The festive closure of the Clickimin Leisure Centre “works as far as” the Shetland Recreational Trust (SRT) is concerned, Lerwick Community Council members were told this week.
Community councillor Karen Fraser said at the January meeting that there had been an “awful lot of comments” from disappointed locals about the decision to close over Christmas and New Year.
But it seems unlikely that situation will change, with Clickimin manager Robert Geddes writing to the Lerwick Community Council to explain that the closure “works as far as they are concerned”.
He said that the opening hours are set by the board of the SRT and not by Clickimin staff, and added that while he “can’t influence every decision” he would raise the community’s concerns about the festive shutdown with board members.
Community council chairman Jim Anderson had asked in January whether it was fair that people who had paid “good money” for their memberships at the Clickimin were unable to access any of the leisure services for a fortnight. But Mr Geddes explained that their subscriptions were based on 50 weeks, not 52 weeks, to accommodate the winter closure.
Ms Fraser said earlier this year that the centre “should really be open” at a time when it was “needed most”. Addressing the concerns of the community council last month, outgoing SRT general manager James Johnston said that the winter period had always proved “a challenge” for the trust.
“Demand for use of our facilities is very low at this time and given our limited operational resources for staff deployment we have to strike a balance.
“That is why Clickimin Leisure Complex is closed and the Unst and Scalloway centres open for three days between Christmas and new year.”