Greens call for the new leisure centre to be Council run rather than 'lining shareholders' pockets.'

7 March 2017

Exeter Green Party say the delay in plans to develop the bus station site provides a valuable opportunity for 'better thinking around the project’. Green Party councillor, Chris Musgrave, who defected from Labour last week, has been highly critical of the Council’s plans for the ownership and management of the planned new leisure complex in the city centre, known as St Sidwell’s Point. Cllr Musgrave said:

"I can't understand why we would spend some £26 million  to build a state-of-the-art facility, simply to hand the keys over to a private operator. 

"Such a valuable asset is better being owned and operated by the Council with profits redirected into other Council budgets which are currently woefully underfunded." 

"It’s unclear why there is a delay, but it provides a golden opportunity for better thinking around the project. In particular we must ensure the project counteracts the negative effects of austerity, and creates and protects good quality jobs in the local economy". 

Exeter Green Party broadly support the development at St Sidwell's Point, in particular the Passiv Haus design. However, it wants to see a Council run bid for the operation of the new leisure centre. Diana Moore, Green Party candidate for St David’s & Haven Banks, said:

“Leader of the Council, Councillor Pete Edwards, has made a public commitment that the pool will make a profit. I am pleased he is that confident. If he is right then the Leisure Centre should be wholly owned and run by Exeter City Council and 100% of the pool’s profits reinvested in Council services, not line the pockets of private shareholders.”