Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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Walsall’s Tories to close Outdoor Pursuits Centres

by Ian Shires on 19 October, 2019

Walsall’s Tory cabinet meets on Wednesday to seal the fate of the town’s outdoor pursuits service. 

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A report to the meeting will say that efforts to find efficiency savings and boost income have failed. Groups using the service’s sites at the Sneyd Water Activities Centre and Aldridge Airport say they are devastated by the news.

Schools, Community Groups, Children with learning difficulties all use the centres for a range of activities which include mountain biking, windsurfing, climbing, canoeing,and archery. The news has come as a shock to the many users.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Ian Shires hearing the news, commented “Walsall’s Tories are are sending out mixed messages. On the one hand they say that Walsall residents need to get out and exercise more to improve their health . Then they drop a bombshell like this, cutting off chances to those who most need it.”

Aldridge Airport Outdoor Centre only opened in 2008 with the aid of a £1,076,000 National Lottery Grant. Closing it could cost Council tax payers £323,000 in claw-back fees.

“It’s time the Council adopted a different approach to budget setting. The Council should take a leaf out of New Zealand’s book setting budgets around health and wellbeing” said Ian.

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