Anger as pool closes over the holiday period

PT21-238 Cascades
PT21-238 Cascades

Leisure centre users say they are disgusted and angry that Cascades and Waves centres are to close for two weeks over Christmas and New Year.

Craigavon Borough Council is closing the Portadown and Lurgan centres from December 20 until January 2 inclusive, but keeping the Craigavon centre open, citing cost and low usage as the reason.

However, one member pointed out that other councils manage to provide a service for their residents over Christmas.

Both Banbridge and Armagh centres are open for the majority of the holiday period, closed only on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

He said, “For members like myself who are paying £30 a month to use the facilities at Cascades it is simply not good enough. Will the council be giving members a refund for the two weeks they are unable to swim or use the gym?

“Although Brownlow leisure centre will remain open during the holidays, it will not suit anyone, particularly if they don’t have access to a car.

“At the merest whiff of a bank holiday the shutters come down at Cascades. It is about time the council faced up to its responsibilities and provided an acceptable service for the Portadown public.”

Lurgan man Roy Hanna, who has been a member of Waves for more than 15 years, questioned the service he was getting for his yearly fee, pointing out the frequency of the centre’s closures.

He said, “I work in the building trade and every time people in my trade, factories and schools have a day off, the centre is closed.

“Closing the facility for this length of time is a disgrace, especially now when improving people’s health is high on the list to reduce NHS costs.”

A spokesperson for Craigavon Borough Council said the Christmas schedule saves approximately £30,000 over an 11-day period.

She added, “This is the fourth year that these opening and closing arrangements have been in place and to date they have worked very well with few complaints.”