LEISURE bosses have denied charging residents ‘more for less’ after a proposed price hike at facilities across the borough.
Hyndburn Leisure Trust, which is separate from but funded by the council, is considering a five per cent increase in prices for certain activities at leisure centres, theatres, and community centres, documents revealed.
Opposition leader Peter Britcliffe said that, despite the council cutting leisure funding from £1.1m in 2008/09 to £630,000 in 2013/14, it was still ‘putting money in the leisure trust by the back door’.
But chair of Hyndburn Leisure Trust, Ciaran Wells, said only prices on certain activities would rise, if any.
He said: “Prices at the leisure trust are reviewed annually and we benchmark our prices in line with our competitors and other services.
“There is no talk of prices being increased across the board and in fact prices in some areas have been frozen. We have a board meeting on the February 27 at which our budget plans will be discussed.
"Coun Britcliffe's comments are neither accurate or constructive and residents will be aware that the council has frozen council tax for the previous two years and plans to do so this coming year.”
Although the five per cent increase was still unconfirmed, it has already been written into the trust’s draft budget, documents showed.
Coun Britcliffe’s comments came after documents revealed the council invested more than £250,000 on the refurbishment of and new equipment for the gym at Hyndburn Leisure Centre, in Henry Street, Church.
He said: “We seem to be paying more for less with this council, but of course what they are doing is managing their finances with smoke and mirrors.
“If you look at their positive spending, you can see they are putting money in the leisure trust through the back door.
“On one hand, the council say they are saving money, but when you ask them where they are making the savings, they have spent it somewhere else.”