Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ
Contact: Democratic Services
Register of attendance and apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Councillor Nick Robins and Councillor Dr Peter Moseley. All other Cabinet Members were in attendance.
Disclosure of Interests (if any)
No interests were disclosed.
Councillor Ashley Baxter requested that it be included on record that he had family members who regularly attended Deepings Leisure Centre.
Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure.
Purpose of report
To consider the potential cessation of the management and operation of the Deepings Leisure Centre following the temporary closure of the centre due to its current condition and the significant health and safety risks this presents to the public and staff.
On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:
(1) That the report be deferred to a meeting of Council and that Cabinet formally requests the Chairman of the Council to ask the Chief Executive to arrange an extraordinary meeting of Council at the earliest convenience in accordance with paragraph 4.4.3(a) of the Constitution.
(2) That the Deepings Leisure Centre remains closed on health and safety grounds until this matter has been fully considered at the extraordinary meeting of Council.
Other options considered and rejected
a) Re-open the leisure centre and continue with the current management and operational arrangements.
b) Invest in the current facility
c) Develop a new leisure centre in the Deepings.
Reason for the decision
The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure presented the report which set out the current condition and challenges facing Deepings Leisure Centre. The Centre had experienced preventative and reactive repairs and, in line with its age of 47 years, would be rapidly approaching the end of its life. As a result of heavy rainfall on 27 July 2021 there were a number of leaks in the roof of the building and as a result the Chief Executive, using emergency powers, made the decision to close the Centre to the public due to serious health and safety concerns. In undertaking a review of the facility, the report outlined a total cost of £1.2million of investment that would be required to bring the Centre back into operation, as well as the addition of ongoing maintenance work costs. As such, the Deputy Leader’s initial view was that an investment would not enhance the Centre, the Council would not be able to make use of capital funding and any costs would need to come from the revenue budget. In line with these reasons, the report recommended the cessation of the management and operation of Deepings Leisure Centre.
Taking into account the significance and contentious nature of this decision, the Deputy Leader proposed that the report be deferred to a meeting of Council and that Cabinet formally requested the Chairman of the Council to ask the Chief Executive to arrange an extraordinary meeting of Council at the earliest convenience in accordance with paragraph 4.4.3(a) of the Constitution. In addition, he proposed that the Deepings Leisure Centre remained closed on health and safety grounds until this matter had been fully considered at the extraordinary meeting of Council. The Leader of the Council seconded this proposal.
The Leader of the Council used his discretion to allow members of the public in attendance at the meeting to speak. The following points made by Mr I Stygall and Mr J Little were noted as follows: