Cornwall Council is setting up a new leisure trust to take over council run leisure facilities. The benefits of such a change would be to avoid having to pay VAT or business rates. The Council would still retain almost the same amount of control over the level of services and all existing facilities would remain open.
So far, so good.
But what about the two facilities that had been previously cast adrift by the Council for budgetary reasons - Camelford Leisure Centre and Bude Sea Pool? Back when the decision to go ahead with a trust was taken, I secured an agreement that these two facilities would be included in the new trust, at least at the outset.
In both Bude and Camelford, local groups have been set up to try to take over and save the facilities. I very much hope that both will succeed and are able to take over their centre to secure it for the long term. But in order to give them the time and space to do so, we need to secure the short-term future and this means the trust taking over the management. But now rumours are circulating that this might not happen. I've written to the Council asking for urgent clarification.
UPDATE - I'm very glad to have received reassurances from the Council's Director of Communities that the rumours are not true and that Bude Sea Pool and Camelford Leisure Centre will be transferred to the new trust. That's not to say that there are no question marks over their future, but at least any short-term concerns appear to have been sorted.