Council draws a veil of secrecy over leisure centre accounts

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A VEIL of secrecy is being drawn over the annual accounts of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.

Horsham District Council this week refused to reveal what profit – or loss – the centre has made in recent years.

Following a statement last week by the then council leader Robert Nye that the council subsidised the running of the leisure centre each year, the County Times asked the council for profit and loss figures for each year for the past six years.

But the council declined to reveal them. However, it did admit that the number of users of the centre has grown steadily over the past five years.

The County Times has now submitted a request to the council for the figures under the Freedom Of Information Act.

A spokesperson said: “The responsibilities for maintenance of the facilities at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre are split between Horsham District Council and its management contractor, DC Leisure Management Ltd. Owing to contractual confidentiality it is not possible to break down the detail of this expenditure.”

In addition, following a statement from Mr Nye that more than £500,000 had been spent on repairs to the leisure centre over the past six years, the County Times asked the council what repairs had been done and when they were carried out.

The council spokesperson said: “Expenditure on maintenance related issues from 2006/07 to date is approximately £560,000.

“This is made up of revenue expenditure by the council on the fabric and services to the building, planned maintenance and day to day reactive maintenance by DC Leisure and major replacement of facilities and sports surfaces.

“Owing to contractual confidentiality it is not possible to provide details of income and expenditure for Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.”

When asked the annual numbers of people using the leisure centre each year for the past six years, the spokesperson replied: “2005/06 - 155,200 visits (not individual people); 2006/07 – 153,400; 2007/08 – 154,300; 2008/09 – 187,850;2009/10 – 187,965; 2010/11 – 196,868.”

As well as individual members of the public, the leisure centre is used by a number of clubs and organisations.