MSPs urge council not to close community centres nor swimming pool

21 April 2010

Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs have urged Highland Council not to close community centres in Inverness or the swimming pool in Nairn.

Peter Peacock, Rhoda Grant and David Stewart were responding to the local authority’s proposals to close up to four of the city’s six community centres in a bid to save costs.

None have so far been earmarked for closure but the council is assessing the future of all six centres for which the council provides staffing and funding.

These are Merkinch, Hilton, Raigmore, The Spectrum Centre, The James Cameron Centre in Dalneigh and The Cameron Youth Centre on Planefield Road.

The closure of the swimming pool at Nairn has also been mooted as part of a consultation process.
Peter Peacock MSP said: "The first SNP administration in Highland Council signed up to a duff financial deal with the SNP Government in Edinburgh.

"The Scottish Government has since put the Council under intolerable financial pressure, by freezing the Council Tax and reducing councils' share of the Scottish budget."

He added: "While the Council are bound to consult on a range of options, they will have to decide priorities in the end, and we will be urging them to give this saving a very low priority.

"The community centres targeted and the swimming pool in Nairn are vital and well regarded local facilities and should be among the very last things the Council should consider cutting.

"The damage done would be major and the savings made minor."

The MSPs are writing to the management committees of each centre to their pledge support to campaigns to keep the centres open.


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