CONCERNS have been raised this week about Riversdale users who have pre-paid for facilities which are now unavailable.
Refurbishment works are currently ongoing at the local leisure centre, as part of a £60,000 upgrade to shower and changing facilities.
Announced earlier this year, the development however has necessitated the closure of the swimming pool, health suite and changing rooms for the majority of August.
However, Riversdale members are now calling for some form of rebate in payments.
“There are a lot of people – paid up members of the leisure centre – who are annoyed about this,” a local lady explained this week. The woman, who preferred not to be named, said pool users are the ones most affected.
“There was a post on social media from Riversdale saying that people could travel to Derry to use the pool. Are they for real?
“I haven’t heard any mention of getting a discount or anything but surely it’s something council could have sorted out before now. I mean, they know the members who are paid up and all the rest so they know who should be entitled to a rebate.”
The scheduling of the works in August, when local clubs and schools traditionally suspend their usage of the complex, was aimed at minimising disruption for users and thus ensuring that all services will be fully operational for peak usage come September.
It was also previously suggested that the reopening of the leisure centre could co-incide with a special birthday bash, to mark 40 years of Riversdale in Strabane.
Strabane independent councillor Paul Gallagher, whilst agreeing that both the upgrade and partial closure had to happen, says paid up members should be entitled to a free month.
“I think we need to look at giving people a extra month,” he said.
“If someone is denied access… and they’re paid up front, then that’s something that definitely has to be looked at.
“It needs to be addressed and I’m confident that it will be.”
When contacted in relation to a possible rebate or discount a spokesperson from Derry City and Strabane District Council commented, “Members of Riversdale Leisure Centre have being offered access to other council pool facilities for the duration of the refurbishment period.
“Alternatively, any members who are not satisfied with these arrangements are asked to submit their concerns in writing and council will try to accommodate their needs depending on individual requests.”