Message from Maria Walker, Director of Education and Children's Services

Dear colleagues,

You may have seen the article in the Press & Journal today regarding the future of leisure and cultural services.

I want to make it very clear that the headline ‘Swimming pools facing closure’ is totally misleading and inaccurate. You will be aware that we are in the early stages of exploring different models for delivering leisure and cultural services, but please be assured that none of the models being explored are considering closure or reduction of service.

Any proposals which may come forward in the future would be subject to extensive staff consultation and would be carefully considered and scrutinised by councillors.

We are not exploring models that require closures of any leisure or cultural services. We are proud of the excellent services we provide and the staff that support us in delivering them. All options build on the basis of securing our facilities and developing them further in the future.

I am very sorry if the headlines have caused you any concern and we are taking this matter up directly with the Press & Journal. Please see below, a letter issued to the editor from the Chair of EL+L. 

Kind regards

Maria Walker
Director


Letter to Press and Journal

Setting the record straight
The misleading headline in today’s P&J, ‘Swimming pools facing closure’ has no substance. Anyone reading beyond the headline would see that Aberdeenshire Council is simply in the early stages of looking at different ways to deliver leisure and cultural services.

Our residents expect us to look at ways of delivering services in the way that gets the best value for money, and keeping in step as our communities grow and develop - both in terms of where they live and what their expectations are. We have demonstrated our commitment to investing in our facilities over the past decade with one of Scotland’s most ambitious local authority building programmes with new schools, care homes and leisure facilities.

We have a reputation for delivering quality services and are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to deliver our services at lower cost. We’re looking at a number of models, including maintaining the status quo, to determine which will best serve the people of Aberdeenshire. The article suggests a decision has been made, but this is simply not true.

We are not exploring models that require closures of any leisure or cultural services. We are proud of the excellent services we provide and we value the staff who provide them. All options being considered build on the basis of securing our services and developing them further in the future.

Cllr Alison Evison
Chair of Education, Learning and Leisure.