The planned closure of squash courts at Fareham Leisure Centre to make way for a soft play area and climbing wall has been criticised by Liberal Democrats on the Council.
Lib Dem group leader Roger Price writes:
It is deeply disappointing that the Executive member for Leisure and Community, at her decision day on the 18th May 2020 did not refer back to the Executive for them to re-consider the continued use of Squash Courts at Fareham Leisure Centre. Both Councillors Katrina Trott and Roger Price made representations that the matter should be re-considered. The issues are:-
- There was a 166-signature petition which read “I hereby give my support to the petition to prevent the closure of the Leisure Centre Squash courts in the proposed development. I strongly urge the Fareham Borough Council to request alternative proposals that keep the squash facilities in the Fareham Leisure Centre to enable a richer experience and support for all groups in the local area”
- The Squash Players were not consulted until after the decision had been made. They were just told that both Courts were to be removed as part of the redevelopment of the Leisure Centre “to deliver improved revenue and to expand and modernise the range of facilities it currently provides”.
- Squash has a league within the Leisure Centre
- The Council and Everyone Active (who run the Leisure Centre on behalf of Fareham Borough Council) are putting money/profit over the provision of a long used facility much needed for a form of healthy exercise by local residents
- This reduction takes away an excellent leisure activity from residents who through their Council Tax pay for the Leisure Centre
We considered calling the issue in for Scrutiny by the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Panel, but even if they agreed it could only go back to the same Executive member who made the original decision – hardly a model of democratic scrutiny.