Residents react furiously to the closure of several leisure centres and swimming pools across Powys
A decision has been made this week to temporarily close three leisure centre buildings to the public, including in Llanfyllin and Llanfair Caereinion, and to temporarily close swimming pools to both public and schools, which included the Llanidloes site, from 23rd December to the 31st March 2023.
The decision, which was taken by Powys County Council’s cabinet this week (Tuesday 13 December) has been met with frustration from members of the public and some politicians across the county.
Montgomeryshire Member of the Senedd Russell George has criticised the decision and supported the calls of other County Councillors who have called for the decision to be reversed. Mr. George was also critical of how the decision was made without consultation with communities, residents, and those that use the facilities.
Montgomeryshire MS, Russell George MS said:
“I have been inundated by phone calls and emails. Like most people, I only heard about this on Monday over social media, and the decision was taken on Tuesday.
''People are furious with not only the decision, but how the decision was made.''
''There has been no public consultation and I don’t think Powys County Council’s cabinet have adequately considered the impact on residents. A-level students are halfway through their courses and some of them use the pool as part of their learning. Our youngest children are just learning to swim, and the elderly regularly swim as part of their routine.''
''I understand the financial pressures the council is under, and how the increase in energy prices is impacting the local authority, but in our democracy, steam rolling through decisions of such importance in this way is wrong”
''I have had many residents furiously contacting me about the decision with many telling me what using the services means to them.''
“I have formally taken this up with Powys County Council’s cabinet members and have supported calls from Conservative and Independent County councillors for this decision to be revisited, and for there to be a proper scrutiny and an engagement process. There needs to be a halt on this decision so there can be a proper opportunity to talk to communities, customers, and residents.”