Powys county councillor quits group over cuts

A Powys county councillor has stepped down from her political group after the proposed closure of a number of leisure centres.

Powys county councillor quits group over cuts

Councillor Myfanwy Alexander, who represents the Banwy ward on Powys County Council, had been a member of the Indpendent group since her election in May 2012 but has taken the decision to step down as the local authority's cabinet looks to start consultation on the possible transfer of Caereinion Leisure Centre to Llanfair Caereinion High School, as well as the closure of Knighton Leisure Centre.

She said: "I'm not a baby by any means, I know the cuts need to be made but I'm afraid just imposing them on the two centres in the whole of the county is unfair. Why can't the cuts be shared equally?

"Llanfair's leisure centre is one of the most cost-effective, and there appears to be no other reason, other than convenience for Freedom Leisure, who have taken on the management of the county's centres.

"I brought up six children, if I couldn't afford to take one to Alton Towers, the rest wouldn't go, while one was left at home. I was told that analogy was too simplistic but you're either fair or you're unfair and this is blatantly unfair.

"Leisure centres are an integral part of the fabric of our communities, and really the running of the leisure centre is not the job of the teachers and school management."

In her resignation letter to group leader Councillor Graham Brown, Councillor Alexander said: "I do not expect my resignation from the group to have the slightest impact, this administration has long since given up listening to anyone. However, I will sleep better tonight knowing that I do not lend even nominal support to the current cabinet."

Councillor Brown said he was "disappointed" that Councillor Alexander had made the decision to resign.

He said: "As a former cabinet member, she will appreciate the difficulties facing the council in achieving the £35.5 million savings we have made to date, with a further £29.8 million to find over the next three years.

"Those savings have to be found whoever is in control and we all know that as the cuts get deeper it is going to directly affect more people and more communities.

"I believe this cabinet has served the county well in striving to maintain services and explaining alternative methods of delivery as we did in the case of Llanfair Leisure Centre.

"Service changes are not easy and will be difficult for some people to accept, I can assure people the whole of the county was looked at when considering the additional savings required within leisure services and a very detailed report was presented to cabinet outlining the reasonings for the decision to consult on the present proposals."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News