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Scrutiny set to consider future of Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre

Posted on : 09 Oct 2019

Scrutiny set to consider future of Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre
Scrutiny set to consider future of Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre

Members of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Environment and Sustainability Scrutiny Committee will consider the future of Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre at a meeting next week (16th October).
 
In April this year, Cabinet resolved to close Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre, but a high court judgement focussed on the need for a detailed Equality Impact Assessment. A new report will be considered by members of the Scrutiny Committee next week.
 
Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre is a 45 year old building and has become considerably more expensive to operate following closure of the adjacent secondary school. In addition to the annual running costs there are substantial repair and replacement liabilities to be addressed.
 
Cabinet Member Cllr Nigel George said, “We appreciate there is local opposition to this proposal, but we have a 10 year strategic vision for the delivery of sport and active recreation in the future and we need to start doing things differently. Significant amounts of money have been invested in modern, state-of-the-art facilities in the surrounding area to ensure there is adequate alternative provision for users affected by the proposed closure”.
 
The report also highlights how the closure of Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre would allow resources to be focussed on enhancing the quality and customer offer at four strategic sites. This supports the longer term aim of sustaining discretionary sport and leisure services to promote and increase participation in sport and active recreation.
 
Consequently, positive impacts are also identified in the Equality Impact Assessment, in that improved, new or refurbished facilities will be more attractive and accessible to families, people with additional needs and people that need the support of carers. Ongoing investment will also ensure that the council’s leisure facilities are maintained and that equipment is replaced, making them more attractive to all users and improving equality of access.
 
The report also outlines that facilities with modern equipment will be particularly attractive to new users and should encourage participation in sport by young people and older people. It concludes that while adverse impacts cannot be fully mitigated for some, this is outweighed by the overall benefits of the proposal.
 
The Council has also recently delivered new multi-use 3G pitches at both Blackwood Comprehensive School and Islwyn High School and is developing a new a Community Athletics Hub at Rhiw Syr Dafydd Primary School in Oakdale which will be a new flood lit synthetic running track
 
The Environment and Sustainability Scrutiny Committee will be asked to consider the recommendation to close the site before Cabinet consider a final decision, likely to be later this month.
 
A copy of the full report and Equality Impact Assessment can be found at: https://democracy.caerphilly.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=551&MId=12052&LLL=0



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