Power costs force leisure price hike

ENTRY charges to leisure centres in the Suffolk coastal area are to be increased and officials have blamed the “ongoing upward surges in the cost of gas and electricity.

ENTRY charges to leisure centres in the Suffolk coastal area are to be increased and officials have blamed the “ongoing upward surges in the cost of gas and electricity.”

DC Leisure, which manages Suffolk Coastal District Council's leisure centres, and the council and agreed the increase will take effect from September 18, this year.

The firm has been running Leiston Leisure Centre, Woodbridge's Deben Pool, and Felixstowe's Brackenbury Centre and its leisure centre since April 2004 in a move which helped the council make cuts of around £250,000 a year, and improve leisure facilities and services.

Simon Tappenden, contract manager for DC Leisure, said: “The reality that cannot be ignored is that fuel costs are a major part of the daily running costs of our leisure centres and since October 2004 the gas bills for running our swimming pools have risen by 92%. In that same period, electricity prices have risen by 12% for daytime usage, and 30% for night-time.”


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He added: “There was an annual average inflationary increase of three per cent on the charges to customers of our facilities in April, which was in line with the general rise in prices but this has left a big gap in meeting the costs caused by ever-increasing fuel prices.”

He said DC Leisure has been constantly reviewing how it can further reduce the amount of energy it uses by cutting down on the amount of units used and promoting good housekeeping from all its staff, as well as the options of switching to cheaper providers.

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Rae Leighton, cabinet member for community well-being said: “I hope people will recognise that these increases are sadly unavoidable as the only other alternative would have been to reduce the scope of the activities on offer.”

Under the agreement signed with DC Leisure, any significant changes to pricing or service levels have to have the prior agreement of the Council.

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