Cheshire East Council Delays Leisure Centre Trust AGAIN
Cheshire East Council is setting up new entities to run council services, referred to as Alternative Service Delivery Vehicles (ASDVs). A charitable trust is being set up to run leisure centres in Cheshire East, but the original ‘go live’ date in early January was missed and now the revised date has been changed from 1 April to 1 May.
Questions have been raised over the intentions of the new Trust after it emerged that staff had been asked to forego overtime payments. This raised fears that the new entities would seek to cut costs by reducing staff pay and conditions. Labour councillors have been pressing the Council to adopt a Living Wage policy.
At the Corporate Scrutiny meeting on Monday a report dealing with the wider issue of ASDVs noted that it is unlikely that there will be conflicts of interest between Cheshire East Ltd and the Council “at least in the early years”. Questions were asked about the recent case of THE RECREATION GROUND , BATH charity number 1094519 involving Bath and North East Somerset Council, where the Charity Commission has recently ruled (on appeal) to replace the local authority (Bath and North East Somerset Council) with a new independent body of trustees who could take the charity forward, including being able to take un-conflicted decisions about future lease arrangements.
Labour Group Leader Cllr David Newton, said, “It is better to delay the start of the new arrangements rather than getting it wrong. However, this is the second delay and it raises questions about whether changes are being rushed.”
Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour Cllr for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “The problems at Lyme Green, where the Council spent £800,000 digging foundations for a building without getting planning permission, arose because the Council rushed into a money saving plan. It seems that the Conservatives have not learnt the lesson and are still pushing ahead with more haste and less speed.”