BOSSES at Haddington’s sports centre have ruled out an expensive revamp to its air conditioning and ventilation systems – despite complaints that loitering youths are being attracted to the outside of the building because of the warm air being pumped out.
Concerns have been passed on to police about youngsters gathering to the rear of the Aubigny Sports Centre.
Police have reported large groups congregating near the hot air vents at the sports centre, on the town’s Mill Wynd, in a bid to keep warm at night.
Various ideas have been mentioned in a bid to stop people from loitering or causing trouble in the area, but one that will not move forward is the idea of re-routing the hot air vent ducting.
Currently, hot air is released out of the building near the rear and towards the artificial football pitch.
A change was considered to see the air released upwards but Bill Axon, general manager of enjoyleisure, which runs the sports centre, told the Courier it would not be pursued due to the cost.
He added that “everything was on the table” and “other options” would be considered to try to prevent the youngsters from gathering at the rear of the building.
Police Constable Lynn Black, Haddington community ward officer, highlighted the issue at the town’s community and police partnership (CAPP) meeting.
She felt that diverting the hot air could make the spot less attractive to people gathering in that area.
The officer previously told the group, which is made up of representatives of various local groups and members of the public, that there had been a slight increase in the number of calls to the police in relation to youth-related anti-social behaviour, although that could be put down to the Easter break.
Reports had been made of youths at the rear of the sports centre, with broken bottles and litter left in the area.
She said: “We have had calls and we were out on patrol and engaged with a group a couple of weeks. There was no evidence of drink at that time.
“A lot of them are not doing anything wrong but they are still congregating.”
The CAPP meetings identify three priorities for police and community wardens to look at over the next few weeks.
PC Black said youth-related anti-social behaviour would continue to be one of those priorities.