Consultation launched over closure plans for Meden Sports Centre

Councillors John Kerr, left, and Andy Wetton outside the Meden Sports Centre in Warsop, which Mansfield District Council want to close.
Councillors John Kerr, left, and Andy Wetton outside the Meden Sports Centre in Warsop, which Mansfield District Council want to close.

Council leaders have launched a formal consultation over the future of Warsop’s under-threat Meden Sports Centre.

On Monday (December 5) Councillor Andrew Tristram, Mansfield District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment took the decision to consult on the impact on the community, should the council decide to withdraw from managing the centre.

The council will now undertake an eight week consultation to understand more about customers, what activities they participate in at Meden Sports Centre and their means to access alternative leisure centres in the area.

Surveys are available at Meden Sports Centre, Warsop Town Hall and Warsop Library and online at www.mansfield.gov.uk/meden.

Coun Tristram said “We want to know more about how people use the centre and what other facilities they could access should we no longer manage the service at Meden Sports Centre and stop providing community leisure activities.”

“The council is facing a difficult decision as Meden Sports Centre is unsustainable due to its age and condition, and alternative options that the council has considered are not affordable.

“We do not take the withdrawal of service provision lightly so we need to fully understand the needs of the community.”

The decision to consult follows the production of a detailed report on the options available for leisure facilities in Warsop parish.

The district authority considers the facility no longer fit for purpose as the building is in poor condition and is becoming harder to maintain.

The report details a study undertaken by leisure specialists which identifies redevelopment options ranging from £765,000 to just under £8m.

However, following discussions with the main stakeholders; Nottinghamshire County Council (who own the building) and Meden School, the conclusion is that funding is not available for redevelopment.

The proposal has been widely condemned by other community leaders.

Coun Andy Burgin, who was only elected to the district council, to represent Warsop Carrs, last month, said: “This is bad news for Warsop.

“My family and I have used Meden baths for many years.

“I believe the next generation of children should have a local baths and I ask the mayor and her executive to invest in Warsop”

Coun Sonya Ward, district council Labour group leader, said: “Mansfield and Mansfield Woodhouse both have decent, up-to-date swimming baths. These are vitally important to the community, we cannot underestimate how important healthy activity is.

“Meden Baths has long been in need of modernisation, or replacement and we’ve asked for grants and funding to be sought, but instead it seems the mayor is considering withdrawing all funding and closing the baths.

“There was money available to replace it, but this has been spent on other things.

“Any attempt to close it would be a declaration of war on Warsop and we would fight it hard.”

Coun Andy Wetton, parish council chairman, said: “The centre is essential to the area, but this administration seems hell-bent on closing it.

“There was money available to replace it, but this has been spent on other things.

“Any attempt to close it would be a declaration of war on Warsop and we would fight it hard.”

The consultation closes on 31 January 2017 and the results will inform a further decision early next year on whether Mansfield District Council will continue to manage the centre.