Council swimming pool closure plan has cold water poured over it by Cumbernauld's MSP
Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 19:56 GMT on Tuesday 5th March, 2013.

Picture is copyright of North Lanarkshire Council.
CUMBERNAULD’S MSP has written to North Lanarkshire Council to express his anger and the council’s decision to close their school swimming pools.

Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth has raised concerns over council plans close close school swimming pools at Abronhill High School, Cumbernauld High School, Greenfaulds High School, Kilsyth Academy and St Maurice’s High School.  

Since the council’s announcement, Mr Hepburn has written to the council to express the dismay of local people and his own at North Lanarkshire Council’s decision regarding the closures, which he has described as extremely short-sighted.

Commenting Mr Hepburn said: “I am appalled at North Lanarkshire Council’s extremely short-sighted decision, and I have written to the Chief Executive stating exactly that.  Closing these five pools within the schools of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth will only serve to put further pressure on the community swimming pools of the areas, and make access to swimming pools increasingly difficult for local people across the board.”

Mr Hepburn has stated that he is concerned about the future of local community groups who use the pools outwith school hours and what this will mean for the wider community as further pressure is put on both Kilsyth Swimming Pool and Tryst Sports Centre.  

The town’s MSP has also raised the point that North Lanarkshire Council should be encouraging local groups and individuals to further utilise the pools to increase their health and wellbeing, not closing down pools and making access increasingly difficult.

The MSP added: “It is my opinion that it is entirely feasible that by increasing and widening access to swimming pools within schools that the council could ensure that they create an economic benefit both to themselves and in turn the local communities as a whole.  By taking the short-sighted decision to close all pools by August 2013, the council have not explored this option and nor have the secured swimming pool access for future generations.

“I have strongly urged the North Lanarkshire Council to ensure that the swimming pools in schools in the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area are kept open.  By improving access to these pools the council could help improve the health and wellbeing of our local community, rather than the current plan which not only will it make access to a swimming pool notably more difficult for children but for the community as a whole.”

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