Murdo has written a joint letter with Liz Smith MSP to the Leader of Perth and Kinross Council to clarify the future of Perth Leisure Pool and the Dewars Centre, following a proposal to close them both.
Live Active Leisure, who run both facilities, has proposed ‘a number of significant cuts,’ including the closure of Dewars Centre from July 1 and Perth Leisure Pool from September 1. It is understood that the proposal was made to Councillors during a briefing ahead of last week’s Perth and Kinross Council Budget meeting for the 2023/24 financial year.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said: “If this proposal does go ahead it would be dire news for the residents of Perth and the city itself. This is why we have decided to write to Councillor Grant Laing, Leader of Perth and Kinross Council, to express our concerns.
“We were very disappointed to learn that an amendment to the Budget put forward by the Scottish Conservative group in Perth and Kinross, which proposed funding of £350,000 and £360,000 respectively to ensure both facilities would be kept open during 2023/24, was rejected at the budget meeting.”
Murdo Fraser continued: “I’m sure that most local residents will have been shocked to learn of this proposal. Many people, including lots of families, use Perth Leisure Pool, with visitors travelling from far and wide to use its facilities. With the Olympia Swimming Pool in Dundee still closed where will people go to swim, and where will children learn to swim?
“Similarly, the Dewars Centre is a popular venue, with Perth having a long association with the sport of curling being played there. Curling has produced many good players from Perth through the years, including Olympic champion Eve Muirhead.
“Perth and Kinross Council have yet to present the gold-winning Olympic Women’s Curling Team with the Freedom of the City of Perth – that will be very embarrassing if the Dewars Centre is closed.”