A Freedom of Information Request (FOI) has revealed that over £51,000 has been spent on consultants for the recent review of leisure facilities in the town.
The request, which was submitted via website WhatDoTheyKnow.com (viewable here) by a former senior surveyor Mr Michael Edwards, revealed that a total of £51,760 was spent on consultants involved in the leisure review. The FOI also shows that the amount paid was paid in two stages, £26,760 was paid in Stage one of the review and £25,000 in Stage two.
The FOI query reads: “I understand you have recently employed the Sports Consultancy to advise you on the future of Leisure Facilities in the Borough. Please advise how much these consultants are to be paid for their services,? If the final invoice has not yet been provided yet what was their fee quote for offering to investigate and report on the future of your Leisure Services”
Wrexham Council answered: “The amount paid to consultants as part of the Leisure Review was in two stages. £26,760 was paid in stage 1 of the review and £25,000 in stage 2 giving a total of £51,760.”
Earlier this month, councillors voted recommend the closure and demolition of Plas Madoc and Waterworld leisure centres, with a possible replacement facility if and when finance is secure. The decision came as part of the Council’s ongoing review of facilities in the town as they make budget cuts of nearly £14million for the next 12 months.
Within the ‘Leisure Review’ meeting, it was revealed that the 11 leisure facilities in Wrexham cost £1.8million a year to run. While the primary focus of the meeting centred on the future of Plas Madoc and Waterworld, all the leisure facilities in the area had been looked at by the Sports Consultants.
You can read our full report of the Leisure Review meeting here.
One possible alternative that was suggested, was the demolition of both Plas Madoc and Waterworld, and building a replacement facility on the Crown Buildings site as and when finance is available. This would consist of an eight lane 20m ‘county standard’ pool, a learner pool, spectator seating plus a leisure water area.
It is estimated this would cost £11.9m, including demolition fees, contingencies and demolition.
The expenditure and use of consultants was questioned during the meeting, with one member of the public gallery shouting that the money spent on consultants was ‘shocking’. During the meeting it was also requested by Chairman, Councillor David Kelly that the amount spent on consultants was revealed. However this was not possible as it would fall under ‘Part 2′ guidelines.
The use and cost of consultants used by Wrexham Council has been subject to an ongoing debate on our forums. To join in with the debate, then you can visit our forums here…