Schools set to take control of Cotswold leisure centres
SCHOOLS in Fairford and Tetbury are poised to take control of the towns' leisure centres after their bids got the backing of district councillors.
In a shake-up designed to save taxpayers £300,000 a year, Cotswold District Council’s leisure and cultural services in Cirencester, Tetbury, Fairford and Bourton-on-the-Water are being handed over to independent trusts.
And at last week’s CDC cabinet meeting, councillors agreed to support Farmor’s School in Fairford and Sir William Romney’s School in Tetbury with their plans to take over the towns’ facilities.
Despite initial interest from The Cotswold School at Bourton-on-the-Water and Chipping Campden School, both decided not to pursue the takeover further, so Cotswold leisure centres in these towns will be offered to external bidders.
By handing over the running of leisure services to trusts and academies with trust status, such as the schools, CDC expects to save around £220,000 annually in VAT and business rates.
Fairford town councillor Trevor Hing, a former governor at Farmor’s School, said securing the future of the town’s leisure centre was a good thing, but he hoped users' interests would be protected.
"The only potential danger is that we lose control of it and public access is restricted."Fairford town councillor Trevor Hing
"The only potential danger is that we lose control of it and public access is restricted," he said.
Farmor’s headteacher Anne Stokes said the school was delighted with the opportunity and was keen to work with the town council and the community to explore how local provision could be improved.
Negotiations will now take place between the schools and CDC officers over the transfer of staff and continued services for the areas.