Members of classes and courses in Kings Langley run by a not-for-profit organisation have called on the company who will take them over to provide assurances they will continue.
Despite a petition signed by around 8,000 people, Dacorum Borough Council chiefs voted to hand the running of the classes to a private profit making firm from the Dacorum Sports Trust, which also runs sports centres in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted as well as a host of other facilities.
KingsNews spoke to members of the Table Tennis Social Club which meets at the cricket club in the village. As well as this club, the Dacorum Sports Trust, also known as Sportspace, runs 16 other weekly clubs and classes in the village.
Club members said they were concerned it would be harder for people in the village to have a healthy lifestyle and fear that as their club and other classes in the village are run by volunteers, they will be at risk of closing.
David Turner has lived in the village for 50 years. He started coming to the club after his wife died and said that if the club was closed, his life would be poorer.
David explained: “We don’t know what is going to happen. After all this, my friends and I could have nowhere to go. The new company is coming in to make money and profits. If the club carries on, it could cost a lot more to hold our weekly get-togethers. So we could lose it all together or it could become so expensive we are unable to use it at all.”
Rita Elliott also attends the weekly club and also runs a short mat bowls club at the village community centre for Sportspace. She says it provides her with the chance to exercise and socialise with friends. At present the club fee is put back into supporting it.
Rita said: “I do hope they keep it going. If they make the price higher, we won’t be able to do it ourselves.”
If you’re interested in joining the club, you can call 01442 507100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At a Dacorum Borough Council meeting held last month, members voted in favour to approve the decision made by Cabinet to award a 10-year contract to Sports and Leisure Management Ltd (known as Everyone Active) for the delivery of the Leisure Services Contract.