Residents in a north-east town have criticised a “poorly publicised survey” for revised hours being introduced at a local sports centre.
Turriff Sports Centre and Swimming Pool will commence 2020 with amended opening hours following a review of operations.
However, some residents feel the survey was “poorly publicised” and therefore doesn’t accurately represent the community’s demands.
The changes, which will take effect in January, will see both facilities open from 7am on weekdays. Low use of the facility at the weekends, in particular in the afternoons, has also led to changes.
Chris Dall from Turriff said his family regularly use the facility and added: “Anyone my family and I have spoken to were not aware of the survey which these changes have been based on.
“People in Turriff fought hard for the upgrade of this facility only for it to be closed following a poorly publicised survey.”
A spokesman for Live Life Aberdeenshire confirmed that, prior to the changes, customer feedback was sought online in addition to two customer surveys at the facility which were designed to gauge opinion.
Mr Dall said: “Turriff Astro Pitch and Sports Centre is going to be closed from 12pm on a Saturday and Sunday owing to it ‘not being busy.’ Weekends are really the only time children can make the most use of the facility.
“My 12-year-old quite often uses the pitch with a big group of friends, there’s not a lot for young people to do here and it seems strange to encourage young people to spend less time on games consoles, then limit access to these sort of facilities .”
“It shouldn’t go unnoticed that a few weeks back Turriff Sports Centre and Police Scotland promoted a midnight football session to get kids off the streets. This proposed afternoon closure seems like it’ll have the opposite effect.”
A spokesman for Live Life Aberdeenshire said: “The revised opening hours were decided by looking at customer feedback and existing levels of use – weekend afternoons have been shown to be our quietest period, with the least demand.”
“The new hours make best use of the available resources, including staff, and the pitches continue to be available on weekend mornings, when they are well used.”
“Should patterns of use change and demand increase for pitches on weekend evenings, we’ll look at the hours again.”