The Wokingham Paper

Leisure centre income loss is ‘big financial issue’ for Wokingham Borough Council funds

Loddon Valley Leisure Centre
Loddon Valley Leisure Centre Picture: Phil Creighton

THE INCOME loss from leisure centres was questioned at the borough council executive meeting held virtually on Thursday, July 30.

Cllr Bill Soane asked whether the Government announcement for compensation for local authorities for income loss at leisure centres would be used by the council.

But Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing said the council cannot claim for loss of third-party income — such as the cost of supporting Places Leisure.

He said: “On the assumption that this refers to the 75p in the pound scheme in which the Government will recompense principal local authorities for 75% of lost income, subject to a 5% threshold, it has been confirmed that the Council cannot claim for lost third-party income.

“But [the council] is able to claim for any lost or foregone management fee that was budgeted but not received.

“Details of how to claim are awaited, but the council will be aiming to recover as much of its lost income as permitted.”

He added: “The cost to the council as a result of the forced closure of our leisure centres is a big financial issue and we will continue to work with our leisure providers, work with other local authorities in a similar position and work with the Government departments to alleviate our costs and restore both the financial position for our council taxpayers and the service provision for our community going forward.”

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