Pool timetable change

editorial image

Planned changes to swimming pool opening times are minor and happen several times each year due to seasonality and demand.

That was the response this week from Borders Sport & Leisure Trust (BSLT) following public concerns about upcoming alterations to certain pool opening times.

Galashiels resident Peter Smillie, who uses the town pool regularly at lunchtimes, has complained to the trust about the lack of public notice over the changes.

Mr Smillie told The Southern he only learned recently 
by chance of the timetable changes.

“There is no notice up at the pool informing BSLT members and members of the public of these changes.

“Surely, as a BSLT member, paying a regular monthly subscription, any major changes to the opening hours should have been notified by letter or email, and a consultation period, to allow BSLT members and members of the public to table their comments/views,” he said.

“I find all these changes to save money rather disconcerting when the Scottish and UK governments promote healthy living and taking of exercise to save money at NHS level.

“Also, on the back of the Scottish success at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, what message is this sending to the members, general public and youngsters who aspire to be great athletes?”

But trust marketing manager Emily McGowan says only slight changes will be made to timetables at some leisure facilities, and is something which happens three or four times each year to reflect “seasonality and demand”.

She informed us: “As such we did not issue specific communications and the changes are small, so they don’t effect our staffing numbers etc.”

From Monday, Galashiels pool will open at 7.15am on a Wednesday (instead of 6.30am); at 9am on a Friday (instead of 6.30am); at 10am on Sunday (instead of 9am) and close slightly earlier on Saturday afternoon at 12.30pm.

However, the pool will be available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for parties and private bookings.

All its other opening hours remain the same. The total change in opening hours is about four-and-a-quarter hours less a week.

Selkirk Leisure Centre timetable changed at the start of July, and the trust says it is no more than a few hours a week difference, which is also reflective of the seasonality of the business.

Ms McGowan added: “A lot of analysis goes into timetable reviews to try and accommodate the needs of all our users.

“Leisure centre facilities are also extremely expensive to operate, so we do look to make cost savings when we can, whilst trying to ensure that any changes we make have the minimal impact on our customers.”