By Bill Heaney
WDleisure announced today that their leisure facilities in West Dunbartonshire will reopen on Monday 14th September 2020.
But services will be limited to ensure they comply with Scottish Government guidelines and maintain the safest environment for their customers and staff.
Full details of activities, access to facilities and booking arrangements will be issued in the coming days so please check back for more updates, they told social media.
Reaction to the announcement was mixed though.
Kathryn McColgann said: “Thank you for your hard work preparing to reopen. I’d imagine the delay will be due to some staff being furloughed and ensuring safety is priority.”
However, Denise Mullen says she is puzzled by the delay. She said: “I don’t get why other gyms are all set t go on the 31st and yet WDC are going to be two weeks behind.
“I get the fact that you are going with government guidelines, like smaller class numbers no changing rooms and so on.
“So why can’t you open before then as many of us have been waiting so long?”
Garry Mackenzie said: “Not great news, but it is what it is, the decision has been taken so we live with it.
“Could we expect swimming lessons to return week commencing 14th September, and on the same slots we previously had?”
WDleisure replied that swimming development will be in contact with details all of those on the swim scheme.
Kathryn McColgann said the First Minister’s announcement of a 31st August opening was announced yesterday.
She added: “I would be surprised if any establishment could open with a week’s notice with staff on furlough.”
Edward Machin is a happy man though: “West Dunbartonshire leisure thank you for doing your part. Your swimmers can’t wait.
“We will follow the guidelines. Can’t wait to see the shutters lifted and the staff doing what they do best. You provide a critical facility for this community.”
West Dunbartonshire Leisure replied: “We can’t wait to welcome our customers back either.”
Margaret Wood, local authority trade union rep with UNITE, said: “ I hope you will be supporting WDLT they are not opening at the end of August because staff will need refresher training and proper safe systems in place within the building to keep clients safe while in their gyms. They have also proved to an excellent employer throughout COVID.”
* Top picture: Vale of Leven swimmer Ross Murdoch looks delighted.