Anger at 'keep fit' price hikes

COUNCILLORS have come under fire from a youth organisation after they hiked up the price of keeping fit.Tendring District Council recently announced it was increasing the costs of using its leisure services in a bid to raise £80,000 to plough into improving football pitches and upgrading facilities.

COUNCILLORS have come under fire from a youth organisation after they hiked up the price of keeping fit.

Tendring District Council recently announced it was increasing the costs of using its leisure services in a bid to raise £80,000 to plough into improving football pitches and upgrading facilities.

The authority pledged it would be spending more than £2 million improving its leisure sector following, what it claims, has been years of under investment.

But the increases, which include a 22% jump in the cost of football pitch hire across the district and higher costs for a swimming session, have been slammed by Tendring Youth Council.


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The group's leader, Stephen Mayzes, accused the council of putting youngsters off keeping fit.

The 21-year-old said: “We are outraged by the price rises and there is nothing that can justify an increase of that amount.

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“Football teams will struggle to find the money for their pitches, it is about time they start looking at young people and how it will affect them.

“There is not enough consultation with members of the public and they are not listening to people.”

The outdoor education teacher also questioned how swimming costs could go up, claiming the leisure pool is not even clean.

“I swim every week at Clacton Leisure Centre and the toilets are filthy, the shower rooms are disgusting - they are just not cleaned and there is dirt at the bottom of the pool.”

Other increases across the district include swimming lessons which have gone up by about £28 annually.

But Pierre Oxley, Tendring District Council's portfolio holder for leisure, said: “Part of the money will be used to improve football pitches.

“When you work out the increase, it is very minimal per person - it's about £6 extra per pitch every time they use a pitch.

“People are saying to me that they don't mind paying more if we can improve the quality of the pitches which have taken an absolute hammering.”

He said the money from the increases would be on top of the £1.8 million being invested into Clacton Leisure Centre.

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