CAMPAIGNING local Cllrs say the permanent closure of leisure services at Culcheth Community Campus has come as a great disappointment to local residents.
After 18 months of speculation, Warrington Borough Council (WBC) has confirmed that the facility run by community interest company LiveWire, will not re-open after closing at the start of the pandemic last year.
They say that with the longstanding work needed for Birchwood Leisure Centre and Library the east of Warrington has been left with a distinct lack of support from the WBC and that the closure of Culcheth Community Campus will have a knock-on effect in areas like Glazebrook and Hollins Gree,n where many residents use these facilities rather than travelling into Cadishead or Irlam.
Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft councillors Wendy Maisy, Val Allen and Carol Benson, are raising issues about the lack of leisure services in the area when compared to the new facilities at Orford Jubilee Hub, Great Sankey Leisure Centre and the newly opened Bewsey and Dallam Hub.
Cllr. Maisey said: “Warrington’s Labour-run council always insist that their investments fund front line services. However, after a very loose consultation period, it is now confirmed that Culcheth will lose its Livewire services. This is really bad news and concerning.
“Culcheth’s borough councillors requested a meeting with Culcheth High School a couple of weeks ago to facilitate a survey with their students to see what services they want and need. We will do everything to help the youth in our villages.”
She added that the latest strategy for leisure services was included in Warrington’s new Draft Local Plan and public consultation on the new plan started on Monday 4 October.
Cllr Maisey says Conservative councillors feel that the strategy needs a lot of improvement and they are urging residents to get involved in the consultation and to make their views known about local services.
More information is available at www.warrington.gov.uk/LocalPlan
Cllr Tony Higgins, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said at the time of the announcement of the closure: “Whilst we know the decision to close the Culcheth Community Campus leisure site will be disappointing for many, we’ve not taken this decision lightly and unfortunately it was no longer viable to continue running the site at a loss following the coronavirus pandemic.
“Together with LiveWire we have identified a number of alternatives to ensure that local residents still have access to a number of community, sport and leisure facilities both in the village, at the site through Culcheth High School and within a short radius. We know how important the Culture and Leisure offer in Warrington is to local people, so these savings will help to maintain and safeguard LiveWire services for the future.”