LIBERAL DEMOCRATS SET OUT OBJECTIONS TO DECISION TO CLOSE SPORTS CENTRE

October 17, 2006 5:06 PM

The Liberal Democrat's have revealed the grounds on which they will be challenging the decision to close Lancaster Sports Centre.

The Labour/Conservative cabinet that runs Derby Council decided on October 3rd to close the popular sports centre located on Chapel Street car park, Derby, at the end of October.

The Liberal Democrats are "calling in" the Cabinet's decision to close the sports centre. This means the decision will be subject to scrutiny and the case against closure will be put. The Liberal Democrats have set out their grounds for the call-in in a letter to the Council's Deputy Chief Executive. Their objections to the closure decision include

· A belief that it is a disproportionate response to close the Sports Centre

· A lack of consultation with users and and others over the closure

· Disregard for the rights of users of the centre

· A lack of openness with users about reasons for closure

· No convincing reason for closing the sports centre

· No real discussion of a range of alternatives to closure

Leader of Derby Liberal Democrats Councillor Hilary Jones said "The decision to close Lancaster Sports Centre is totally flawed. This is a really important and popular local service. The Labour/Conservative alliance who want to close the Sports Centre have not put a convincing case for wanting to close it.

One of the letters authors Councillor Bob Troup said "We will be using the call in to expose the lack of clear thinking by the Cabinet over their decision to close the sports centre.

"We hope that by exposing the Cabinet's flawed decision-making process we can force them to reconsider. Last year, pressure from local campaigners and Liberal Democrat councillors forced the Cabinet to drop its plans to close Pickford's House Museum to the general public. Hopefully, even at this late stage, we can persuade the Cabinet to drop its plans to close Lancaster Sports Centre."