Concerns at leisure centre takeover bid
RESIDENTS in Wroughton are still concerned about the prospect of Nuffield Health running the leisure centre at Ridgeway School despite assurances from the headteacher.
Posters have appeared at the leisure centre suggesting that the change of hands could be imminent but residents are angry about the lack of consultation over the proposed plans.
The school and Nuffield Health have both said that the aim of the partnership is to ensure the leisure centre is kept at a high standard, but many residents who fundraised to ensure that Wroughton had the centre are worried there could be changes to charges and staffing.
Resident Adam Poole, a Phd student in Cardiff, said: “Despite several of us writing to the chair of the school governors expressing our concern around two weeks ago, it would appear that none of us have received a reply – I certainly haven't.
“The conclusion that I have therefore come to is that the school is ignoring the local community.
“This whole thing is concerning particularly considering that less than two weeks ago the headmaster was saying that the school were only ‘in talks’ about this.
“More concerning is the fact that the school has seen fit to ignore the local community and go ahead with this without any form of consultation with the local community.
“Considering that the community partially funded the leisure centre through sponsorship activities and that the leisure centre is not and has never been an exclusively school facility, I consider the actions of the school with regard to this to be unacceptable, particularly as the school were made aware that the local community had concerns.”
Although no official date has been set for when Nuffield Health will take over the management of the centre Chris Koffman, business development manager with Nuffield, has said they are looking forward to working with Ridgeway School and they have no intention of limiting access.
He said: “We are extremely pleased to be working with the team at Ridgeway.
“The school provides an invaluable service to its students and residents through its leisure centre and we are keen to strengthen these relationships by providing new up to-date equipment, a busy class time table and expert support.
“We are currently working with Ridgeway School to finalise our plans and are excited to begin working on the project.
“We have no intention of limiting access to the leisure centre and hope that the investment we’re providing will mean that even more people choose to use it.
“Any changes made to the structure of the centre will be made with full confidence that they will help teachers to promote practical and engaging curriculum learning, and enhance the service currently provided.”
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