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South Kesteven leisure plans set for £380,000 spend on reports and consultation

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An extra £250,000 is to be spent by South Kesteven District Council in its efforts to develop better leisure facilities across the district.

A meeting of the full council agreed that £380,000 would be spent on reports, including consultation, up from the £130,000 agreed earlier this year.

A couple of councillors quizzed the expense, with Deepings Independent Virginia Moran saying she was ‘frankly staggered’ so much was to be spent of preparing the businesses for such facilities.

SKDC Leader Coun Matthew Lee when plans were announced earlier this year. (13241710)
SKDC Leader Coun Matthew Lee when plans were announced earlier this year. (13241710)

Coun Moran said if there wasn’t a business case, why was the council talking to landowners about buying sites.

She continued: “We shouldn’t need to spend more than 6p to determine the business case for a leisure centre for the Deepings.”

However, Coun Mark Whittington (Con-Barrowby Gate) replied £380,000 may seem a lot but it was “really good value for money” as it represented 1 per cent of what might be a £35 million leisure centre programme.

Cabinet member for growth Coun Helen Goral said the reports from external consultants would cover the business case, the cost of technical staff, plus “essential surveys” to ensure SKDC develops the centres it wants and how to avoid surprises or delays. There would also be a consideration of the pros and cons of each option.

Coun Goral (Con-Grantham Arnoldfield) told the meeting: “It will allow us as a council to make an informed decision. It’s much more detail than the writing of a business case.”

She added details of schemes would be settled during public consultation. Talks are still underway with landowners so a time frame of when centres will be open cannot yet be given, but the council would deliver them “as soon as possible.”

Earlier, Deepings Independent councillor Phil Dilks asked when such centres would be built, noting they had been promised by two previous council leaders.

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