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Councillors have been told that a blank cheque has not been given out to support the company running leisure centres in Lichfield and Burntwood.
The comments came as members of Lichfield District Council’s cabinet debated the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the local authority’s finances earlier this week.
The council has warned that COVID-19 could see around £1million spent over the next 12 months to support leisure centres, which still remain closed because of the outbreak.
But Cllr Rob Strachan, cabinet member for finance, said that while the council was willing to support leisure provision for the time being, there wasn’t a a blank cheque.
“Leisure is a sector that’s been acutely affected by this pandemic.
“It would appear likely there is going to be a degree of future support that’s required – it is about the extent to which we as an authority have an appetite to support that.
“Currently we are prepared to while it is affordable.
“But we haven’t necessarily given our leisure partner a blank cheque.”Cllr Rob Strachan, Lichfield District Council
Freedom Leisure operates sites in Burntwood and Lichfield on behalf of the council.
Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of the district council, has already appealed to the Government for more financial support to keep leisure centres open.
He also revealed that more than £240,000 had already been spent as the local authority “supported” Freedom Leisure.
Speaking last week, Cllr Pullen explained:
“Our current modelling estimates that we will need to provide around £1million in additional funding within the next 12 months.”Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council