Greens call for sports centre fees to be frozen for the poor

Posted On 13 Jan 2017 at 11:45 am

The Greens have urged the council to work with a sports centre operator to freeze fees for some of the poorest people in Brighton and Hove.

They were taking in a debate about fees and charges for the coming financial year for dozens of services provided by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Councillor Tom Druitt highlighted the public health benefits while urging council chiefs to negotiate with sports centre and golf course bosses.

The Green councillor spoke out at the council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee meeting at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Thursday 12 January).

The Spearhead

The Greens said: “Seven council sports and leisure facilities are operated on behalf of the council by the social enterprise Freedom Leisure.

“Residents on lower incomes are eligible for discounted access to these facilities via the Leisure Card scheme – a free of charge means-tested concession card which entitles card holders to up to 40 per cent off normal rates across all seven centres.

Councillor Tom Druitt

Councillor Tom Druitt

“However, with fees and charges for leisure centres expected to increase in the next year, Greens are pushing for the council to renegotiate the contract with Freedom Leisure so that Leisure Card holders are not subject to any additional price increases in the future.

“They are also keen to see the discount available under the card go up, in order to protect residents who may already find themselves struggling to meet the rising cost of living.”

Councillor Druitt, the Green spokesman on committee, said: “Under the Green administration we brought in the Leisure Card precisely to ensure all residents could access sports and leisure facilities regardless of their financial status.

“The services Freedom Leisure operates on behalf of the council are essential to the health and wellbeing of residents in our city and it’s very important that all residents in our city can use them irrespective of income.

“Going forward we are asking the council to renegotiate the contract with Freedom Leisure to enable the facilities to generate the income they need while still ensuring that sports and leisure activities are genuinely affordable to all.”

  1. Joe Stains Reply

    Surely not the same Tom Druitt who is the partner of Alex Phillips, the Green councillor who has stated that competitive sport is (quote) ‘elitist’ (unquote) and should be banned?

    The Green Party; the comedy gift that just keeps giving….

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