The reopening of leisure centres and museums across the Cotswolds is set to cost the taxpayer an additional £222,140 it was revealed at a special council meeting.

The additional funds were requested by SLM Everyone Active as a financial support package for the August to October 2020 period to reopen recreational facilities in the aftermath of Covid-19 lockdown.

Whilst supporting the reopening of leisure facilities, the Conservative group argued that the payment should have been in the form of a loan, rather than a grant.

During the meeting, Cllr Ray Theodoulou (Conservative Coln Valley) claimed SLM had sales of more than £270m at the end of 2019/20, has a “large, geographically spread portfolio” and “it paid its directors £665,000 in salaries plus pension”.

An amendment was put forward by the Conservative group, but the concept of a loan rather than a grant was unanimously rejected.

The Conservative group say they are also concerned with the decision to waive the monthly management fee, which they say will result in Cotswold District Council losing a total of £61,411 in management fees from April 1 to October 31 2020.

The opposition group fear that CDC will not be able to reclaim this money from the government who is underwriting 75 percent of the councils lost revenue because 'CDC have in effect waived these payments'.

Cllr Richard Morgan, leader of the opposition Conservative group said: “We supported the reopening of leisure facilities and the museum because these are well loved, well used and vital community assets.

"However, this decision represents £280,000 of taxpayers money which equates to almost six percent of CDC’s share of council tax."

Cotswold District Council was approached for comment.