jim Logue said: “We have taken the decision to protect these important community assets, despite a total lack of support from the Scottish Government to do so.

“The SNP has refused to offer a single penny more to support these facilities despite receiving  £6 million to support swimming pools from the UK Government.

“North Lanarkshire Labour will protect these important facilities for the duration of this council term."

READ MORE: North Lanarkshire Council is shuttering my childhood 

As has been the case since the announcement of the closures, Mr Logue continued to blame the Scottish Government for straitened council budgets.

He added: “However, our financial situation remains dire after more than a decade of cuts to our budget from the SNP in Holyrood, but Labour will always stand up for families here.

“It remains the case that North Lanarkshire Council will face difficult budget decisions as a result of failure of the SNP to properly resource local government.”