‘We have no plans to close Bowhill Pool’

Councillor Mark Hood at Bowhill Swimming Pool
Councillor Mark Hood at Bowhill Swimming Pool

Bowhill Swimming Pool has not been earmarked for closure by Fife Council - despite rumours to the contrary circulating in the village.

The suggestion was strongly denied by Councillor Mark Hood following a war of words with SNP Councillor for Lochgelly and Cardenden, Ian Chisholm.

Cllr Chisolm had written to Ed Watson, chief executive of Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, seeking assurances that the facility would remain open.

But cllr Hood, spokesman for sport and physical activity, described cllr Chisholm’s actions as “scaremongering” and insisted that there had never been any danger of the pool closing.

He said: “If Mr Chisholm was truly concerned about the future of the facility a simple phone call to the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust would have told him that the trust’s board had agreed recommendations from the trust’s chief executive not to close any of the trust’s 13 facilities.

“He could also have checked budget saving proposals published online and discovered that there was no proposal to close Bowhill Swimming Pool.

‘‘Instead he felt it necessary to issue a press release full of fake concern aimed more at scaremongering than protecting a local facility.”

Cllr Chisholm said he was happy to accept cllr Hood’s assurances but added that he still had some concerns over a proposal in the Council’s ‘Blue Book’ in which officers suggest areas for savings.

He said: “There is a proposal in the ‘Blue Book’ from ‘officers that they reduce the trust’s budget by £1.6m.

‘‘That sort of deficit is bound to have an effect.

“Whilst it’s a good thing that cllr Hood says there will be no closures, my concern is that a cut in the budget could lead to a cut in the number of opening hours at Bowhill, which in turn could result in job losses.

“That would be tantamount to closure as far as I’m concerned.”