Cheshire leisure centres could see increased fees and reduced opening hours

New proposals suggesting reduced opening hours and increased fees for non-residents at leisure centres have been put forward.

Cheshire East Council is aiming to reduce a budgetary shortfall of at least £479,000.

Despite having already cut costs by £1.3m, the council still deems further savings necessary.

Initial plans to close four leisure centres were abandoned, and a new consultation now explores options such as adjusting opening hours, implementing varying charges for non-residents, and modifying concessionary programs.

The council said that shutting centres would be a last resort, considering it only if necessary and focusing any resulting investments on areas with higher health needs and usage.

Currently, Cheshire East pays Everybody Health and Leisure a management fee for leisure centres, while being responsible for utility bills and maintenance costs, totalling £4.23m in the current financial year.

With a projected £18.7m shortfall, the council emphasises that no final decisions have been made and no specific centres have been mentioned.

The public consultation ends in January.

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