Letter: Way ahead for centre

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I AM INTRIGUED by Sheila White’s assertion that I was ‘affronted’ by her speech at Horsham District Council’s meeting about the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre (letters, January 12).

I listened to her with considerable interest. I did note, however, that she did not raise the issue of how much of the building is permanently closed to us, the public, and is let at minimal rent to small private local groups.

My personal view is that we need to look at a number of issues before making a decision. These include:

a. The total number of regular users of the specific sports facilities in the centre.

b. The cost of maintaining and refurbishing the facility over the next ten years.

c. The true value of the site and when this could be realised.

Then all of us need to decide whether to refurbish the centre, having found the money to do so, or, dispose of the site.

Again, my personal feeling is that, if the decision is to sell, then before the centre is closed, we need to consider building another and better track facility close by.

It would make sense to link this to a local school to ensure maximum usage. We would also need to relocate the gym facilities, possibly by minor extensions to the Pavilions, and rehouse the indoor bowling club.

Finally, it would be sensible to ensure that the other users are found accommodation locally, probably within existing facilities.

PETER BURGESS

(Con) Horsham district councillor for Holbrook West

North Street, Horsham