Concerns raised over leisure centre pricing


Further concerns have been raised about the imminent changes to memberships and pricing at the county’s leisure centres.

As reported last week, Active Northumberland, the county council’s leisure partner, is introducing ‘county-wide simpler pricing’ from Tuesday.

The arm’s-length body claims that the ‘current complex system of dozens of different prices being charged by similar centres was unfair to users who ended up paying more than others’.

However, the changes have already sparked a number of concerns among users, including the abolition of some concessionary rates and the fact that the costs are rising for some.

For example, Coun Steven Bridgett has pointed out that the monthly subscription for Rothbury Pool and Gym is going up from £26.80 a month to £32 (if you take out a longer subscription) or £40 a month.

This, of course, does now allow access to all of the other county facilities, but Coun Bridgett fears that any loss of footfall at Rothbury would be used to justify closure in the future.

Meanwhile, in Berwick, concerns were raised at Monday’s town-council meeting with Coun Eric Goodyer, saying that ‘people will vote with their feet and go to Eyemouth or Duns’.

Active Northumberland’s chief executive, Lorraine Dewison, has said the changes ensure all facilities are ‘available to everyone in a fairer, easy-to-understand way’.