22nd Oct, 2018

Scrutiny committee set to investigate Bromsgrove sports hall situation

BROMSGROVE District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (O&S) approved a formal investigation into the situation surrounding sports hall provision at the new leisure centre.

The probe, agreed on Monday, will be carried out at the January O&S meeting.

The Standard revealed last week that problems had surfaced with the planned link up between the new centre and North Bromsgrove High School to address sports hall provision.

The school’s hall would be unavailable for 12 weeks of the year because of the impracticality of putting chairs out and away during exams.

Bromsgrove District Council leader Coun Geoff Denaro said that meant the sports hall availability fell short of residents’ needs and ‘all options were now being looked at’, including the possibility of keeping and revamping the current sports hall or building a new one.

Several questions were asked at Monday’s meeting including if the school sports hall could provide temporary cover if it was decided to refurbish the current hall or bulldoze it and build a new one.

It was reiterated the loss of 12 weeks-a-year would mean the provision fell short of local needs.

The cost to build a new one could be between £1.2million and £1.5million because it was now an ‘add-on’ rather than a project integrated into the building of the sports and leisure centre.

Demolition, including removing asbestos over the old pool, was due to start as soon as the new centre opened. But now the timetable for demolition is under consideration and the bulldozing of the sports hall itself is on hold.

Labour leader Coun Luke Mallett, who chairs the O&S committee, said the full investigation would look at all the options once they were known and priced.

“Local residents and sports clubs need a categoric assurance that year-round sports hall provision will be there for the years to come.”

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