Staff to go at Stowmarket lesiure centre

STAFF are to be axed at Stowmarket's flagship leisure centre as council tax cutbacks bite.Receptionists at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre are set to be among the first of about 30 council staff to go.

STAFF are to be axed at Stowmarket's flagship leisure centre as council tax cutbacks bite.

Receptionists at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre are set to be among the first of about 30 council staff to go.

A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk Council promised services at the leisure centre will not be affected by the cutbacks.

But centre manager Anselm Gurney admitted officials were looking at usage by the public.

And he said the centre could be forced to close its doors at quiet times in a money saving measure.

The council has today started consulting its staff on proposals to cut about 30 jobs to try to cut council tax bills next year.

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As well as the leisure centre, there are also likely to be job cuts in the council's administration and computer departments.

The leisure centre's three reception areas in the building are to be consolidated into a single unit - leading to the loss of receptionists' jobs.

And Mid Suffolk council is hoping to find a private company to take over the management of the centre - or at least run it in partnership with the local authority.

The swimming pool and the popular Ocean Adventure children's play area will remain open.

A council spokeswoman said: "They may not be basic core services, but they are very important for the quality of life in the area.

"Any changes to the management of the leisure centre would have to ensure that its services remained available to the public."

There will also be changes at the centre to ensure it is easily accessible to people with disabilities.

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