Stourport town councillors to challenge leisure centre decision

STOURPORT town councillors plan to challenge Wyre Forest District Council's decision to close the town's leisure centre.

At a meeting last week, the town council voted for a motion put forward by Independent Community and Health Concern councillor Dixon Sheppard which deplored the lack of consultation about Stourport Sports Centre.

The decision to close the Stourport facility and move the location of a new Wyre Forest-wide leisure centre to the former British Sugar site, Silverwoods, was made at a district council “confidential members briefing” in October.

Stourport councillors will also challenge why restrictions imposed on potential buyers of Stourport Sports Centre were not in the original documentation.

Mr Sheppard said: "I have no objection to Kidderminster having a new leisure centre but I think there is room for both in the area.

"It would cost £2.5 million for refurbishment in Stourport compared to £10 million for the new facility in Kidderminster.

"But once our leisure centre closes and is demolished, there is no hope of bringing it back.

"Stourport has had to fight for everything, our postal sorting office, then the Civic centre. Stourport has done its share of accommodating gypsies and travellers. Our leisure centre is next on the list to fight for."

Labour councillor Jamie Shaw said: "I will support this motion as it deplores the lack of consultation by Wyre Forest District Council.

"It [Stourport Sports Centre] was not regarded as important enough to be discussed by all councillors. It was decided by five councillors, the cabinet, all of whom represent Kidderminster."

Thirteen councillors voted for the motion and four voted against.

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