Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds sports centre creche closures on hold

Scott Hall Sports Centre
Image caption Scott Hall is among the sports centres affected

Plans to end childcare facilities at six Leeds leisure centres have been put on hold after complaints from parents.

The city council had planned to stop childcare at East Leeds, Kippax, Rothwell, Aireborough, Pudsey and Scott Hall sports centres last week.

It had subsidised the facilities in a bid to encourage parents to exercise but said they had been under-used.

The council has postponed the closures for three months while it consults parents and considers other options.

The authority said last month the closures were necessary because of "falling demand, rising costs and budget pressures which have made the service unsustainable".

Because of rising costs and the low level of demand the council has been subsidising the service over the past 12 months at a cost of £10.22 per hour for every child attending.

The closures would save the council £60,000 per year.

Cllr Lisa Mulherin, deputy executive member for leisure, said: "The talks we have held with parents using the existing creches and our early years colleagues have been very positive and some good ideas have been put forward in terms of alternative creche provision.

"We have chosen to keep the creches open to allow us more time to develop those possible options further."

Options being considered to keep childcare at the sites include parents taking over the running of the service or getting a private provider to supply childcare.

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