Council retreats following questioning by members and elects for fortnight only gym closure

OFFICIALS retreated today over plans for a three week Christmas closure of Fenland Council’s new mobile gym and will now take it off the road for just a fortnight.

OFFICIALS retreated today over plans for a three week Christmas closure of Fenland Council’s new mobile gym and will now take it off the road for just a fortnight.

“The closure is necessary to enable us to carry out essential maintenance on the vehicle,” said a council spokesman.

“Christmas and New Year is always one of the quietest times for all our leisure facilities, so it makes good sense to do any necessary work during that period.

“However, having taken a fresh look at the timetable, we are now looking to re-open it on January 4, immediately after the New Year break and a week earlier than originally planned.”


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Questions had been asked at last night’s Fenland District Council as to why their mobile gym was advertised as being out of action for three weeks over Christmas.

The gym, which was bought with the help of Government funding earlier this year, is set to be mothballed over the festive period- but one councillor wanted to know why.

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Councillor Mark Archer, the independent member for Manea, said he had heard rumours about the closure.

“Why such a long holiday?” he asked.

Councillor Steve Garrett, the leisure portfolio holder, said he didn’t know the answer and would refer the question to senior officers.

According to the timetable for the gym, published on the Fenland Council website, the gym now only goes to Wimblington, Manea and Chatteris. When it first launched it went to parts of the Wisbech area but this has stopped.

The gym has come under fire from Chatteris town councillor Chris Howes who has described it as a “massive �250,000 white elephant”.

Cllr Howes added: “One has to question whether the decision to purchase was based on any market research and how much the running costs are going to be. Not to mention the anticipated life-span of this depreciating asset.

“As ideas go, this isn’t one of the best.”

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