Leisure centre closures: MP urges residents across Batley and Spen to make views known to Kirklees Council
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The council has announced a six-week consultation period, which started on Friday, September 29.
Kim, a strong defender of local pools, sports and leisure facilities, has repeatedly called on the government to offer more financial support, in particular to help deal with soaring energy bills.
She said: “Nobody should be in any doubt how much I value our pools, sports and leisure facilities. They bring huge benefits in terms of the health and wellbeing of everybody who uses them, but also to the wider community. That’s why I asked questions of ministers in parliament and called meetings here in the constituency to try to save Batley Baths.
“And while I fully understand the financial constraints the Council is under after 13 years of cutbacks from the Tories in government, I would be devastated to see more facilities closed either permanently or temporarily.
“As the MP, I don’t have any control over funding decisions, but the new Council leadership is being very transparent about the hard choices they have to make and I applaud them for levelling with people about the scale of the problem.
“There are no easy answers but I would urge everybody to take part in the consultation to make their views known. I can’t predict the outcome, however it is clear to me that for any of our pools or sports centres to have a secure long-term future, it will need people to use them as much as possible to help provide the income required to meet the very high running costs.”
In a letter to the leader of the Council, Cathy Scott, Kim added: “I will continue to fight for these amenities and, while I fully understand the situation the Council finds itself in, I hope you will join with me in recognising just how important these places are and do everything possible to keep them available for local people.”
After it was agreed the council would consult the public and other stakeholders about the future of the area’s leisure centres, Kirklees stated on their website:
“The economic situation that we are facing in the UK is having a significant impact on everyone including local councils. This means more of our council budgets are being absorbed by statutory [legally required] and other essential front-line services. This has left us having to make very difficult decisions on the ongoing provision of other services such as sport and leisure.”
To have your say, visit: https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/food-exercise-and-sport/leisure-centre-review-consultation.aspx?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Orlo