Leisure staff told jobs are safe

WORKERS at three council-owned leisure centres were today assured their jobs will be safe if the attractions are handed over to a private operator.Suffolk Coastal is tying up a deal with a national company DC Leisure to run its pools and leisure centres in Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Leiston – to save taxpayers almost £250,000 a year.

WORKERS at three council-owned leisure centres were today assured their jobs will be safe if the attractions are handed over to a private operator.

Suffolk Coastal is tying up a deal with a national company DC Leisure to run its pools and leisure centres in Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Leiston - to save taxpayers almost £250,000 a year.

The district council has told its staff that there will be no job losses and they will simply be transferred to the new management company on their current wage terms and conditions.

There was good news for swimmers, too, as DC Leisure - one of seven firms considered for the takeover - will have to obtain permission from the council if it wants to make any price changes.


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The council's cabinet is being asked to approve a ten-year deal with the company at its meeting on Tuesday March 2.

Maggy Wilson, cabinet member for community well-being, said: "The proposal that cabinet will be considering would generate savings of up to £245,000 a year while still providing high quality services.

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"We have been investing heavily in improving our leisure centres, and DC Leisure is set to take up the mantle with £182,000 already lined up in the first year to be spent mainly on new fitness equipment.

"If it proceeds, this partnership should result in even better leisure services being available for our residents. Leisure plays an important part in the life of our community and we have spent a lot of time and effort in identifying an operator who we feel can meet our tough criteria."

Savings would be achieved by forming a Leisure Community Association. This would be exempt, unlike the council, from paying business rates while DC Leisure would use economies of scale available to a large national organisation.

Any development of the programmes at the sports centres, or changes to pricing suggested by DC Leisure, would be subject to the council's agreement. Subject to approval being given, the transfer will take place on April 1.

The company currently employs 6,000 staff at 100 leisure facilities on behalf of 30 councils across the country.

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