Funding cut for PH20 is wrong
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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