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Calls for Merthyr Council to bring leisure services back under its control

THERE are calls for the council to consider bringing leisure services in Merthyr Tydfil back under its control.

The opposition Labour group on the council has submitted the notice of motion to full council on Wednesday, September 7 calling on the authority to start a consultation with the public, leisure trust and trade unions with the aim of returning control of leisure services to the council.

The motion submitted by Councillor Kevin Gibbs said full council previously decided to remove leisure services from council control and set up the MerthyrTydfil Leisure Trust (now known as Wellbeing @ Merthyr).

It said the rationale for this move was to give control of leisure services to the trust allowing it to apply for external funding and operate in a manner that would benefit and improve leisure services for the residents of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough and the trust started operating formally in April 2015.

The motion added: “One of the six pledges published in the Labour Group’s election manifesto was ‘in the first six months of a new council to consult on the changes and implications of brining leisure services in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough back under the control of the local authority.

“The staff of the leisure trust have worked tirelessly to deliver the best possible level of service for our residents and this was evident during the recent Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, we cannot ignore the fact that from the outset, poor decisions made by the trust board and senior management, negatively impacted on how leisure services were delivered.

“The swimming pool at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre has been closed to the public since December 2019.

“There have been ongoing issues with the splash pad in Cyfarthfa Park, the condition of Cyfarthfa Castle has continued to deteriorate and the current financial model of the trust is not sustainable.”

They want a report on the consultation results to come back to full council no later than January 11, 2023.

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