The saga surrounding Arley Sports Centre has taken yet another turn this week as Conservative led North Warwickshire Borough Council has announced its intention to sell off Arley Sports Centre for just £1.
The Council has announced plans to sell the whole site of this community asset to a sports company for £1 with limited restrictions being about where the profits go if they sell the land in future, and with no guarantees on the site even remaining open.
Local Councilor Jodie Gosling said
“There are two huge issues here. One, is that if the Council really cared about the people of Arley, they’d run Arley Sports Centre properly and fund it as they do with all the other sports centers they own. Instead we get handed down broken equipment and cancelled classes, the center has never been given a chance.
“The second issue, is that the Council seem set on simply getting rid of our sports center, a local asset of enormous importance to residents, at any cost. The proposed sale for £1 means there is no commitment from the company and there are no guarantees about the long-term future use. This deal means the new owners of the site, could simply close the doors whenever they like and sell the land.
“There’s no protection for community health and wellbeing, no transition time to ensure delivery, no targets and crucially no buy-back clauses if they don’t deliver. Once it’s gone, that’s it!
“This is a dreadful deal, especially for an area with some of worst health figures in Warwickshire.
“We will have no say in operations – activities, pricing, opening hours or level of investment. Without these guarantees, how can anyone support a deal where a public building, is simply given away.”
Labour Group Leader, Cllr Adam Farrell said;
“This is a pretty raw deal for local tax payers. The Council is flogging off public land and a sports center for £1 without any legal commitments from the new owner. They’d be free to sell the land on as they see fit and that just isn’t acceptable.
“Labour are very clear. We’d rebuild Arley Sports Centre and invest in our leisure facilities to increase usage and help local people get healthier. In our manifesto next May, we’ll offer local people real change in North Warwickshire and locally in Arley, the choice will be Labour candidates who will fight for Arley or Tory Councilors who quite literally will flog the area off for next to nothing.”