Lockdown row over continuing closure of key sports facility in Kilsyth

The group whose protests put paid to the introduction of town centre parking fees in North Lanarkshire has now raised fears about the future of Kilsyth Swimming Pool.

Kilsyth Swimming Pool

Rennie Road Community Alliance took to the streets in a blizzard in February to slam the parking fee scheme which was subsequently dropped by the authority back in November, partly as a result of their campaign work.

Now the group has had another swipe at the authority by demanding to know when or even if it intends to re-open the Airdrie Road swimming pool which has been under lock and key since last March.

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The fact that it is still shut has laid the council bare to accusations that lockdown has been used as an excuse to claw back cash at the expense of the mental and physical well-being of Kilsyth and the villages.

Fed-up swimmers have now been forced to seek out other pools in other towns such as Cumbernauld’s Tryst Centre.

The popular facility already stands accused of not being able to accommodate the large numbers who wish to use it in what is North Lanarkshire’s biggest town.

The group’s spokesperson, Kevin Kane, said: “While we understand that public health and eradicating Covid- 19 is extremely important. we are aware that other swimming pools in North Lanarkshire have been open when restrictions have allowed during 2020.

“This closure has denied people of all ages, not least our children who have made so many sacrifices during the pandemic, the chance to have fun and relieve stress at a time when they need it most.We must not let lockdown become an excuse to asset strip the town through stealth.

“The closure of Kilsyth swimming pool been a worry for some time.

“There has even been some fears raised at public meetings that the long-term goal of the council is to close the pool indefinitely.

“To provide reassurance, as the community eases out of lockdown, we expect Kilsyth pool to be opened at the same time as other pools in the authority. Our community deserves better and it needs to be treated as an equal partner in council decision making processes”.

This newspaper ran these comments by NLC leisure bosses in full but they would not be drawn on the specifics of the Kilsyth shutdown or the longer-term future of the pool.

A spokesperson said: “In line with current Scottish Government advice, all indoor NL Leisure venues and services will remain closed until at least February 1.

“We understand that there are a number of community organisations that regularly use these facilities and that this is frustrating for them but safety is our priority.”