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Campus weekend closures due to budget cuts, claims council leader

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Budget cuts are preventing the opening of a new community campus at weekends.

Fife Council leader David Ross said that the financial costs of opening Kirkcaldy’s state-of-the-art Windmill Community Campus seven days a week prohibits such plans.

While confirming the council wants to make the facilities continually available to the public, Mr Ross said resources to do so were finite.

Addressing fellow town councillors at their meeting yesterday, he said: “Staff are under increasing pressure and do not have the time and capacity to do more.

“These are the very low level impacts of local government cuts and people need to recognise that when they say we should be doing this and that.

“But at the moment I think we are doing a good job.”

The £21.5 million campus opened in August and has brought together two schools, library services and community-use sports facilities under one roof.

The campus, a unique concept in Fife, is winning over people in Kirkcaldy’s east end and is drawing large numbers of visitors throughout the working week.

Councillor Neil Crooks, chair of the Kirkcaldy area committee, said: “The work and commitment shown by staff from across the council, who have come together to collaborate on this community campus, has been very encouraging and it’s great to see the benefits of this innovative approach already paying off for the entire community.”

However, local MSP David Torrance is concerned the new facilities are not open to the public at the weekend.

“The outstanding new facilities at Windmill Community Campus are first-class, and deserve to be fully accessible to the public,” he said.

“While late evening opening times on certain weekdays are appreciated, having the campus closed on weekends is unacceptable.

“Many local residents and community groups, particularly workers and school pupils, would only be able to use the facilities at weekends.

“These facilities were meant to replace and improve upon those that were already in the east of the town, so I would expect weekend access to be implemented as a matter of urgency.”

jowatson@thecourier.co.uk.

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