Swimmers in Johnstone claim they are being short-changed by council chiefs as they wait for the town’s pool to be reopened.

The pool has been closed since March last year, causing frustration for those who are desperate to take the plunge again.

While other pools in Renfrewshire have reopened now lockdown has been eased, the one based at the Johnstone Community Sports Hub remains shut as it awaits repairs.

Councillor John Hood, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, is urging those in charge to go to greater lengths to rectify the situation.

He told The Gazette: “I’ve been contacted by around 30 people about not being able to get into Johnstone swimming pool, while other pools in Renfrewshire are now open.

“I’ve been hearing there are a lot of cracks and tiles coming off the pool itself and Renfrewshire Leisure don’t have the money to make the repairs.”

Swimmers have been encouraged to visit the four other pools in Renfrewshire, such as the ON-X, in Linwood, which reopened last month.

However, Councillor Hood fears residents from poorer areas in Johnstone are being hit hardest by the closure of their local pool, which is in the grounds of Johnstone High School.

He added: “It’s mainly pensioners and families with small kids who are being affected, as the small pool was better for them.

“It’s also hard for many of them to get to the ON-X because there isn’t a direct bus link, so people who don’t drive cannot easily get there.

“I would like the swimming pool to be fixed and reopened as soon as possible so these groups are not missing out.”

Renfrewshire Council confirmed it has been working with pool operators Renfrewshire Leisure to get the Johnstone site open to the public again as soon as possible.

“We are pleased to confirm we have now appointed a contractor to finish the refurbishment work and we expect the pool to be back open later this summer,” said a council spokesperson. “Issues with the tiling around the pool were discovered last year and we had been seeking a specialist contractor to fix them for some time.

“However, the construction industry has experienced a number of Covid-related issues with supply chains and safe working practices, meaning we were initially unable to find a suitable firm to complete the work.

“We and Renfrewshire Leisure look forward to welcoming the people of Johnstone and the surrounding area back to the pool later this summer.”