Councillors’ concerns over Kilkeel pool closures

Kilkeel representatives facing a “load of abuse” from the public have urged the council to resolve swimming pool staffing issues amid continuing closures.

The Mournes councillors highlighted their leisure concerns to the local authority, with one saying he will have to go incognito in the streets as angered locals direct their frustrations towards them.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has now pledged to prepare a “paper” on the facility, which is said to have become “beyond a joke”.

DUP councillor, Henry Reilly said: “This is so frustrating for the people of Kilkeel.

“The amount of abuse we as local councillors are getting about the unreliability of the opening hours of the Kilkeel swimming pool.

“We were advised last year, that there would be staff moved down from Newry once all the new agreements were in place and all pay scales were equalised. But they are still continually shutting down Kilkeel swimming pool on a whim.

“It is causing huge frustration as councillors, as we are taking the assurances of the senior staff give us and we are taking their word on that, that the issues are resolved. And then we are getting a load of abuse when we tell people the issues have been resolved and you’ll soon not even have to use the App, because things are going so well. Then we have constant phone calls from youth groups and whatever saying that Kilkeel swimming pool is closed willy-nilly and it is just so frustrating.

“I would not like some assurances from senior management that they are working through to resolve this issue as soon as humanly possible.”

Fellow Mournes DUP councillor, Glyn Hanna added: “The leisure centre as a whole, but especially the swimming pool is closed so regularly it is unbelievable, it’s all staffing issues.

“There are a lot of summer time staff who have gone back to university already.

“It’s coming to be that I will soon have to wear dark glasses going down through Kilkeel, so people will not know me. It has got to the stage that something really needs to be done, urgently. It is beyond a joke.”

A council officer, responded: “I will pick this up with the assistant director and come back to council.

“I will ask that a paper be tabled at the AHC (active and healthy communities committee)."

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