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Operator of Lichfield leisure centre at risk of closure says staff can attend public meeting – but warns of “volatile environment”

Staff at Friary Grange Leisure Centre have been told they will not face action if they choose to attend a public meeting about the possible closure of the facility – by have been warned of a possible “volatile environment”.

Residents are meeting about the issue at Curborough Community Centre at 7.30pm tonight (15th July).

Lichfield District Council has put forward plans to shut the site to the public in April 2020.

Around 42 employees are at risk if the leisure centre closes.

There had been fears they could face disciplinary proceedings if they attended tonight.

But a Freedom Leisure spokesperson said they could go along – but must remain within the terms of their employment.

“Staff are entirely at liberty to attend the meeting in question and will not face any action for being in attendance,” the spokesperson said.

“However, we are very aware that the nature of their employment puts them in a difficult situation – especially with emotions running high.

“Therefore with our employees best interests at heart we reassured them that we are holding a staff meeting for them on Wednesday and that they may find this a preferred arena to discuss their views to be put forward.

“It is standard within employment contracts to stipulate that employees could face action should they bring an employer into disrepute, therefore we wish to protect our staff from what could be a volatile environment with pressure put on them to voice an opinion.

“We are sincerely sorry if our suggestion not to attend has been miscommunicated to staff.”

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