Claim councillors did not have facts on Moray Hydrotherapy Pool finances

Moray Hydrotherapy Pool

A Highlands and Islands MSP has called on Moray councillors to review their decision not to continue contributing funding to the hydrotherapy pool in Forres as they did not have the full facts.

Last month members of the children and young people’s services committee at the local authority voted not to continue an annual £20,000 grant to the pool, which was created three years ago after a local fundraising campaign.

Prior to its opening people in Moray who suffered severe pain from such as arthritis had to travel to Dingwall for Hydrotherapy treatment.

Now Mrs Grant, who is the Labour shadow minister for health, equality and sport at the Scottish Parliament, has said that she did not believe that councillors had all the facts about the current status of the pool presented to them.

She told the P&J: “I have been advised that the whole facts may not have been available to the committee who decided to terminate Moray Council’s funding of the Moray Hydrotherapy Pool.”

Councillors insisted that when agreement was made to provide the grant it was always with the intention that after three years volunteers would be in a position to ensure the pool was self-sufficient.

However, according to Mrs Grant they were not aware that Moray Council also charged the pool £21,000 for “administrative costs” each year.

The committee had been tied in their views on future funding, however the grant was ended on the casting vote of Councillor Anne Skene as committee chair. She has now refuted the MSP’s claims, saying: “The committee was well aware of the £21,000 management fee and it is completely separate to the £20,000 we supplied in funding, which was to cover against losses.”

Councillor Skene added that she is now investigating with council officials ways that the annual management fee can be lowered to “ease the financial strain on the pool”.

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