Calls for more say over leisure centre

Officers at Amber Valley Borough Council want the authority to have more say over what times people can use Belper Leisure Centre and the types of activities on offer.

The council stumps-up £170,000 a year to provide community access to the leisure centre. However, officers are concerned that the council has “little say” over entry times and events.

Officers are recommending that in future tax payers’ money should be used to buy specific core hours for local residents to use the sports and activity halls, and swimming pool in the evenings, on weekdays, and during the day at weekends. They are also suggesting the council could commission specific events, programmes and activities at the centre.

Councillors considered the proposals from the Executive Director of Environmental Services, Julian Townsend, on Monday November 26.

Mr Townsend said: “The agreement with the centre has been reviewed along with all the other financial arrangements the council has with partners to ensure it continues to offer council tax payers value for money.

“Moving to a ‘contract for services’ will identify exactly the services the council is purchasing, rather than the ‘blanket’ subsidy that currently operates.”

The proposed core hours would be: 5pm to 10pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm on weekends for the sports hall and swimming pool.

The activity hall would be 5pm to 9pm on weekdays.

The centre is also supported financially through commissioned services from Derbyshire County Council and Belper School.