Public consultation launched into pool and library closures

Aberdeen City Council announced the closure of libraries in Woodside, Ferryhill, Cults, Cornhill, Kaimhill, and Northfield in March.

Consultation launched into Aberdeen pool and library closures following campaigns Aberdeen City Libraries via Facebook

A consultation has been launched over the closure of six libraries and a swimming pool in Aberdeen following legal negotiations.

The city’s council announced the closure of libraries in Woodside, Ferryhill, Cults, Cornhill, Kaimhill, and Northfield in March due to budget cuts.

Bucksburn Swimming Pool was also announced to close as part of moves by Aberdeen City Council to make £47m worth of savings.

The Save Aberdeen Libraries and Save Bucksburn Pool campaigns had been pursuing legal action.

More than 15,000 people signed petitions against the closure of the swimming pool and the six libraries which were handed directly to the co-leaders of the council by campaigners in March 2023.

The campaigners said the consultation, and equality impact assessments, would be a chance for members of the public to make their views heard.

Hayden Lorimer, from Save Aberdeen Libraries, said: “We welcome Aberdeen City Council’s decision to do the right thing and hold a formal consultation on the closures. It’s a shame it took legal action to hold the council to account but our protests have finally been heard, vindicating our campaign against the closure of the six libraries and Bucksburn Swimming Pool.

“The decision constitutes a reprieve for the services we have been fighting for. We thank the public for their continued support and now urge them to respond just as actively and vocally as before and engage with the council’s consultation process.

“We were silenced by administration councillors several times throughout the campaign but this is everyone’s chance to finally be heard.

“We expect the council to genuinely reflect on the results of proper public consultation in future impact assessments and demonstrate how their decisions align with the Equality Act 2010, which has not happened in the case of the libraries and Bucksburn Swimming Pool.

“We would also appeal to politicians of all political parties to recognise and respect the value of properly funded public services in Aberdeen, and across the country. Libraries and swimming pools are not just buildings but centres of learning, development, support, and valuable community activities.”

The council’s consultation is expected to run from early September until Tuesday, October 31, and campaigners have urged Aberdeen residents to engage with the process to make their views known.

Aberdeen City Council said a report would go before full council later in the year.

Kirsty Fraser, from the Save Bucksburn Swimming Pool campaign, said: “I hope this is a positive step in the right direction towards reopening these vital facilities.

“It will be very difficult for Aberdeen City Council and Sport Aberdeen to justify sticking to the decision to close them when considering the public consultation responses and the equality impact assessments, as the impact to our communities are vast and profound.

“It is vital for members of the public to engage in these processes and let the council know what the closures mean to them. This is our chance to make a difference.”

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