LEISURE: Far-reaching consequences

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Active Northumberland, the body that controls Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre in Alnwick and also runs centres elsewhere in Northumberland, has increased costs by 50 per cent and more without consultation or notice of any kind.

It, additionally, has removed and stopped concessions for children, disabled people and pensioners, its strategy being to implement one band of payment for all members of its leisure centres.

An increase in price would be acceptable, providing it is limited to a reasonable amount not exceeding 10 to 15 per cent, while continuing to honour existing concessions.

In my opinion, Active Northumberland officers have failed in their duty of care to the public and by their actions may well be responsible for a reduction in the number of people attending the centres, a loss of revenue, leading to possible redundancy of staff at the leisure facility premises, and the ultimate closure of many or more centres.

Furthermore, as a direct result of this decision by Active Northumberland, members of the public will possibly lose out on their exercise and fitness routines and programmes, resulting in their inactivity placing a greater strain and cost upon the NHS.

Are Active Northumberland officers unfit for purpose? Without a rethink and change of policy they may become as inactive as the public they once served.

Alas, history and modern public sector practices suggest they will be relocated to reap havoc on people once again.

David Else,

Belford