Council axes proposals for leisure trust

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PLANS to hand over responsibility for running the borough’s leisure services over to a trust have been scrapped.

North Tyneside Council was looking into the possibility of having its cultural and leisure services managed by a community-based trust, but it has now abandoned those proposals.

Instead, the council is to explore other options for cutting its spending on such activities and services.

The decision was made at the latest cabinet meeting after a report concluded that bringing in a trust would save less money than first thought.

Borough mayor Linda Arkley said: “It’s important that when circumstances change, we listen and adapt. In this case, it’s clear that the potential financial benefits to the council of a community-based trust are less than first estimated.

“I greatly appreciate the time given up by those who had expressed an interest in becoming a trustee.

“I’m writing to each of them to thank them for getting involved.

“We now plan to explore other trading options that could provide opportunities for greater commercial activity, generating income and savings for the council.”

Both Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors had opposed the plans to set up a trust.

A further report on the issue is due back before cabinet in June.