Future of King’s Lynn Corn Exchange and four West Norfolk leisure centres will be discussed behind closed doors
The future of King’s Lynn Corn Exchange and four West Norfolk leisure centres will be discussed behind closed doors next week.
West Norfolk council wants to take back control of the corn exchange, Lynnsport, St James Pool, Downham Leisure and Hunstanton Oasis, which have been run by Alive Leisure since 2014.
But Alive has called the move “poorly planned and short-sighted”. It said setting up the new leisure company to run the centres would cost £2m.
Council leader Brian Long said the takeover would “improve the possibilities for future investment” and give the council greater control over financial decisions.
Now management of the centres is set to be discussed at a special meeeting of the council’s environment and community panel on Thursday, October 11.
The agenda for the meeting, at Lynn Town Hall, says councillors will hear reports from council officers and Alive Leisure, before a panel discussion.
A recommendation will then be agreed to the council’s ruling cabinet. The agenda states that the press and public will be excluded under Section 100 (A) of the Local Government Act “on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information”.
Previous discussions over the leisure centres have also been conducted in private.
In a statement after the council voted to take back control of their managemeent, Alive said it would be putting together a “detailed and positive plan” for their future.
In January, it emerged Alive was looking to increase charges for using its facilities. Council papers revealed that it was in the red.
Minutes revealed councillors have expressed concern about the impact of increases which are described as “well over the level of inflation”.
At one meeting, council leader Brian Long said increasing charges of “pay to play” activities such as swimming could put families off swimming as it could work out cheaper to do an alternative activity.
The new charges came into effect from April 9. Alive said it was bringing in “a simplified pricing matrix” to “ease the customer experience for online bookings”.
Swimming charges were increased but new membership deals were introduced.