Opposition councillors have accused Aberdeen City Council bosses of trying “to save a few quid” as swimming facilities in the south of the city remain closed.
The criticism comes after parents have struggled to find swimming lessons within the city, prompting them to ask Sport Aberdeen to revise their swimming timetable.
Speaking to the Press and Journal earlier this week, Samantha Kingsbury explained how her children’s swimming progress had stalled with her youngest now being terrified of water.
Forced to drive to Aberdeenshire due to a lack of space available within the city, she said she witnessed families being turned away due to demand.
Opposition councillors have now called on the administration to speed up the opening of facilities.
Get active at Lochside remains shut
Alex Nicoll, leader of the council’s SNP opposition group, said: “It is simply ridiculous that residents in Cove do not yet have access to these vital community facilities yet because the ruling administration has continued to dither and delay on putting measures in place to allow for the reopening – just to save a few quid.
“The administration must take steps to get the facilities open for the community to use and benefit from as that is what they are there for – not to sit closed to balance the books.”
David Selkirk, director of community leisure operations for Sport Aberdeen, said earlier this week that the timetable is under review due to the “high demand” for public swim sessions – and that work is ongoing to reopen Get Active at Lochside.
Mr Nicoll added: “Just last month Sarah Duncan (Aberdeen Labour councillor for Kincorth, Nigg and Cove) was liking tweets about how Aberdeen had reopened facilities like this, and Glasgow hadn’t.
“Either she’s oblivious to what’s going on in the ward we both represents or she thinks our constituents zip up the back.”
Councillor Duncan declined to comment on the issue.
Hopes to re-open within next two weeks
It is hoped facilities in Cove will be open to the public within the next two weeks.
Leader of Aberdeen City Council, Jenny Laing, said: “Covid-19 and staff sickness have had a real impact on the management and running of facilities at Lochside Academy.
“Officers have indicated that Lochside’s community facilities should be back up and running within the next two weeks.”
She added: “It is disappointing that councillor Nicoll is more concerned with political point-scoring than the well-being of our employees who have been working tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The administration remains proud of this £50m state-of-the-art school and community facilities which have greatly benefited the Cove community since they opened.
“I am sure local residents would prefer that the council continues to take steps to safeguard public health prior to re-opening rather than adopting the cavalier approach being advocated by councillor Nicoll.”