Windfall for leisure centre

A CASH windfall from a developer - which town leaders wanted to see spent on a new games area in Nailsea - is going to be ploughed into refurbishing

A CASH windfall from a developer - which town leaders wanted to see spent on a new games area in Nailsea - is going to be ploughed into refurbishing a council owned leisure centre.Nailsea Town Council had asked for the £106,000 - allocated as part of a 106 planning agreement - to be spent on providing a multi use games area (MUGA) at the Scotch Horn Park.Councillors also suggested spending the money on a climbing wall or on new seats for theatre performances. But North Somerset purseholders have said no and decided to spend the money on upgrading the Scotch Horn Leisure Centre.A £55,000 slice of the cash will be used to refurbish the ladies changing rooms while a further £35,000 will be spent on providing a soft play cage and another £10,000 has been earmarked for refurbishing the current cafe.The move comes despite the management of the centre being contracted out by North Somerset to Parkwood Leisure.Nailsea Town Council chairman Councillor Mary Ponsonby said: "This money was given to be spent on improvements in the Scotch Horn area and should not be spent on maintenance."I personally object very strongly to money that has been given for the development of facilities is being used on maintaining the building, with the only new element being the soft ball area."North Somerset purseholders said rather than spending money on new facilities, they needed to look after existing ones.North Somerset executive member of development Councillor Elfan Ap Rees said: "Our contractors carry out normal maintenance of the building but the contract does not require them to invest funds in developing the site."There have been different suggestions on how we could spend the money but at present we are not agreeing any new MUGAs until we see how the ones we have already approved work and how much benefit they are to the community."We cannot keep spending money on new facilities and should be concentrating on improving what we have got already."* What do you think? Is it right that a cash windfall is spent on painting walls and fixing loos? Or should the money be spent on new projects? Write to us and let us know at Mailbox, North Somerset Times, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1LW or email us at nstimes@archant.co.uk


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