Open to change
Changes to the opening hours at Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre are expected to get the go-ahead next week after figures show low levels of usage during the daytime on weekdays.
Councillors at a meeting of Erewash Borough Council’s Executive next week (Tuesday 12 September) are expected to agree that the centre will be closed between 7.30am and 3pm Monday to Friday – a move that is expected to save the council just over £65,500 a year.
A report to the meeting shows that over the last five years visits to the centre by residents during the day are very low as current demand shows 89.87% of usage is during the evening and the weekend.
The proposal would not currently lead to any permanent staff being made redundant but the reduced opening hours would give the council the opportunity to make further savings by deleting all the permanent posts that are currently vacant at the centre. Councillors are expected to refer this to the General Purposes Committee with a recommendation that the vacant posts are deleted.
Responses to a public consultation on the revised opening hours saw little objection to the proposal and all comments received showed an understanding of the council’s position.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“Everyone is well aware that these are financially challenging times for all local authorities and we continue to look at ways to save money and be more efficient. At our Sandiacre sports centre it is clear there is very little demand from the general public to use the centre during weekdays and that the high demand is for the evening and weekends. This offers us the opportunity to make a substantial saving every year - but it also opens up opportunities to focus and develop the activities and the excellent facilities we offer during the times when the vast majority want to use the centre.”
The centre opened in 1975 and is in the grounds of Sandiacre Friesland School. A successful partnership agreement between the council and the school is in place which will see the school continue to use the sports hall and a range of facilities during term time.
If agreed, the new opening hours at Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre would be Monday to Thursday 3pm-10.45pm, Friday 3pm-10.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-6pm and Sunday 9.30am-7pm.
Despite the reduced public opening hours, the council could still open up the centre during the day for specifically targeted sessions if needed – like GP referrals –and it was economically viable to do so.
The meeting of Council Executive is on Tuesday 12 September at Long Eaton Town Hall at 10.30am.