Swimming and gym prices to rise at Wiltshire Council sports centres

Wiltshire Times: Jonathan Seed, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for leisure, centre, with Devizes Leisure Centre manager Dan Webb, left, and gym users Keith Moore, Anna Villette and Elyne Williams Jonathan Seed, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for leisure, centre, with Devizes Leisure Centre manager Dan Webb, left, and gym users Keith Moore, Anna Villette and Elyne Williams

Prices for swimming and using the gym are to go up in a number of Wiltshire’s sports centres as the council puts its leisure services on more of a business footing.

Jonathan Seed, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for leisure, said it was vital for the council to invest money in new gym equipment so it can compete with private fitness centres.

He said: “We have to run the leisure centres as a business. All the time I am cabinet member for leisure I am determined to keep all of our leisure centres open and to improve them.

"We have to take a business approach to this.”

He denied that putting up the price of swimming would go against the council’s policy to encourage children to learn to swim.

He said: “It won’t do this because we have free swimming for children in the holidays and they learn to swim at school.

"We are never going to make any money out of swimming pools because they cost so much to build and maintain.”

He did not think parents who want to take their children swimming at the weekend would mind paying an increase in some centres to pay for gym equipment in others.

He said prices were to go up in 12 per cent of leisure centres, go down in 12 per cent and stay the same in 76 per cent.

But he accepted the centres where the costs would go up would be far more than in those where it went down.

Coun Seed said: “Wiltshire Council has been successful in retaining a leisure service for local residents, unlike many other local authorities; and we have largely held leisure fees and charges at the same rate since 2009.

"However, in the current challenging financial climate we want to continue to invest and improve these centres. By reviewing the fees and charges we will be able to do this and renew gym fitness equipment.”

The council is to spend £1.6 million on new gym fitness equipment with centres linked to new campuses benefitting first.

From April 1, fees for using the council’s nine leisure centres will be the same for similar levels of facilities such as swimming, squash, sports halls and gyms.

Comments (11)

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12:02pm Tue 18 Mar 14

moaningminnie76 says...

Of course the increase to these fees will encourage people to use the facilities - NOT.

As for children learning to swim, the free sessions run in the holidays are used in the main, as glorified childcare and the fact that children get taught swimming at school is almost laughable.

There is absolutely no feedback from leisure centre swim teachers, to school staff and on to the parents - it should be there as it forms part of the national curriculum.

Its all well and good renewing gym equipment and existing gym members will benefit but with increased fee's that are already not flexible - those that already can't afford to attend will no longer be able. The cleanliness & general state of maintenance at some of the swimming pools in the area in dire need of a good clean and a decent maintenance program. It's hardly encouraging people to get and stay fit is it?
Of course the increase to these fees will encourage people to use the facilities - NOT. As for children learning to swim, the free sessions run in the holidays are used in the main, as glorified childcare and the fact that children get taught swimming at school is almost laughable. There is absolutely no feedback from leisure centre swim teachers, to school staff and on to the parents - it should be there as it forms part of the national curriculum. Its all well and good renewing gym equipment and existing gym members will benefit but with increased fee's that are already not flexible - those that already can't afford to attend will no longer be able. The cleanliness & general state of maintenance at some of the swimming pools in the area in dire need of a good clean and a decent maintenance program. It's hardly encouraging people to get and stay fit is it? moaningminnie76
  • Score: 4

1:36pm Tue 18 Mar 14

cesc21 says...

I'll be cancelling my membership tonight then! It's already £36 per month, which in my opinion is far overpriced for the dated and most of the time broken equipment There are far better gyms around charging less.
Well done Wiltshire Council for yet another well though out plan. How do these idiots manage to stay in a job??
I'll be cancelling my membership tonight then! It's already £36 per month, which in my opinion is far overpriced for the dated and most of the time broken equipment There are far better gyms around charging less. Well done Wiltshire Council for yet another well though out plan. How do these idiots manage to stay in a job?? cesc21
  • Score: 9

1:46pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Wilts_born_n_bred says...

I must say that I find the standard of equipment and facilities really quite good in the council operated leisure centres. Fitness equipment very quickly becomes outdated but that doesn't mean that it isn't going to give you a decent workout.
For unlimited use of the facility at £36 a month, a little over £1 a day gives excellent value for money in my opinion. I guess it depends how people would prefer to spend there money - judging by the amount of fat messes waddling around Wiltshire with fags in their mouths I guess it's clear they prefer spending their benefit money on fast food, fags, lottery tickets and sky tv!
As for the swimming lessons, if you ask for feedback you get it. Never had an issues with my children attending lessons for the short period they did. Now we make use of the pool at weekends and holidays as a family.
I will definitely continue with my membership and look forward to using the new kit. Great investment WC!
I must say that I find the standard of equipment and facilities really quite good in the council operated leisure centres. Fitness equipment very quickly becomes outdated but that doesn't mean that it isn't going to give you a decent workout. For unlimited use of the facility at £36 a month, a little over £1 a day gives excellent value for money in my opinion. I guess it depends how people would prefer to spend there money - judging by the amount of fat messes waddling around Wiltshire with fags in their mouths I guess it's clear they prefer spending their benefit money on fast food, fags, lottery tickets and sky tv! As for the swimming lessons, if you ask for feedback you get it. Never had an issues with my children attending lessons for the short period they did. Now we make use of the pool at weekends and holidays as a family. I will definitely continue with my membership and look forward to using the new kit. Great investment WC! Wilts_born_n_bred
  • Score: -7

5:06pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

Wilts_born_n_bred wrote:
I must say that I find the standard of equipment and facilities really quite good in the council operated leisure centres. Fitness equipment very quickly becomes outdated but that doesn't mean that it isn't going to give you a decent workout.
For unlimited use of the facility at £36 a month, a little over £1 a day gives excellent value for money in my opinion. I guess it depends how people would prefer to spend there money - judging by the amount of fat messes waddling around Wiltshire with fags in their mouths I guess it's clear they prefer spending their benefit money on fast food, fags, lottery tickets and sky tv!
As for the swimming lessons, if you ask for feedback you get it. Never had an issues with my children attending lessons for the short period they did. Now we make use of the pool at weekends and holidays as a family.
I will definitely continue with my membership and look forward to using the new kit. Great investment WC!
Are you suggesting all fat messes are on benefits? And how did the spending of benefit money enter into the equation anyway?
[quote][p][bold]Wilts_born_n_bred[/bold] wrote: I must say that I find the standard of equipment and facilities really quite good in the council operated leisure centres. Fitness equipment very quickly becomes outdated but that doesn't mean that it isn't going to give you a decent workout. For unlimited use of the facility at £36 a month, a little over £1 a day gives excellent value for money in my opinion. I guess it depends how people would prefer to spend there money - judging by the amount of fat messes waddling around Wiltshire with fags in their mouths I guess it's clear they prefer spending their benefit money on fast food, fags, lottery tickets and sky tv! As for the swimming lessons, if you ask for feedback you get it. Never had an issues with my children attending lessons for the short period they did. Now we make use of the pool at weekends and holidays as a family. I will definitely continue with my membership and look forward to using the new kit. Great investment WC![/p][/quote]Are you suggesting all fat messes are on benefits? And how did the spending of benefit money enter into the equation anyway? Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 3

8:00pm Tue 18 Mar 14

officer1 says...

The cost of the memberships are not increasing, these have been frozen for the last 2 years. It is only pay as you go prices that have increased. I was also told that the cost of a senior gym session is DECREASING. I am happy with my membership and the fact I can use it in 9 sites (granted I will not trek Wiltshire to do this however I regularly use 2) and I think it is good value for money. It is only a 3 month contract and a lot of these private gym tie you in for at least a year.
The centres I use are slightly dated and could do with a lick of paint and a general tidy up but I would much prefer my money is spent on better facilities and updating of equipment rather than a lick of paint.

I would be interested If anyone could find a cheaper like for like comparison in the area!
The cost of the memberships are not increasing, these have been frozen for the last 2 years. It is only pay as you go prices that have increased. I was also told that the cost of a senior gym session is DECREASING. I am happy with my membership and the fact I can use it in 9 sites (granted I will not trek Wiltshire to do this however I regularly use 2) and I think it is good value for money. It is only a 3 month contract and a lot of these private gym tie you in for at least a year. The centres I use are slightly dated and could do with a lick of paint and a general tidy up but I would much prefer my money is spent on better facilities and updating of equipment rather than a lick of paint. I would be interested If anyone could find a cheaper like for like comparison in the area! officer1
  • Score: 6

8:48pm Tue 18 Mar 14

devilstail says...

Gym's are overrated, want to go for a run why not just use the streets because guess what it's free ;)
Gym's are overrated, want to go for a run why not just use the streets because guess what it's free ;) devilstail
  • Score: 2

8:49pm Tue 18 Mar 14

lordbuckethead says...

officer1 wrote:
The cost of the memberships are not increasing, these have been frozen for the last 2 years. It is only pay as you go prices that have increased. I was also told that the cost of a senior gym session is DECREASING. I am happy with my membership and the fact I can use it in 9 sites (granted I will not trek Wiltshire to do this however I regularly use 2) and I think it is good value for money. It is only a 3 month contract and a lot of these private gym tie you in for at least a year.
The centres I use are slightly dated and could do with a lick of paint and a general tidy up but I would much prefer my money is spent on better facilities and updating of equipment rather than a lick of paint.

I would be interested If anyone could find a cheaper like for like comparison in the area!
DW in North Swindon is, I think, £36 a month, and has massively superior equipment, more equipment, nice changing rooms, and a 'clean' pool. The Olympiad is OK for the money, but a bit grotty in my opinion. Also the classes are over-subscribed making it difficult to get on the more popular ones like pilates.

I will be cancelling, but that's because I'm shortly moving to north Swindon.
[quote][p][bold]officer1[/bold] wrote: The cost of the memberships are not increasing, these have been frozen for the last 2 years. It is only pay as you go prices that have increased. I was also told that the cost of a senior gym session is DECREASING. I am happy with my membership and the fact I can use it in 9 sites (granted I will not trek Wiltshire to do this however I regularly use 2) and I think it is good value for money. It is only a 3 month contract and a lot of these private gym tie you in for at least a year. The centres I use are slightly dated and could do with a lick of paint and a general tidy up but I would much prefer my money is spent on better facilities and updating of equipment rather than a lick of paint. I would be interested If anyone could find a cheaper like for like comparison in the area![/p][/quote]DW in North Swindon is, I think, £36 a month, and has massively superior equipment, more equipment, nice changing rooms, and a 'clean' pool. The Olympiad is OK for the money, but a bit grotty in my opinion. Also the classes are over-subscribed making it difficult to get on the more popular ones like pilates. I will be cancelling, but that's because I'm shortly moving to north Swindon. lordbuckethead
  • Score: 2

9:31am Wed 19 Mar 14

brasstacks says...

Jane Scott's "blog" dated 14th March 2014 appears to fly the flag for Wiltshire Council supporting Sport in the aftermath of the Olympics...
Sadly, ANY Services that W/C provide are sadly at the bottom of their "funding pot "because Ms Scott and her Cons Cab consider their Allowances are more important than supplying the Services right across the County that tax payers fund.
Has Ms Scott not wasted so much money on refurbishing County Hall, there would have been more dosh left in the W/C Budgets..

The people of Wiltshire have a right to the Services that are being either cut or charged more for .

What right does Ms Scott and her Cons Cab have to say who has to suffer cuts or more charges if she and her politically orientated Cabinet spend tax payers money on non essential Services ?
Jane Scott's "blog" dated 14th March 2014 appears to fly the flag for Wiltshire Council supporting Sport in the aftermath of the Olympics... Sadly, ANY Services that W/C provide are sadly at the bottom of their "funding pot "because Ms Scott and her Cons Cab consider their Allowances are more important than supplying the Services right across the County that tax payers fund. Has Ms Scott not wasted so much money on refurbishing County Hall, there would have been more dosh left in the W/C Budgets.. The people of Wiltshire have a right to the Services that are being either cut or charged more for . What right does Ms Scott and her Cons Cab have to say who has to suffer cuts or more charges if she and her politically orientated Cabinet spend tax payers money on non essential Services ? brasstacks
  • Score: 4

1:59pm Wed 19 Mar 14

kimcrawley says...

Wilts born n' bred.
All overweight people are on benefits, smokers, gamblers and sky subscribers.
Wiltshire Council provides excellent value for money. - In your opinion.
Perhaps you should spend some of the benefit money you get for your children on English lessons. Then you will be able to understand the difference between there and their. In my opinion.
Are you related to Jane Scott?
Wilts born n' bred. All overweight people are on benefits, smokers, gamblers and sky subscribers. Wiltshire Council provides excellent value for money. - In your opinion. Perhaps you should spend some of the benefit money you get for your children on English lessons. Then you will be able to understand the difference between there and their. In my opinion. Are you related to Jane Scott? kimcrawley
  • Score: 1

8:25pm Wed 19 Mar 14

politepanda says...

And they all stand around grinning like idiots because the prices are about to be hiked?
Or is this simply a shot "borrowed" from a previous article?
Dear God - surely it's the latter........!!
And they all stand around grinning like idiots because the prices are about to be hiked? Or is this simply a shot "borrowed" from a previous article? Dear God - surely it's the latter........!! politepanda
  • Score: -2

8:49pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Fluffy peppa says...

I cancelled my membership a short while ago, saves money & time travelling into town.

Pleased that I've found another gym local & a few pounds cheaper!

By the way, Marlborough leisure centre does a superb cafe, shame Devizes closed there's when they were extended a few years ago. Such a missed opportunity to gain extra revenue after swimming/during kids swimming lessons for parents to catch up.
I cancelled my membership a short while ago, saves money & time travelling into town. Pleased that I've found another gym local & a few pounds cheaper! By the way, Marlborough leisure centre does a superb cafe, shame Devizes closed there's when they were extended a few years ago. Such a missed opportunity to gain extra revenue after swimming/during kids swimming lessons for parents to catch up. Fluffy peppa
  • Score: 5

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