Centre in crisis
ANOTHER parish councillor has resigned from the Littleport Leisure management committee due to continuing concerns about the centre s financial future. Paul Cox resigned as parish council representative on the management committee last week after disc
ANOTHER parish councillor has resigned from the Littleport Leisure management committee due to continuing concerns about the centre's financial future.
Paul Cox resigned as parish council representative on the management committee last week after discovering that he and other committee members could be liable if the leisure centre was found to be trading insolvent.
"They hadn't given me enough information to show that they were not trading insolvent. I haven't been shown up-to-date accounts, but up until the end of March they had losses of £21,000. That was before they came to a meeting saying they had cashflow problems, so what are the chances of them being solvent in this financial year," he said.
"Nobody is proposing that the leisure centre should close. But they need to bring in people with fresh ideas. They can't sell off their assets because they are protected by a covenant, becoming a limited charity is not an option, and they are unlikely to raise enough money through fundraising alone."
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The Ely Standard reported last month that the centre had unpaid debts of £40,000. The centre, which is home to 30 clubs and societies, has been reluctant to increase membership fees to help balance the books and is badly in need of some refurbishment.
At a Littleport Parish Council meeting on October 15, district and parish councillor Andy Wright said there was talk of a new leisure centre complex in Ely within a few years, and the leisure centre, if it were to try and stay open, would have to compete.
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Chairman of Littleport Leisure Lee Matthews said the debts owed by the leisure centre were structured repayments over a number of years, and the centre had arrangements in place with a number of suppliers.
Parish Cllr John Clay has urged youth groups to use the facility more.