Leisure chief in no cuts promise
LEISURE and cultural services across East Lindsey could be managed and delivered in a different way to help save money.
East Lindsey District Council is to investigate alternative management and delivery options for its leisure facilities and cultural services to help get best value for local residents.
The council currently spends £4.24m each year in these areas of activity, recognising the important contribution these services make to both the health of local people and the economy of the area.
The council, like other local authorities, is faced with a challenge of saving several millions of pounds in the next few years to help maintain key services.
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East Lindsey District Council manage and deliver services at the Embassy Theatre and Embassy Swimming Pool in Skegness, the Meridian Leisure Centre and London Road Pavilion in Louth, Horncastle Swimming Pool and Station Sports Centre in Mablethorpe.
Arts, sports events and festivals including the SO Festival and Wolds Words are also included in the review.
Councillor Adam Grist, portfolio holder for leisure and tourism at East Lindsey District Council has given assurances this is about getting best value for money and will not see any leisure services close, or any reductions in opening hours.
He said: "We have got this challenge every year with our budget which has no signs of ending.
"I think personally we have done rather well so far to protect frontline services compared to other Lincolnshire authorities and beyond.
"Before leisure gets under attack I felt it was important to try and protect everything we do at the moment.
"This is not about a reduction in services, it is about protecting and reorganising. To the customer they will not see any difference in the service provided."
The investigation work which is just starting could see leisure services managed through a social enterprise or charitable trust options.
Councillors will have the final say on any decision which could see a report presented to them by the end of the year.
Councillor Grist said: "We have managed to save £100,000 from leisure services in the last year.
"This is about being proactive to get ahead of the game before we are told we have to make much bigger savings. That day will come."
He said that once an initial plan has been formed, there could also be an opportunity for a public consultation.
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