6:42am Thursday 20th February 2014
TORFAEN Leisure Trust has announced it will be increasing customer prices — and the news has received a mixed response from residents and leisure centre users.
A hike of three per cent is set to be introduced from April 1 to “ensure leisure services in Torfaen are sustainable in the long term”, a trust spokeswoman said last week.
It will see junior lesson prices increase from £3.89 to £4.00, and peak fitness suite prices at Pontypool Active Living centre and Cwmbran Stadium go from £5 to £5.15.
But the rise will not affect the direct debit fitness membership fee, while residents who meet the existing leisure concessionary scheme criteria will continue to be eligible for the discounted rates.
Alun Williams, chair of Torfaen Leisure Trust, said: “All Torfaen Leisure Trust leisure centres will remain excellent value for money and still be far less expensive than many facilities managed by neighbouring councils or by private organisations. It will still be possible to use our facilities for less than a pound a day.”
Leisure centre user Nicky Malson said facilities had “to be affordable, or government initiatives for health and fitness are pointless”.
John Beavan, chair of the Blaenavon Swimming and Leisure Trust, said he worried it would deter some users: “Speaking for people from Blaenavon, by the time you pay for bus journeys to and from the centre, as well as the entry fee, you have paid a fortune.”
But Pontypool Paralympian John Harris called it a “necessary evil”. “Such facilities are too important to lose, and if prices have to go up a bit so that doesn’t happen I think it’s a small price to pay.”
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