Fund­ing cut for PH20 is wrong

Perthshire Advertiser - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

The fu­ture of new leisure fa­cil­i­ties in Perth are now un­der threat be­cause of the coun­cil with­draw­ing promised money to the PH20 pro­posal in its lat­est cap­i­tal bud­get.

The PH20 pro­ject, which would have de­liv­ered a much-needed re­place­ment for Perth Leisure Pool, was re­moved from the coun­cils planned fund­ing at the same time as the fund­ing for the Letham Hub.

Projects such as the Blair­gowrie Recre­ation Cen­tre were also slimmed back by the Tory ad­min­is­tra­tion, mean­ing what could have been a dra­matic change to the cur­rent of­fer­ing will now be a shadow of what could have been de­liv­ered for the area.

PH20 was par­tic­u­larly needed given the ag­ing fa­cil­i­ties at Perth Leisure Pool.

Most of us prob­a­bly have fond mem­o­ries of our chil­dren at the pool in Perth but we must plan for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

In the past few years we have seen plant ma­chin­ery fail and days where the cur­rent pool has had to close for re­pairs be­cause of the age of the fa­cil­ity.

In a grow­ing city like Perth and at a time when we are try­ing to en­cour­age peo­ple of all ages to take more ex­er­cise, shelv­ing fund­ing for a re­place­ment is reck­less and to­tally in­de­fen­si­ble.

When the coun­cil re­cently voted to pass a cap­i­tal bud­get to take Perth and Kin­ross up to 2028, I was con­tacted by a num­ber of peo­ple and groups who felt an­gry and frus­trated by the out­come.

This vote, which was pro­posed by the Tories and ush­ered through by their Lib Dem part­ners, saw pre­vi­ously promised fund­ing re­placed for the PH20 leisure pro­ject and Letham Hub dis­ap­pear in the blink of an eye. It was no won­der that rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Letham Hub pro­ject left the room in dis­gust af­ter see­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion coun­cil­lors de­clare they were a‘lis­ten­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion’one sec­ond, to vote through cuts to pre­vi­ously promised fund­ing the next.

Be­ing a lis­ten­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion only works if you ac­tu­ally take on board what com­mu­ni­ties are telling you and the voices from Letham were clear that they were not be­ing lis­tened to.

The Tories have claimed the money was needed to re­place Perth High School.

Perth High School would have been re­placed un­der the SNP bud­get pro­posal and PH20 would have still re­ceived its fund­ing. It’s not one or the other.

Once again, the Tories, backed up by their Lib Dem part­ners, have proved that they un­der­stand the cost of every­thing and the value of noth­ing.

They do not seem con­cerned at all that Perth could be left with fa­cil­i­ties which ei­ther can’t op­er­ate at all or which will re­quire sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment merely to keep the doors open.

I know that those be­hind the PH20 pro­ject have not given up on it, but see­ing fund­ing whipped away by a cal­lous Tory coun­cil has cer­tainly made its de­liv­ery all the more dif­fi­cult.

Add to this the re­moval of fund­ing for the Letham Hub, the over­see­ing of a tax on gar­den waste, fail­ure to live up to prom­ises on pot holes and an ad­min­is­tra­tion which fell apart ear­lier this year – it could be easy to see why most don’t trust the‘lis­ten­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion’. Pete Wishart MP says Perth Leisure Pool needs

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