Send us news by text, start your message Knutsford News and your send photos and videos to 80360
‘There are no plans to sell off leisure facilities’
CHESHIRE East Council has refuted claims that leisure centres in Knutsford and Holmes Chapel will be sold to private firms.
In last week’s Guardian we reported the council was looking to sell off or put the centres in a charitable trust after a decision by cabinet members. On Tuesday the council said this was not the case.
A council spokesman said: “We would like to reassure our residents there are no plans to ‘sell off’ our leisure facilities to a private firm or hand services over to a charitable trust.
“Cabinet agreed to appoint an external consultant to review and make further recommendations on the best options for the council in terms of the management of leisure and culture services in general.
“Depending upon the recommendations, the council could decide that some or all of the service should be managed within a new or existing charitable table trust, or by a suitable private sector company after formal tender, or should continue to be managed in-house or choose any other management model or option the consultants may propose and/or recommend.
“The council would still retain much of the corporate landlord responsibilities for the repair and maintenance of the buildings.
“The council also employed a consultant to undertake a similar review exercise shortly after Cheshire East came into being in 2009, and it was felt that the in-house management option continued to be the most beneficial arrangement for the council at that time.
“The outcome this time may or may not be different depending upon the consultants’ final report and recommendations and the respective advantages and disadvantages.
“However, it would still be highly unlikely that any recommendation or proposal to actually ‘sell off’ the leisure facilities as assets would form part of any council decision.”