Members want more detail over fund cuts

NBENBE111107d1, Belper leisure centre
NBENBE111107d1, Belper leisure centre

A group of councillors are demanding Amber Valley Borough Council’s cabinet make it clear how much funding for Belper Leisure Centre will be cut during the next few years.

In an email to the Belper News, Coun Maurice Neville, for Belper Central, said management at the centre had been warned to expect a cut in support by the council, but not by how much.

He added: “It is the only part of the cuts proposals which has not so far been quantified. This is damaging, as the uncertainty this causes is a big handicap for planning of our local leisure service.

“We call on the leader of the council to come clean about the extent of the leisure centre cut he is planning and to explain why Belper is singled out again for this continual undermining of one of our most essential local services.”

In its March cabinet meeting, Amber Valley Borough Council committed £100,000 worth of funding to Belper Leisure Centre for 2016-2017.

Coun Kevin Buttery, leader of the council, said the grant was put forward at a time when other local voluntary organisations incurred financial reductions.

He added: “Amber Valley Borough Council has always aspired to have a public leisure centre in Belper and continues to do so.

“However, public finances have not allowed this to come to fruition.

“The council is required to address a projected £4.2m budget deficit arising from the complete withdrawal of the revenue support grant by 2020-2021.

“There is every likelihood that our ability to continue to provide grants at the current level to organisations such as Belper Leisure Centre will be reduced, but we always try to work with them to ensure they have time to respond to any reduction in funding.”