DCSIMG

Council under fire for pool closure plan

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TIMES & Speaker readers have reacted with fury to North Lanarkshire Leisure’s plans to close the public swimming pool at the Aquatec in Motherwell.

Last week we revealed NLL intends to save £1.2 million with a series of cuts which includes converting the pool and health suite into a soft play area in 2014.

However, at least for the time being the gym and other facilities will remain unaffected.

When the news about the Aquatec was posted on our website, Facebook page and Twitter account, readers were quick to voice their opinion.

Here are just a few of the many comments we received —

Ruth Kay said: “They’ve been running it down for years. My children use it every school holiday for the holiday club and would use it more if they put better classes on during the week.

“Would be a shame for Motherwell to lose its only swimming provision. Not everyone has a car and access to Wishaw or Bellshill - Motherwell is a disgrace.”

Fiona Sharkey said: “Unfortunately it became an ever decreasing circle - fewer customers meant shorter opening times, meaning fewer customers and so on.

“North Lanarkshire Council needs to attract people in to the area and stop chasing them away.”

Susan Brown said: “What about all the aqua classes and the swimming lessons? Lots of older people go for health reasons so what happens to them?”

INVESTING

Some people felt that NLL should be investing money upgrading the swimming facilities at the Aquatec.

Sarah-Lee Robertson said: “I think it’s a disgrace a town as large as Motherwell will not have a public swimming pool.

“It was filthy though. It needs renovating not closing down.”

David Campbell said: “They should be investing in the facility by renovating what’s there and adding a 25m swimming pool at the back.

“Typical of a useless council though, not an innovative idea between the lot of them.”

Other suggested a backlash the next council elections come around.

Greig Barrie said: “This is the same council who knocked back investment from Sainsbury’s, who spend our council tax money on new kerbstones and a nice new office block for themselves.

“Is it any surprise they chose to close the only accessible swimming facility left in the town? They have neglected this town for years and it’s time they were taken to task.”

North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre stands on the site of the old Motherwell Baths, a place which produced Olympic standard swimmers over the years, and some feel it should never have been closed in the first place.

Janette Rendall Thompson said: “They shut a great swimming pool and built a heritage centre because of the Aquatec.

“They should have invested money in the old baths and made it more modern.”

James Creaney said: “That place is a sorry excuse for a pool.”

Although the gym will remain in place, there is a fear that with no pool those looking for a full workout will go elsewhere.

Jamie Super said: “Will we now see gym users move so they can go swimming after their workout, leaving Aquatec in dire straits?”

NLL is holding a consultation about the savings and asking users to fill in an online survey at NLL

However, there are suspicions that NLL has already made the decision.

John Devlin said: “How long before the public realise what a sham these ‘consultations’ are?”

 

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