Anger at new prices for leisure facilities

Ponteland Leisure Centre.
Ponteland Leisure Centre.
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A Ponteland councillor has criticised Active Northumberland over its new charges for leisure centre users.

A new pricing structure came into effect at the start if the month in order to create one system across the county.

This has meant that the costs for some sessions and activities have increased and some have gone down, depending on the location, although monthly charges have gone up in a number of cases.

At a meeting of Ponteland Town Council, Coun Adam Shanley said some users at Ponteland Leisure Centre were facing a 100 per cent increase for sessions and it was 50 per cent for others.

He added: “The way the changes came into effect was appalling – there was no consultation with users.

“This comes at a time when there’s a big focus across the country on encouraging people to live healthier lifestyles.”

An Active Northumberland spokeswoman said: “The cost of providing leisure facilities has increased over the past two years, however our prices have remained static.

“In order to ensure leisure centres remain sustainable in the future and to minimise the level of financial support needed, we must operate a more commercial model. Our new pricing policy is based on users’ ability to pay, not their work, age or where they live.”