"Cautious" approach to leisure and culture services resuming

Published: Friday 24 July 2020

A view of the gardens outside Calderglen children's zoo in Calderglen Park, East Kilbride

Leisure and Culture services across South Lanarkshire will be gradually introduced on a phased basis over the coming months.

The council’s Recovery Board will be updated at regular intervals on the progress and proposed dates of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC) services resuming.

Car park access to country parks and outdoor visitor attractions, tennis facilities with physical distancing measures and golf courses have all reopened in the past few weeks.

Bowling greens are also currently being prepared to welcome back bowlers, some facilities at country parks have resumed and outdoor weddings can take place at Chatelherault (with restrictions on the number of guests).

In the next few months consideration will be given to the staged reintroduction of a range of other activities, beginning with some libraries, children’s outdoor contact sports and museums.

Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, John Ross, said: “It’s important that people recognise and accept that while the Scottish Government Covid-19 Route Map provides key dates from which services are permitted to re-open, this is not an instruction to re-open.

“I hope that members of the public will appreciate it should not be assumed that SLLC services will automatically resume as the phases of the route map are brought forward.

“We have to assess each service on a case-by-case basis and will communicate which services are reopening and when through the usual council and SLLC channels.”

Chair of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, Councillor Peter Craig, said: “Our priority when considering which of our services will reopen is always the safety of the public and of course our staff.

“All normal operating procedures, such as risk assessments, will need to be updated and we need to be sure we are meeting the advice from the Scottish Government before we will allow the next phase of recovery to take place.

“We are on the right path to getting back to some form of normality with a number of our services, but we make no apologies for taking a cautious approach. The wellbeing of everyone in our community is too important to take any chances.”

The Recovery Board, made up of a group of elected members, is responsible for ongoing monitoring and scrutiny of the council’s Recovery Plan as it continues to develop and be delivered and to ensure that it continues to meet council objectives and deliver the right services in the right way, while working within the finances available.