Splash out on community-run leisure centre, council urged

20140111_115909(3)Council plans to spend millions of pounds on leisure centres being outsourced to a Sussex-based company have been questioned by Plaid Cymru – The Party Of Wales.

Plaid Cymru – The Party Of Wales’ Clwyd South Assembly candidate Mabon ap Gwynfor said Wrexham Council’s proposal to spend £1.2 million on Waterworld was in stark contrast to the council’s “penny-pinching” attitude towards community-run Splash Magic Leisure Centre at Plas Madoc.

He said: “Plas Madoc was closed by the council after a consultant’s report claimed it and other leisure services were losing substantial amounts of money. The council ignored protests and offers to run the site as a community-owned centre until forced to u-turn due to the pressure from campaigners.

“It reluctantly handed over £50,000 to help with re-opening the centre but is refusing to help in any other way financially, despite the obvious benefits the centre brings to the region in terms of health and leisure as well as jobs.

“The council’s penny-pinching attitude towards this successful community enterprise is in stark contrast to the plans it has to improve facilities at Waterworld in advance of transferring it and other sites to Wealden Leisure Ltd. The council seems to bending over backwards to help this Sussex-based company by pumping in millons of pounds over a 10-year period while claiming the coffers are empty for Splash Magic. It’s quite a contrast to say the least and I would question the logic of their proposal.

“As someone who marched and protested to keep it open and whose family uses the facilities, I’d like to see a level-playing field for all leisure facilities in the county. The past year has seen the Splash trust run the centre with a high degree of professionalism and that deserves the council’s support. The Trust is dealing with a backlog of repairs that weren’t addressed when the council was running the centre.

“I’d appeal to the councillors making this decision to consider setting aside a small proportion of the money being provided for Waterworld to ensure Splash Magic continues to thrive and develop.”