Fife sports chief to face councillors over leisure centre concerns

Frustrated Fife councillors have demanded a face-to-face meeting with the chief executive of the region’s Sports and Leisure Trust over restricted leisure centre opening times in Cupar and St Andrews.

By Craig Smith, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Monday, 29th November 2021, 10:46 am

Emma Walker has been invited to the next meeting of the north east Fife area committee to explain the situation after councillors were left dissatisfied with a written response to a question posed by Gina Logan MBE, a former president of the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association and Scotland team manager at the Commonwealth Games.

Ms Logan has long campaigned for better access to facilities and wrote to the committee asking councillors to find out why current operating hours at Cupar Sports Centre and the East Sands Leisure Centre in St Andrews are curtailed.

She said: “There may be a disadvantage for North East Fife residents, especially in relation to opportunities for free swimming over the school holidays, swimming for schools and, in Cupar, the football team cannot get access to the Astro turf pitch when the centre is closed.

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Emma Walker, chief executive of Fife Sports & Leisure Trust

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“I believe that health is a priority in society and encourage people to get active, both in the pool and games hall.”

Committee members were shown an email from Ms Walker which tried to provide some clarity.

“The forced closure and associated COVID restrictions have presented the trust significant challenges both operationally and financially,” she explained.

“The trust has had to to work harder, and innovate, to deliver on its charitable commitments to making a difference to local communities by delivering quality and affordable sports and leisure opportunities.”

Ms Walker said the Trust was “striving to find the right balance” to benefit a wide range of users.

Councillor Tony Miklinski described the answer as “not good enough”, while Councillor Tim Brett said the two pools were often closed at prime times one would expect families to use them.

And Councillor Jane-Ann Liston added: “There is definitely concern - the public is wondering what’s happening and wondering why it is only getting the same levels of service as before.”

Ms Logan and Ms Walker have now both been invited to the next committee meeting.

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