Gwynedd Council plan to protect leisure centres

Twelve leisure centres in Gwynedd could become part of a new company in a bid to avoid closures.

Gwynedd Council says a new business plan has been drawn up, aimed at protecting the county’s leisure facilities while it faces ”unprecedented financial pressures” on public services.

Under the plan, the centres would be leased to a council-owned firm at a peppercorn rent for ten years, saving the local authority an extra £400,000. Staff working at the twelve sites would be transferred to the company on the same terms and conditions.

A report, due to be discussed next month, warned it was likely the number of facilities would be cut or there would be a hike in fees if no action was taken.

Councillor Craig ab Iago, the cabinet member for leisure, said: ”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.

”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.”

A scrutiny committee will consider the proposals when it meets next Tuesday before they pass onto the cabinet the week after and the full council for a decision on Thursday 5th October.