Trust chiefs urged to attend meeting on leisure centre opening hours cuts

Hilary Lumsden and MP Stephen Gethins.
Hilary Lumsden and MP Stephen Gethins.

Fife Sports and Leisure Trust bosses have been urged to reconsider their decision not to attend a public meeting to explain the planned cut in hours at two leisure centres.

Fife Sports and Leisure Trust announced last month that it planned to reduce the opening hours at Cupar Leisure Centre and East Sands Leisure Centre, citing budget pressures.

The changes, due to be made on October 19, will see Cupar Leisure Centre face a reduction of 12 hours and East Sands Leisure Centre a reduction of nine hours.

North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins had invited trust bosses to attend a public meeting to explain the cuts, but, in a letter to Mr Gethins, chief executive Ed Watson said the team were meeting with ward members and invited the MP to meet in person.

“While I completely understand the trust is finding itself in a difficult financial position, it is very disappointing they did not consult with members of the public before the decision and have not taken up my offer of attending a public meeting where they would have the opportunity to hear about the real impact this will have on our communities,” said Mr Gethins. “I have asked them to reconsider that invitation.”

East Fife Sports Council secretary Hilary Lumsden said she believed the reduction in opening times will lead to more clubs vying for fewer slots. She added: “The model for delivery that the trust is tired and obviously not sustainable, and it needs to look at how other areas deliver services successfully.”

In the letter, Mr Watson said the cuts have been targeted at times which will minimise the impact on users, but described the changes as “hugely regrettable”.

Ed Watson, chief executive officer for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “I’d like to thank Mr Gethins for his continued interest in the trust and the budget pressures it faces.

“We are in the process of arranging a meeting with Mr Gethins and representatives of Fife Council to discuss the reduction of opening hours with him in more detail.”