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Eagle raises concerns over children's swimming lessons backlog

By Alan Beresford

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CONCERNS have been voiced over the length of the waiting list for children's swimming lessons.

Councillor Tim Eagle: Concern over swimming lesson backlog. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Councillor Tim Eagle: Concern over swimming lesson backlog. Picture: Becky Saunderson

With the schools now on holiday, Buckie councillor Tim Eagle has questioned why the waiting list for beginner swimming classes has been closed.

He said; “Covid has had an effect on many things but with the recent hot weather I have been particularly concerned about the fact we now have a huge backlog of young children who were either in the middle of beginners lessons or have not yet started to learn to swim.

"I am told these lists which have been closed to avoid numbers swelling already have several hundred names.

"With a large coastal stretch in Moray it is vital our children have the opportunity to learn to swim and I am deeply worried about the continued delay to this and how Moray Council plans to catch up. It really is vital in my mind that the Scottish Government consider very carefully how we can allow our leisure centres to safely recommence swimming lessons.

"Whilst there are some key points in the recovery process coming up we really do need to consider how we ensure we can safely delivery vital services like this.

"I know the leisure team at the council share my concerns. They have done what they can by providing lessons for children eight and over who could safely be in the pool but I fear even when lessons do restart that we face a huge backlog with beginners in particular.

"I will be pushing strongly for the maximum support for our leisure staff so we can get on top of current lists and ensure they are re-opened again and I have asked Moray Council to ensure that we work with our local pool staff to provide as many opportunities as possible so we can catch up on lessons.

"In the meantime I hope everyone will take advantage of the range of family fun sessions and open swimming lessons during the summer holidays across Moray’s pools."

A Moray Council spokesperson said: “We’re keen to resume a full lesson programme as soon as we can, but the safety of our teams and communities remains our upmost priority.

"Staff have been working extremely hard to ensure these facilities can operate safely and we’ll work through any waiting lists that we have in due course.”

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