New proposals to avoid cuts to Gwynedd leisure centres

Date 21/09/2017

New proposals to avoid cuts to Gwynedd leisure centres

 

A report to the Education and Economy Scrutiny Committee will recommend that Gwynedd Council changes the way the county’s leisure centres are managed in order to protect the Council’s 12 centres.

 

In November 2016, councillors asked officers to look at all the possible options available in order to address the continued financial cuts facing local government and avoid leisure centre closures. This work has now been completed, and a report to the Council’s Education and Economy Committee on 26 September proposes the setting-up of a Council-owned company to achieve this aim.

 

Councillor Craig ab Iago, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member who leads on leisure matters:

“In response to the unprecedented financial pressures placed upon public services by the Westminster Government, we have seen many councils across the country either closing leisure centres or completely outsourcing to commercial operators over recent years.

 

“Here in Gwynedd, based on what local people told us in the ‘Gwynedd Challenge’ public consultation exercise, we have been determined to do all we can to protect the county’s centres.

 

“That’s why we’ve looked in detail at a range of possible options. We have developed a proposal that will allow us to address the current financial pressure whilst continuing to maintain the county’s network of 12 leisure centres. At the same time, we are committed to developing a model that protects the rights of our employees as well as maintaining the bilingual service offered at our centres.

 

“Whilst we can’t ignore the possibility that the Westminster Government may look to roll-out further cuts in the future, we believe that the proposal we’re setting forward will provide the best way of keeping Gwynedd’s leisure centres open.”

 

 

The report that will be presented to the authority’s Education and Economy Scrutiny Committee states that establishing a company that will be controlled by the Council will maintain the leisure centres that Gwynedd residents currently enjoy, whilst also delivering significant financial savings.

 

A report on the county’s leisure provision will then be considered by Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet on 3 October before a decision on the way forward is made by a meeting of the Full Council on 5 October.

 

The Scrutiny report is available here: https://democracy.cyngor.gwynedd.gov.uk/ielistdocuments.aspx?cid=392&mid=2103&ver=4