Agenda item

Saltash Leisure Centre.


The Chairman addressed members of the public, to explain the difference between Cornwall Council and Saltash Town Council and to clarify that the closure of Saltash Leisure Centre is not a Saltash Town Council proposal.


The Chairman advised Members of public questions which had been received and invited those who submitted their questions prior to the meeting to come forward to further discuss their concerns.


Questions/statements raised as follows:


1.    Can Cornwall Council provide income and expenditure of the Leisure Centre prior to the pandemic and current?


2.    With one of the Government’s targets to have all children able to swim 25 meters, unaided, by the time they leave primary school, and the recently announced incentive for any child unable to achieve the 25-metre unaided swim by the time they leave year 6, they and their family will be offered free swimming lessons. What would the benefits of closing the leisure centre?


3.    Have Cornwall Council considered the increased burden of cost for schools and the increased time away from the classroom to achieve swimming as part of the curriculum?


4.    Childhood obesity is another area of concern, especially in areas of deprivation, of which Cornwall is one. What message are we sending our children if we close a centre designed to promote health and fitness?


5.    Increased traffic is at odds with Cornwall Council’s own commitment to reducing climate change through, for example, achieving carbon neutrality. This extends further than just the schools using the pool:  there are 16,000 residents in Saltash (compared to just 9,000 in Liskeard) Let’s say, for the sake of it, 50% of these (8,000) have to drive a 26-mile round trip for a swim. Would this not be an unnecessary increase in pollution?


6.    Why is the Government not supporting the health and wellbeing of the Cornish people, especially due to the pandemic and the financial impact it has had on the leisure centre?


7.    Can clarification be given as to why Cornwall Council have stated that there is no additional funding available when other leisure centres in other parts of the country, such as the Northwest, are evidently being awarded funding from the Government?


8.    Cornwall Council claim to promote public health and wellbeing through physical activity with a dedicated website called Healthy Cornwall which makes reference to swimming being recommended for wellbeing, both mentally and physically. How then can Cornwall Council justify the proposal to close the leisure centre?


9.    In 2019 Cornwall Council declared a Climate Emergency but now seem to be suggesting that resident travel up to 30 miles or 30 minutes to reach leisure activities. How can this be justified and to what effect on the carbon footprint?


10. Many People are saying that the leisure centre consultation is skewed in the wording of questions, to allow for interpretation that residents and users can and would wish to travel further to alternative facilities.


11. Many have expressed a concern that closing the leisure centre is the first steps towards selling off the land for private development, helping towards plugging the £18 million black hole in Cornwall Council finances.


12. Insufficient information given to establish the actual financial loss suffered during the pandemic and no financial information forthcoming to enable proposals to be put together for the potential bid to continue.


13. No suitable explanation from Cornwall Council as to why they are prepared to all GLL to walk away from a contract that is valid until 2042.


14. As it was Cornwall Council that awarded the failing contract, do they not feel moral, if not legal responsibility to take action that will enable the leisure centre to continue and to improve.


15. Why are the financial calculations of Cornwall Council and GLL based on usage and membership during the pandemic, whilst giving no consideration to how membership and viability may improve in the future?


Members listened and further discussed in length their wishes for the leisure centre to remain open.  Councillor Lennox-Boyd read a message received from Sheryl Murray MP in which it was stated that she is keen to see Saltash leisure centre remain open for the benefit of all constituents.


Members agreed with all the points that had been raised which it was felt broadly repeat the Town Council’s opinion and encouraged everyone to have their say by completing the online consultation questionnaire by 31st October 2021 and to submit their concerns to


The Acting Town Clerk provided Members an update from Cornwall Council Officer Julie Zessimedes, following the virtual meeting to be held on 13th October 2021 Cornwall Council will arrange creative discussion/option meetings with a number of stakeholders that will include reps from the Town Council.  At that stage Cornwall Council can then share with the group specific information around finance, performance and building survey reports, with the groups.  This information will be confidential information as some of it will be commercially sensitive.  After that meeting Cornwall Council will start looking at viable options to support draft business plans.


Councillor P Samuels requested a recorded vote be taken.


It was proposed by Councillor P Samuels, seconded by Councillor Gillies and following a recorded vote RESOLVED to approve a statement be issued to Cornwall Council and the press to include all public questions/statements raised this evening and to circulate the draft statement to Members for their input prior to publication.







G Challen


L Challen
















B Samuels


P Samuels








It was proposed by Councillor Martin, seconded by Councillor Miller and RESOLVED to hold an additional Meet Your Councillor at Warfelton Field on Saturday 16th October 2021 to engage with members of the public relating to the closure of Saltash Leisure Centre.


The Chairman announced the next agenda item of business to be agenda item 7.