A petition’s been launched as the row over the future of the William Penn Sports Hall rumbles on.
The online appeal was launched after the company which owns the centre, Everyone Active (EA), revealed a plan to cut the hall in half and turn one side into a children’s play area, café and climbing wall.
This would allow parents of children up to eight years to hold birthday parties at the venue, with the expectation from EA that this will raise substantial revenues of £65,000 annually.
However, Three Rivers District Council is giving EA £635,000 to make the changes to the sports hall. This means it could take EA nine years to pay the council back.
If this is agreed it will displace many established groups that meet regularly at William Penn. Active Life, for those aged 50 years plus, meet twice a week and have over 50 members. The group means so much to them, not only the physical activities, but the social and emotional support that is so important to members.
Due to public outrage the Council have placed a 12-month moratorium on the re-design, to give them time to consider if a soft play area is the best option for the future.
Councillor Alison Wall, said: “The Conservatives are mystified about these sums. EA must assume that they will get over 100 extra users every day to achieve these sums.”
Alex Hayward, leader of the Tory group, added: “We hope that the Liberal Democrat administration will come on board with us and save the full size sports hall. This is a much valued and needed facility.”
To sign the petition visit www.threerivers.moderngov.co.uk/mgepetitionlistdisplay.aspx