Raise leisure centre fees, say Conservatives

By Emily Pearce

Monday, February 17, 2014

 

LEISURE centre fees should be increased instead of parking charges, according to Conservative councillors on the Isle of Wight.

The Tories today (Monday) announced fresh budget proposals, which include increasing charges for The Heights, Medina and Westridge Leisure Centres by at least ten per cent, to be discussed at next Wednesday’s budget-setting meeting at County Hall.

Cllr Wayne Whittle, Conservative spokesman for tourism and business, criticised the ruling Independent group's proposals to increase parking charges, which he said would harm businesses and town centres.

He said charges for the council's leisure centres, including the One Card, should be brought in line with those run independently of the local authority, such as the Waterside Pool, Ryde, and West Wight Sports Centre.

"The Independents are proposing a tiny tinkering with leisure centre prices. After £7m was invested in council leisure centre gyms, the Independents are proposing no increased charge for their use. This is short-sighted.

"Most people would agree that when other essential services are being cut, for example school crossing patrols, it’s not unreasonable to expect those who use leisure centres to pay their way," he said.

The Conservatives say funding for trade unions should also be cut, as previously reported.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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