TWO leisure centres have been praised in a report which assessed their impact on the health needs of the community.

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Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, in Stowmarket, and Stradbroke Swim & Fitness Centre, were hailed in the document which was discussed by councillors as part of a council’s scrutiny meeting.

Mid Suffolk District Council has outsourced both facilities to Sport & Leisure Management.

Councillor Rachel Eburne, chairman of the scrutiny committee, said: “I think members were very pleased with how the two centres are going and the effective measures relating to health and well-being which is something we like to ensure is impacted across the wider community.

“We mainly looked at the strategic community needs and that the centres were meeting them. So for example, issues like children taking part in the Alive and Kicking programme, which gets children in to look at nutrition and exercise and encourages them to keep at it.

“There’s a GP referral programme – people who have had, say, heart disease – and they need to get back into exercise. Someone can help them do it and they can have a control plan.

“We also looked at how the centres met the needs of people with disabilities and the elderly.

“Customers’ satisfaction with the service was very high but obviously as a district council we want to make sure the centres meet the needs of everybody in the community.”

The report looked at an online survey where 81% of customers scored Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre as either a nine or 10 out of 10.

Last year Stradbroke Swim & Fitness Centre won the Member’s Choice Health Club of the Year Award for the East Region.

Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre was visited by more than 850,000 people in 2012, 30,000 up on 2011.

Stradbroke’s centre had a total of almost 111,000 visits compared to nearly 95,000 the previous year.

The scrutiny committee held a meeting at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre where councillors were given a tour of the facility and found out about the activities on offer.

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