Concerns raised about future of Ulverston leisure centre
Last updated at 15:41, Sunday, 22 September 2013
A COUNCILLOR has sparked speculation over the future of leisure facilities in Ulverston and across the South Lakes.
SLDC councillor James Airey has suggested that Lakes Leisure, which runs Ulverston Leisure Centre in Priory Road, is set to lose its council contract.
A tweet sent by Cllr Airey on Thursday evening read: “Rumour has it Lakes Leisure have lost the SLDC contract, surely local Lib Dems are not using an out of county firm instead?”
Speaking afterwards Cllr Airey said: “I was approached by a member of Lakes Leisure who aired their concerns about the apparent non-renewal of their contract.
“It is my understanding that it will not be renewed in the new year.
“It does raise a great deal of concern, not only for the people who work for Lakes Leisure, but also for the future of leisure services in the South Lakes.”
Lakes Leisure, which also operates facilities in Windermere and Kendal, is a charitable trust formed in 2003 to run the leisure facilities in the South Lakes.
It is understood that the contract, which is due to expire next year, could be awarded to a company outside of the county within the next few days.
Council funding cuts had put increased pressure on the trust to find more cost-effective ways of providing its services in recent months.
The leisure contract was put out to tender by SLDC earlier this year as part of its focus on making savings after having its government grant slashed.
While the identity of the new service provider is not yet know, it is understood that Lakes Leisure were competing against a number of private companies for the contract.
Speaking at the time the contract was offered, councillor Graham Vincent, SLDC portfolio holder for communities and wellbeing said the list of bidders included major providers with turnovers in the “tens of millions”.
The proposed 10-year deal, starting in April 2014, will have two five-year extension options.
Both Lakes Leisure and SLDC declined to comment on the speculation, saying no deal had been finalised.
First published at 15:39, Sunday, 22 September 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
JUST WONDERING IF THE NEW COMPANY WON THE CONTRACT WITH REDICULOUS FIGURES - MEANING THE SERVICE WILL NOT BE AS GOOD AS IT IS AT PRESENT. YOU ALWAYS ONLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. SO MUCH FOR FOCUSING ON THE HEALTH OF THE NATION. BUT WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER so they say.
I think it is extremely inappropriate for a SLDC Councillor (James Airey)to tweet this kind of information before any kind of official announcement. Looks like a cheap shot at political gain.I hope both Kendal and Ulverston facilities keep up their current standards and the tax payers have access to leisure facilities for many years to come.