Watchdog wades in on leisure plans

Penwortham Leisure Centre and Priory Pool
Penwortham Leisure Centre and Priory Pool
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The way South Ribble Council is handling a review into the future of its leisure centres has been put under the microscope by authority bosses.

The council’s scruntiny committee has made a raft of recommendations on how the process - which could see Penwortham, Bamber Bridge and Leyland Leisure Centres close and a new facility built in Farington Moss - shouldbe carried out.

It comes after the Post revealed a secret cabinet document discussing the closures. Although thrown out in its current state, the council acknowledged options within the document are still on the table.

Click here to view the Post’s report on the secret leisure centre dossier

Councillors Paul Foster, Jane Bell and Keith Martin made a formal ‘Call for Action’, saying the closure plans were “unacceptable”.

Coun Foster said: “There have been plans pulled together over the past four or five years I am informed, yet at no time have the Council or residents been consulted in any way.”

Recommendations made by the scrutiny committee are:

1. A cross party Member Working Group is created take a review of leisure forward.

2. A commitment fully consult and involve residents and stakeholders in shaping options is welcomed.

3. A report is presented on the amount spent on the leisure review over the past five years and the procurement processes.

4. Further information on external review of leisure in 2015 is given.

5. Assurances are made there will be full transparency in taking leisure review forward.

6. An action plan is given with timescales for how the leisure review will be taken forward

7. The scrutiny committee is fully involved at the key stages.

The recommendations were agreed by all parties as a way forward, with a future meeting to decide finer details.