Councillors in Moray have been accused of making a decision that could hamper the future of a struggling hydrotherapy pool without having all the facts.
Last month the council’s children and young people’s services committee voted to stop funding Moray Hydrotherapy Pool in Forres after hearing it was losing £41,000 every year.
Moray Council had agreed to support the pool with £20,000 for its first three years in operation, but said it was now up to the volunteers in charge to fundraise for its future.
But Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant, who is championing the financially-failing pool, has suggested councillors who voted against continuing to fund the site did so without all the information.
Ms Grant, shadow minister for health, inequalities and sport, said the committee members were not aware of an annual management fee the imposed by the council.
The authority charges Moray Hydrotherapy Pool £21,000 to cover administrative costs over the year.
Ms Grant said: “I have been advised that the whole facts may not have been made available to the committee who decided to terminate Moray Council’s funding of the Moray Hydrotherapy Pool.”
Members voting on the funding of the facility were tied, and it came to Forres independent councillor and committee chairwoman Anne Skene to cast the deciding vote.
Last night she soundly refuted Ms Grant’s claim.
She said: “The committee was well aware of the £21,000 management fee and it is completely separate to the £20,000 we supplied in funding – which was to cover against losses.
“Council officers and myself are, however, investigating whether we can lower that fee to ease the financial strain on the pool.
“Nobody wants to keep that pool going more than I do – but Moray Council has got to save money and can not keep funding a failing enterprise.”
A council spokesman added: “Councillors on the children and young people’s services committee were in full possession of the facts when they took the decision to discontinue funding.
“Reference to the £21,000 annual management fee was made in the agenda report, on which the board of trustees of the hydrotherapy pool were fully consulted during its preparation.”