All options are on the table for the future of leisure provision in the city, the leader of Lichfield District Council has told a public meeting.
Residents, councillors and representatives from groups which use the Friary Grange Leisure Centre took part in the debate at Curborough Community Centre this evening (15th July).
Lichfield District Council had proposed to close the leisure centre in April 2020.
But Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of the Conservative-controlled authority, said a petition and the strength of public feeling meant a final decision would now not be made at a meeting of the council tomorrow.
“I have a set of facts in front of me that will not change,” he said. “But what has changed is the absolute weight of public opinion which has been enlightening.
“It’s good for me to see all manner of suggestions and ideas coming in from all parts of the community.
“We’ve deferred the decision to September to give us the time to go back and see what our options are and to see if we can do anything to change that decision.”
“No option is off the table”
Cllr Pullen – who has led the council since the local elections in May – told the meeting that while he could not comment on the decisions made by his predecessors, he was committed to finding a way forward.
“The future vision is that we said within 12 months we’d have a proposal as to what we’re going to do with other provision for leisure in Lichfield,” he said. “The direction I’ve given is that we need to shorten that time because it isn’t good enough.
“I can’t stand here and point to a specific building plot or piece of land and say it will look like this and do this – but what we will be doing is taking what we’ve heard and the sheer weight of public opinion and doing something about it.
“There are lots of options and those are what we’re going to look at. I hope that by being here we’ve listened and hopefully understood what’s been said.
“There will be no option that is off the table and every option will be on it – but it’s about whether we can make them work or not.”