Call for leisure Flintshire facilities to get cash


Owen Evans

MONEY raised by selling land at two schools earmarked for closure should be pumped into leisure facilities, a group of councillors said.

A committee expressed concern cash-strapped Flintshire Council had not put aside enough money for essential maintainance to facilities in the county.

The leisure finance task and finish group – which was set up last year to address overspend within the council’s leisure service budget – stated unless money for maintainance was provided, customers might turn away from tired facilities causing a reduction in income.

They said capital receipts received from the sale of land at Ysgol Perth y Terfyn Infants and Ysgol y Fron Junior School, both in Holywell, should be ring-fenced for maintenance works at leisure facilities.

The schools are closing as part of Flintshire Council’s £30 million plan to develop a new primary and secondary school complex in Holywell.

Holywell High School will also be demolished as part of the development.

In a report, to be discussed by Flintshire Council’s lifelong learning overview and scrutiny committee tomorrow, council officer Ceri Owen said: “During discussion around customer numbers, the group commented that to maintain and improve customer numbers, leisure facilities across Flintshire must be well maintained but raised concerns around the lack of budget for essential maintenance within the council’s capital programme.

“Previous investment has allowed Deeside Leisure Centre and Flint Leisure Centre to be improved, but their future ongoing maintenance costs have not been funded. If a budget for maintenance is not allocated eventually income from customers is likely to diminish.”

The report follows calls earlier this year to improve the “dire state” of Holywell Leisure Centre.

Complaints were levelled about the temperature of the water in the pool and the exercise facilities not being kept upto a suitable standard.

Flintshire Council announced a £1m investment in leisure centres and swimming pools as part of an effort to safeguard public services amid “unprecedented” savings targets for 2014-15.

It was not suggested the money from selling the schools land was specifically earmarked for Holywell Leisure Centre.

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