October 30, 2006 6:20 PM

Derby Liberal Democrats have reacted angrily to the closure of Lancaster Sports Centre. Derby's ruling Labour/Conservative alliance closed the popular sports centre yesterday. This followed months of campaigning by local residents and Liberal Democrat Councillors who fought to keep the centre open.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Bob Troup said "This closure is totally unacceptable. The way the council went ahead and closed the centre was wrong. Last week I was one of the Liberal Democrat Councillors who "called in" the Labour/Conservative alliance's decision to close the sports centre. It was quite clear from that meeting that the consultation on the decision to close the centre was a farce.

"The Council never properly consulted local people on the principle of closing. Despite this the Labour and Conservative majority on the committee put their own parties interests before local people's services and voted to reject our call in.

"The Labour/Conservative alliance's closure of Lancaster Sports Centre has been a monumental mistake. It is a popular local sports facility, thousands of people use it and thousands have signed petitions to try to save it.

"The costs of upgrading and maintaining Lancaster would have been less than the cost of upgrading other sports centres.

"It is tragic that another important local service has now been axed by a Labour/Conservative alliance that is costing people more but delivering less.

"We can only hope that the efforts by the Derby Gymnastics Club to reopen the centre are successful".