Threatened Wrexham leisure centre 'vital for health of my patients'

Published date: 21 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A GP says the closure threatened Plas Madoc leisure centre is vital for the health of patients at his practice.

Dr Peter Saul, who practices at the  Beech Avenue Practice in Rhos, has voiced concern about Wrexham Council’s planned move to close the centre in Acrefair.

Dr Saul said referrals of patients to the centre for exercise programmes and rehabilitation served an important function and said the council must provide facilities to support community health, wellbeing and recovery from illness.

“I'm sorry and concerned to hear of proposals for closure of Plas Madoc,” he told the Leader.

“I am very worried that services for local people will not be maintained.

“We use the centre for exercise referrals which serve an important function.”

Dr Saul said facilities to promote a healty lifestyle and aid recovery should be accessible to people in the Rhos, Penycae, Johnstown and Ruabon areas.

Darrell Wright, from the Save Plas Madoc Leisure Centre campaign, said: “What is becoming more and more obvious as our campaign gathers momentum is the knock-on effects this planned closure would have for the health of our communities.

“Many people have contacted us to say how important Plas Madoc’s unique facilities are for their fight for fitness or health. Now we have a local GP saying loud and clear that the centre is vital for referrals.

“It’s high time the council looked beyond the pounds and pence of this matter and saw the wider impact their decisions will have on health, wellbeing and community life.

“How much extra will it cost the NHS not to have these facilities in place?”

Wrexham Council has outlined plans to build a leisure centre to replace Waterworld in Wrexham town centre by borrowing an estimated £11.9m and closing Plas Madoc Leisure Centre.

Consultants have said an estimated £857,000 will be saved by closing Plas Madoc as well as closing gyms at Ysgol Clywedog and Queensway leisure centre, and handing back dual use facilities to schools, with the exception of Ysgol Clywedog’s swimming pool.

A further £535,000 will be saved if the leisure service management at the local authority is transferred to a Leisure Trust resulting in total savings of £1.392m.

Dr Saul’s comments follow on from high profile support for the campaign from former Wales international footballer Robbie Savage and Wrexham FC manager Andy Morrell.

Campaign leaders, who organised a huge demonstration outside the leisure centre earlier this month, are gearing up for another big turnout outside the Guildhall in Wrexham on February 4, at 1pm, when the council discusses its options before making a final decision.

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