Council to look at leisure centre improvements

Bucks Free Press: The Chiltern Pools in Amersham The Chiltern Pools in Amersham

COUNCIL bosses have agreed to spend up to £50,000 investigating ways of improving and upgrading leisure centres across the Chiltern district.

Cabinet members at Chiltern District Council had initially been asked to approve plans for a £20,000 needs assessment of the Chiltern Pools leisure centre in Amersham.

But instead they agreed to look at the two other council-owned centres in Chesham and Chalfont St Peter.

The assessment will include a survey of residents to ask which leisure facilities they need and want.

Cllr Mike Stannard said: "I think the issue here is a wider one. I'd like to see it undertaken throughout the whole of Chiltern, looking at all the leisure provision we are providing. We should be looking at the Chalfonts and Chesham sites as well, compiling a needs assessment across the whole district.

"We shouldn't be looking at Amersham in isolation. Whatever decision we took would have to be made in light of what we did for the other centres. Do it at the same time and make a uniform decision.

"If that £20,000 needs to become £50,000 to do the job across the whole district, I would do that."

Cllr Stannard added: "There should be a clear steer from our residents what they want from their leisure facilities. If they are telling us they want seven swimming pools throughout the district, if they are prepared to pay for it, we should consider it.

"This must include, in some way, shape or form, a survey of the wants of the residents of Chiltern district."

A report by council officers said Chiltern Pools will be more than 50 years old when the lease with its current operator, Greenwich Leisure Ltd, expires in 2020.

It added the centre, in Chiltern Avenue, accounts for more than 50 per cent of the council’s total energy usage.

The cabinet unanimously agreed to carry out an assessment of all three of the district's council-owned leisure centres, at a maximum cost of £50,000.

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