Anger as council confirms plans to close libraries and swimming pool

Six libraries and pool to close in Aberdeen as council bids to save money.

Campaigners say they’re facing a devastating loss after Aberdeen councillors cemented plans to close a community swimming pool and six libraries.

An emergency meeting was held at the Town Hall in Aberdeen for councillors to have a second vote on budget cuts. Following deliberations, the decision was confirmed by a vote of 24-21.

It meant plans to close Bucksburn Pool and Cults, Kaimhill, Woodside, Northfield, Cornhill and Ferryhill libraries were confirmed.

Protesters said they won’t stop their fight, despite being unable to voice their concerns at Monday’s meeting.

The council said library closures would save £280,000, while £700,000 will be cut from Sport Aberdeen, which runs the pool.

Kirsty Fraser, who brought the community together in an initial meeting to save the pool, said it would have a major affect on children with additional needs.

She said: “Bucksburn is the only swimming pool which has stairs into the shallow end.

“Taking it away is going to be taking away swimming from nearly 100 children with additional support needs.”

The group interchanged chants of “shame on ACC”, “save our libraries” and “save our swimming pool” as councillors got their Wednesday morning meeting underway.

They banged drums, trying to make as much noise as possible, as people shared memories about what the facilities meant to them and their families.

“I have witnessed the devastating loss that the pool would be for all ages and people of all physical abilities,” protester Jillian Burt said.

“It’s such a great resource for promoting both mental and physical wellbeing and I hear people saying that when they attend the pool.”

The council said library services won’t be downgraded, but moved to nearby ‘hubs’ within local schools.

Another protester Karen Barrett-Ayres said: “I am in recovery from brain surgery and I have reduced mobility. I can’t travel to a library that’s further afield.”

The swimming pool will close next month, while libraries will lock their doors for the final time at the end of the week.

Aberdeen City Council said: “The council is facing significant financial pressures in 2023/24 and is having to reduce its spending in a number of areas.

“People will still be able to use our library services at ten branch libraries in locations across the city, Central Library in the city centre, or via our website.”

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