No Budget for Baby Changing?

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Dear Bellman,

I was pleased to read your recent article on the progress of Stonehaven Leisure Centre. The sooner we have Stonehaven back open with our all singing/dancing facilities the better, as what Live life Aberdeenshire are doing with our alternative facilities at Portlethen Swimming Pool is nothing short of negligence.

I take my son to swimming lessons every week and we have been going to Portlethen pool. Several of the baby changers in the male changing room always seemed to be broken & last year there was an occasion where all of the changers were broken. I told the staff, sent a few emails, got them repaired & even got them to put in an additional freestanding changing table too (a wee victory!). Unfortunately, the additional changing table didn’t stay there for long & a month ago I had to report to the staff that all the changers were broken again. Each week that we went week back, you guessed it….. they still weren’t repaired.

Yesterday I had had enough, I have repeatedly told the staff, I have been reporting it every week, I emailed one of our local councillors and I wanted to speak to someone higher up at Live Life Aberdeenshire to know why they hadn’t been repaired. I now have my answer and it is all down to budgets, as finance has turned down their request for a new table and they are waiting on a quote for fixing the existing facility.

I am sorry Live Life Aberdeenshire, but it has been over a month! Changing facilities are a basic at a swimming pool. When I think back to when my son was just born, going anywhere is tough, getting out the house is an effort and to go through all the rigmarole of getting ready for a swimming lesson is stressful enough when you actually have the correct safety equipment, never mind when it is all broken. How are parents supposed to change their babies safely? I have asked & asked but they haven’t been able to answer that question.

So, that is where I am at our alternative swimming pool, hoping someone will actually twig that this is kind of important. And with our library I am still very anxious about what the future holds when we have had so many last minute closures lately. The area manager said that cover had not materialised. In reality, no cover was ever attempted because yet again, they don’t have the budget. We pay for our library, have hours that are already shockingly poor compared to what we used to have (good luck going to the library if you work during the week) and to top it all off we get constant operational closures.  

Now I cannot speak highly enough of the swimming instructors at the pools and the staff at the library but when it comes to Live Life Aberdeenshire, I can’t rate what you are doing. Live Life Aberdeenshire need to do better, providing facilities with basic equipment & actual having facilities that are physically open would be a good start!

Kind Regards,

Steve McQueen