Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Legal aid refused for Sabbath swim bid

Swimmer - generic
Other swimming pools on the islands are open on Sundays

The mother of a young girl has lost her bid for legal aid to challenge a council over its policy of closing some public swimming pools on Sundays.

Western Isles Council - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar - shuts pools on Lewis in accordance with the Sabbath, while sites on other isles stay open.

Ellen MacLeod's mother, Helen, had approached solicitors about challenging the policy in the Court of Session.

The Scottish Legal Aid Board has rejected the application.

Ross Harper Solicitors, who have been representing the MacLeods, said they would appeal the decision.

The comhairle has said it would defend any legal action.

Ten-year-old Ellen uses the pool at Lewis Sports Centre in Stornoway, but it, along with Lionel and Shawbost, are closed on Sundays.

Lewis is known for its observance of the Sabbath.

Swimming pools on the islands of Benbecula and Barra are open on Sundays.

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