Pool’s future for discussion

COUNCILLORS will discuss tonight whether Brighouse pool and fitness centre should continue to be managed by Calderdale Council or be run by other organisations.

The centre in Bradford Road is among a list of 11 leisure facilities throughout Calderdale whose future is up for discussion.

Members of the authority’s Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel will consider a report which sets out three broad options for providing services in the future.

These are: To maintain the current arrangement of direct council management; fund alternative models such as social enterprise, schools, voluntary sector and private sector to deliver the services and to withdraw from the services altogether.

Tonight’s meeting will establish whether members would like to see the council continue to run sports and leisure facilities or whether they would like to look at other ways of doing it.

If members decide to take the second approach, then a further report will be taken to cabinet in the summer with details of the options available.

Councillor Ian Cooper, spokesman for safer and stronger communities scrutiny panel, said that in recent years some councils have moved away from running leisure services and taken more of a commissioning approach.

“Members need to look at the ways in which sports and leisure facilities could be run in the future and decide on whether or not they feel the Council is the best organisation to be delivering these services,” he said. “If members decide to look at alternative options, it will represent a fundamental change in the way we fund and deliver sports and leisure.

“Whatever options members may decide upon, the intention is to ensure that the people of Calderdale continue to enjoy excellent sports and leisure facilities both now and in the future.”

Prices at the new complex, which opened last October were increased on April 1 following the decision by Calderdale Council at its budget meeting to increase income from sports and leisure facilities.