Shetland Recreational Trust is facing a potential shortfall of £400,000 in next year’s budget if Shetland Islands Council decides it will not pay for schools’ use of leisure centres.
After extensive discussions during last year’s cash-saving exercise at the trust, the council agreed to increase the amount it paid from around £100,000 to £400,000 to reflect the true cost of using the centres.
But at an SRT meeting on Monday heard that the council would not be abiding by its promise as part of a series of cuts and new and additional charges for services including instrument tuition for school pupils.
General manager of SRT James Johnston said this could make the next financial year “potentially very difficult”. He pledged that schools would continue to be able to use the centres meantime as he did not want pupils to suffer.
Mr Johnston is to meet head of finance Graham Johnston on 24th March and hold discussions with executive director of education and social care Hazel Sutherland to seek a resolution.
Particulary for the rural centres, SRT will review opening hours to better reflect the communities’ needs and Mr Johnston proposed reinstating local community forums to help with this process.