Ships and Castles closure decision to be examined by committee – BBC


A decision to close a popular leisure centre will be reconsidered by Cornwall Council's cabinet – the day before it is set to close its doors for good.
A committee of councillors agreed the move on Monday based on concerns the cabinet had "inadequate information".
The decision to close Ships & Castles was "called in" by two Labour councillors after the Conservative cabinet agreed on it earlier in March.
An extraordinary meeting will take place on Wednesday to consider it.
The centre in Falmouth is set to close on Thursday.
The cabinet had agreed it would abandon a procurement process which had seen alternative operators submit bids to take on the centre, as the bids were not considered to be economically viable.
Falmouth councillors Jayne Kirkham and Laurie Magowan challenged the decision and asked for it to be "called-in" on the basis the cabinet did not have enough information to make that decision.
Ms Kirkham also claimed there had been no consideration about what impact the closure might have on young, old and disabled people who use the centre.
The call-in was accepted and was subject to an Extraordinary Customer and Support Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday morning.
The committee voted unanimously in favour of a proposal by Kevin Towill that the matter be referred back to the cabinet to reconsider.
However, cabinet member Richard Pears told the meeting: "At our cabinet meeting in March we took our decision in good faith and based on the advice that we were given by our officers, we had no reason to doubt that advice…
"We all made our decision reluctantly, it was a difficult decision, but it was and it remains, the correct decision."
Gemma Adams, director of Pendennis Leisure Community Interest Company, which has bid to take over the centre, said the leisure centre was economically viable if the council worked with the community.
She added: "The council chose to run a procurement process that did not allow the bidders to work with the council to find the best solution for the community.
"This discussion must now be allowed to happen before the cabinet decide to close the centre for good."
The Falmouth centre was originally one of five facilities under threat of closure but it was the only one that Cornwall Council's cabinet said should close.
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