A consultation about the future of three of Liverpool’s Lifestyles leisure centres is underway.
The sport and outdoor recreation service needs to make budget savings of £10.5million in the next three years, with nearly £6.5million having to be made in the first year (2014/15).
The entire service has been reviewed, with a focus on the facilities, their condition, how well they are used and what the running costs are.
The consultation includes the future operation of swimming pools at Lifestyles Everton Park and Park Road and access arrangements for Lifestyles Austin Rawlinson. These three centres have been identified for closure or operational change because of their high operating and maintenance costs.
As a result, the following proposals are in place:
• The closure of the Lifestyles Everton Park swimming pool, with a potential to shut the entire centre within three years.
• The closure of Lifestyles Park Road swimming pool, with a potential to shut the entire centre within three years.
• An operational change to Lifestyles Austin Rawlinson which would see it operate on a ‘lettings plus’ basis. This means the centre will remain open, but will only open for organised groups and pre-booked sessions.
The city council is asking residents to fill out a questionnaire, giving their views on some or all the proposals, and welcome suggestions of what people would like to see in the local area to reduce the impact of the potential closures.
The survey looks to establish what people’s concerns are should the centres close or reduce their opening hours, what the centres are currently used for (gym use, martial arts, football, swimming etc) and how far people travel to use a Lifestyle Centre.
The city council’s Director of Community Services, Ron Odunaiya, said: “The scale of the cuts facing the service is extremely challenging and we need to look at all options available to us.
“We understand leisure facilities are hugely valued by local communities, and this questionnaire is a way in which we can get the views of people, establish all options available and look at ways in which we can reduce the impact of the potential closures.
“There is no doubt that in the future the sports provision we offer will be reduced and people may well have to travel further to access the service.
“I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to fill out the short form and have their say on the proposals and in doing so, help shape the future of Lifestyles.”