Council threatened with legal action over centre

Stocksbridge Leisure Centre
Stocksbridge Leisure Centre
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LAWYERS acting on behalf of a protest group are launching action against Sheffield Council over the closure of a leisure centre.

Breaches of equality and a lack of proper public consultation have been cited as the reasons for the call for a Judicial Review into the decision to axe funding from Stocksbridge Leisure Centre.

4SLC, or For Stocksbridge Leisure Centre, the trust set up to save the centre, has instructed firm Unity Law to launch proceedings against city bosses.

The council came under fire after giving the group just over two weeks to come up with an alternative after announcing the closure on March 1.

4SLC is now demanding a re-assessment of the impact the closure will have on vulnerable members of the community - particularly the elderly and disabled and want a new, rigorous consultation.

Fay Howard, a member of 4SLC and a spokeswoman for the group, said: “4SLC was charged by the council to submit a business plan by March 25.

“Given the limited information we have been given, an outline business plan has been submitted. We await the council’s response.

“The outline business plan is predicated on there being an ongoing and continuing need for a swimming pool and leisure facilities in Stocksbridge, as identified in a recent independent Sport England report.

“We believe the continued operation of the existing centre represents the best option for the community of Stocksbridge and the best value for money.

“Retention of Stocksbridge Leisure Centre will negate the need for a new ‘district size’ facility to be built in north Sheffield.”

Stocksbridge Mayor Coun Susie Abrahams said: “The council’s announcement did not give the town council time to draft anything in to this year’s budget. We are all working together to keep it open.”