Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, has spoken out against Durham County Council as North West Durham is neglected in their Leisure Plan.
Durham County Council has recently announced a Leisure Plan worth an enormous £63 million to cover ‘Leisure Transformation’ in County Durham. Areas across County Durham are seeing huge financial boosts to enable them to extend or refurbish existing facilities or to build new facilities. However, the plan only includes the finances to ‘refresh the offer’ at Consett and Wolsingham Leisure Centres and completely excludes all mentions of Crook and Willington in the document summary.
Richard has spoken out in the House of Commons about this, running an adjournment debate in which he criticised Durham County Council for their management and maintenance of Consett Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre, the closure of Crook Swimming Pool and local football clubs. Richard has also written to Durham County Council following their announcement that Consett Swimming Pool will be closed for a further twelve months but that local schools are still being charged for non-existent swimming lessons. A survey Richard ran found that 91% of people felt that Durham County Council’s refusal to give North West Durham money for new facilities is ‘unacceptable’.
Richard has now pledged to hold the council to account for letting down the constituents of North West Durham, and to ensure that resources are found for his constituency. He has also pledged to work with Sport England and local stakeholders as they support local sports clubs.
Commenting, Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, said:
“If our council can spend £63 million on leisure transformation on top of over £50 million on a new County Hall on a floodplain whilst completely ignoring Crook and Willington, they need to be held to account for the way in which they are spending taxpayer money.
“It’s shocking that resources have not been found for North West Durham. This is an incredibly important topic for local people – my constituents are fed up of being ignored and left behind by the Labour-run council and my constituents deserve access to the same facilities that others across County Durham can enjoy.
“The council desperately needs to step up and deliver for my constituents. The majority of my constituents place huge value on our local cultural institutions and leisure centres, and I am going to continue to campaign on this issue until all of North West Durham gets the funding it deserves to level up.”