Pool ready to be handed to City Council on the 12th December but outrage over proposed increase in fees to users.
Press Release –Leisureland: Cllr Catherine Connolly 9th December 2014
Cllr Connolly said it is extra-ordinary that a special City Council meeting had to be called by City Councillors to get an update on Leisureland and for Councillors to have an opportunity to discuss the situation and in particular the proposed price increases for users of the swimming pool.
For over a week now she said Councillors have been inundated with emails and messages from parents and users of Leisureland Swimming Pool expressing their outrage at the proposed price increases. In addition she said there is also the unprecedented situation where a number of Board Directors have actually resigned in protest.
Yet at the City Council meeting on Monday night, the only item on the agenda in relation to Leisureland was an item to increase the membership of the Board by adding another male director to a Board of 7 male Directors and even in relation to that item, Cllr Conneely’s proposal that this item be deferred was accepted by majority vote.
Cllr Connolly said in view of the seriousness of the matter she proposed that standing orders be suspended and that the Leisureland situation be debated as a matter of urgency.
Unfortunately she said there was a split vote of 9:9 with the Mayor used using his casting vote to defeat the motion.
Councillor Connolly said her motion however supported by 8 other Councillors forced the situation where a special meeting has now been called for Friday the 12th December at 4pm. At this meeting Councillors will get a full update on the situation and also get an opportunity to express their views on the proposed price increases.
In this regard, Cllr Connolly said she is totally opposed to the proposed increases and said such a move is totally inappropriate given that one of the biggest challenges facing Leisureland is to increase the number of people actually using the facility and particularly given that it has been closed now for almost a year.
However she said the failure by any one of the Councillor Directors to table a motion for the City Council Agenda and/or to have it put down as an item on the Council Agenda last Monday night in itself speaks volumes. Rather than resigning she said Councillors who were also members of the Board of Leisureland should have ensured that the matter was placed on the Agenda of the Council Meeting last Monday night and/or tabled an emergency motion rather than resigning. This would have allowed for an open and full debate on the situation but even more importantly it would have enabled the matter to be resolved in an efficient but accountable manner.
However one upside of the resignations said Cllr Connolly is that the vacancies will now allow for gender representation on the Board of Directors if the pact of FG/Labour and some independents are seriously committed to gender equality.