'Remember your pledge'

PUBLISHED: 13:02 13 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:37 28 May 2010

FEARS that council owned leisure centres in Fenland could be handed over to a trust have been voiced by a campaigner for improved leisure facilities. Chatteris town councillor Florence Newell believes any such move would be a disaster especially for Cha

FEARS that council owned leisure centres in Fenland could be handed over to a trust have been voiced by a campaigner for improved leisure facilities.Chatteris town councillor Florence Newell believes any such move would be a disaster - especially for Chatteris, the only one of Fenland's four market towns without a leisure centre.She says Fenland District Council should be reminded of its pledge to pay the running costs of a leisure centre in Chatteris.Cllr Newell has battled long and hard to achieve improved facilities in Chatteris, and her comments follow the setting up of a working party by the district council to look into the future of Fenland's leisure facilities.Three years ago Cllr Newell was involved in carrying out a 'best value' exercise for leisure facilities when she was a district councillor.She said: "The resounding result was that leisure facilities should stay with Fenland, and that it would not be viable for them to go private."Are they just going to ignore all the work we put in? I don't understand why they feel the need to go through it all again. This would be a bad step. "Fenland is not really leisure-minded. When people are thinking of moving into the area, the two things they ask about are schools and leisure facilities."I want to remind Fenland of the commitment they made to pay for the running costs of a leisure centre when one is built in Chatteris. "I can't see why Fenland is the only council in Cambridgeshire talking of disposing of its leisure centres. Most are adding to them as leisure becomes more important to our lives."Working party member Councillor Steve Garratt said a small working party had been set up to look at leisure facilities in general and at running costs.

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