Venue: Meres Leisure Centre, Trent Road, Grantham. NG31 7XQ
Contact: Democratic Services
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors George Chivers, John Dawson, Rosemary Kaberry-Brown, Matthew Lee, Nikki Manterfield, Annie Mason, Penny Milnes, Dr Peter Moseley, Nick Robins, Penny Robins, Ian Selby, Judy Smith, Lee Steptoe, Ian Stokes, Hannah Westropp, Hilary Westropp, Amanda Wheeler and Sue Woolley.
Disclosure of Interests
Members are asked to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.
Councillor Phil Dilks highlighted that the Deepings Leisure Centre was in the Council Ward where he lived and represented as a District Councillor. He declared that he was a Parish Councillor with an interest in the Leisure Centre, was the County Councillor for the Deepings East Division and held a family membership at the Deepings Leisure Centre when it was open, having been an occasional user of the Leisure Centre for over 40 years.
Councillor Ashley Baxter declared that he had been a user of the Deepings Leisure Centre and his family continued to be members of the Deepings Swimming Club.
To consider the future of The Deepings Leisure Centre.
In opening this item, the Chairman of the Council reminded Members that the comprehensive report before Council had been the subject of consideration at a joint meeting of the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 30 November 2021 and Cabinet on 7 December 2021. Extracts from the draft minutes of those meetings in relation to the item on the Deepings Leisure Centre had been published and circulated to all Members.
It was proposed that Procedure Rule 4.18.2 of the Council’s Constitution be suspended in order that Members could remain seated when speaking, ensuring that the microphones could pick up more clearly what was being said. The proposition was seconded and upon being put to the vote, it was AGREED.
The Chairman highlighted that members of the public had been provided with an opportunity to contribute to the meeting on 30 November 2021 and the points they had raised were comprehensively recorded in the draft minutes. Other comments and concerns raised by residents during previous meetings and interactions had been noted and Members of the Council were fully aware, appreciated and did understand the issues and concerns raised in respect of the closure of the Deepings Leisure Centre.
In addition to this, however, the Chairman had applied her discretion to allow public speaking at this extraordinary meeting and invited Mr Ian Stygall, the only member of the public who had registered to speak, to address the meeting.
Mr Stygall made the following points and comments:
· He understood that there was not enough money to provide a new build Leisure Centre and was thankful that the Council was now discussing a new future for the centre.
· Having access to leisure facilities was so important for the community.
· He was not sure how the findings of the feasibility work undertaken related to the Deepings specifically and felt that it was too generic, not necessarily reflecting or understanding the community requirements.
· The Deepings was an ever-expanding community with more homes being developed. This was one of the reasons why water space should not be reduced.
· Paragraph 1.81 of the report stated that the needs analysis had highlighted that the existing 25-metre pool and learner pool currently provided more water space than was necessary. He disagreed with this aspect of the report, adding that the learner pool was very much required as it provided a supportive environment for people learning an essential life skill. This should include consideration for disabled access, ensuring dignity in entering and leaving the pool, together with the requirements of galas and other club events that were held at the pool.
· The correct amount of pool time being made available to the public as opposed to the school would see an increase in the number of people using it.
· He asked the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Leisure to engage with the community regarding the proposed design of the Leisure Centre so as ... view the full minutes text for item 60.
Close of meeting
The meeting closed at 13:15.