Anger as plans pulled for new £20m Greater Manchester leisure centre after Government budget cuts
A veteran Salford councillor has attacked the new Liz Truss Government after expected cuts forced the suspension of a £20m plan to build a new leisure centre.
Coun John Warmisham hit out following the announcement that the long-awaited build of Pendleton Leisure Centre was being shelved.
The decision follows the government’s announcement of a potential £18billion of public spending cuts.
The £20million project on the site of a former council estate next to Salford Shopping Precinct has been shelved with the city already facing a £16m shortfall in its 2023/24 budget amid soaring energy costs.
Spiralling inflation has also had a hand in the decision, announced following a behind-closed-doors meeting at the city council headquarters this week.
Coun Warmisham, who has the Pendleton and Charlestown ward for 31 years, said: “We were made up when we were chosen to get a new liesure centre.
“There has been a high incidence of poor health in this area and we thought this would encourage people to use the centre to improve their fitness and prevent themselves getting ill. We are really disappointed., although we understand the financial reasons.
“This lands squarely at the Government’s feet. The way they are behaving is scandalous.”
He said that Clarendon Recreation Centre on Liverpool Street, Salford was an alternative, but is more than 50 years old.
“Thousands of Salford children have been taught to swim there,” he said. “We were really excited that we were going to have a new leisure centre, which would’ve been across the road from a new youth zone – an ideal place.
“But we don’t get a lot in Pendleton. It’s an area of high deprivation.”
The public spending cuts were announced by then Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, though he has since been sacked from his role.