Parents in Auchterarder have been told there will be no summer camps for children this year due to budget restraints.
Live Active Leisure, the charity which oversees sport and leisure activities for Perth and Kinross Council, is withdrawing its management of sports facilities at the Community School of Auchterarder from Friday June 28.
The move means the annual summer camps will not go ahead, leaving many working parents with childcare headaches.
The charity said it had been forced to take the “difficult decision” as part of the annual budget setting process with Perth and Kinross Council.
The local authority will take over management of the sport facilities from August.
Parent Angela Donald said it was “utterly irresponsible” to break the news with such short notice.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The Courier newsletter
“What a total joke for people like me who work full time and are depending on the Live Active sessions,” she said.
“I used it all last year. It’s a wonderful and very needed service.”
Another mother, Helen Johnston, said: “This is awful news — seven-and-a-half weeks in the summer holidays, and no options for childcare.
“What are people supposed to do? Even if a family had two parents and each parent took two weeks off each it doesn’t cover that.
“What about those with no other option? I really hope this decision is turned around.”
Live Active said the decision was taken so that “community access could be retained but delivered with a different operating model” when Perth and Kinross Council take over the facility.
Gary Watson, director of operational services, said: “Whilst any reduction in service is disappointing, this is not a decision that was taken lightly and we are pleased that alternative arrangements were able to preserve community access and limit the overall impact of this change.”
A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said: “Live Active Leisure faced a number of challenges last year due to the varying weather conditions last year – Beast from the East and the very long, hot summer – which impacted on the type of activities people undertook.
“Live Active Leisure has extremely sound financial management and governance in which the council is wholly confident; it is currently carrying out a strategic review of changing trading conditions with support from Perth and Kinross Council.”