COUNCIL WANTS COMMUNITY TO RUN GYM AND POOL
The Council of the Isles of Scilly has asked for expressions of interest to operate the swimming pool and gym on St Mary's.
It is seeking proposals from "all individuals, community groups, businesses and other organisations" after revealing that it can no longer afford to run the sites at Normandy and Carn Gwaval.
A statement reads: "We understand that these facilities are important to the community; however, we regret that it may no longer be possible to run them. The authority is under significant financial pressure and needs to make substantial savings.
"We therefore wish to test the market and seek expressions of interest to take over the running of the pool and/or gym facility for the community."
Council Vice-chair Steve Sims said of the decision: "The Council would love to continue to maintain all the services it currently provides but this is no longer possible.
"Members haven’t made a formal decision on the future and form of Active Scilly as yet, but in order to protect other services, many of which are statutory, there will have to be cuts. None of us want to do this but all Local Authorities are now being forced to make strident cuts across the board, as is the NHS and innumerable other public bodies.
"The overwhelming number of residents don’t use the Active Scilly facilities and it has now become unrealistic to expect the rest of the community to subsidise the few. There are clear advantages to a community group(s) running the pool or the gym because of all the regulations the LA has to abide by, so it can be a great deal more cost-effective.
"All service areas have to make savings, even those which are statutory, but Active Scilly is very much a discretionary cost and sadly if no-one comes forward then there is a distinct possibility that the pool and the gym could be closed by April."
The deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm on January 9 2017.