Parent questions why no advice given on leisure centre heating

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OUR front page story last week about the heating failure at the Lochside Leisure Centre prompted one local mother to contact us asking why local primary schools had not been informed by Angus Council about the problem, writes Janet Thomson.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, explained her children attend classes out-with school hours at the leisure centre but had not attended them since the middle of December as it has been so cold.

However, they had attended weekly classes with their school since January 7.

She said: “On the seventh of January I visited Lochside in the afternoon and was advised by the Leisure Centre staff that the hall temperature was 10 degrees.

“I also saw a member of the centre staff dressed in a coat and hat whilst setting up nets for the children to use in the main gym hall.”

She explained the head-teacher at the school had written to parents advising them to “ensure your child comes to school equipped with warm clothing i.e. a tracksuit”.

The letter also claimed the teachers would ensure children were not standing around for any length of time and the lessons would be physically active.

But she asked: “Can children playing tennis and badminton be active enough to keep them warm when centre staff are wearing outdoor clothing?”

She added our article last week highlighted the health and safety issues regarding the slippery floor in the main games hall and made her “even more concerned” that the Leisure Centre, the primary school and Angus Council were allowing school children to attend for classes.

She asked: “Has any consideration been given to the fact that some of these children are asthmatic or may have other health conditions?

“No advice was given about this from the school or the leisure centre.”

When asked for an update on the heating system at the leisure centre, a spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The heating situation at Lochside Leisure Centre is set to be fully resolved shortly when the drama studio heating is restored.

“The drama studio is currently closed for ‘sedate’ activities. Heating has been restored to the rest of the building.

“We have been using temporary heaters while repairs were awaited and in progress, to maintain reasonable temperatures for staff and centre users, but we apologise to users of the centre for any inconvenience caused.

“Parents of schoolchildren using the centre were informed of the situation and advised that the children should be warmly dressed in the light of heating issues at the centre.

“However, as they were involved in physical activities, it was felt their comfort would be maintained.

“Any parent who does not wish their child to attend classes at the centre, for health or other reasons until the heating issue is fully resolved is asked to discuss the matter with their school, who will make alternative arrangements for the individual pupil.”