York & North Yorkshire

Harrogate baths end male sessions after 'inappropriate behaviour'

Councillors decided to end male-only sessions at Harrogate's Turkish baths after reports of "inappropriate behaviour", it has emerged.

The baths has offered single-sex and mixed sessions since it opened in 1897.

Harrogate Council decided last month that the all-male sessions would be replaced by mixed sessions from January for financial reasons.

It has now admitted that it considered "some incidences of inappropriate behaviour" when making its decision.

The council said the average attendance at the tri-weekly men-only sessions was 17 people. The average attendance at mixed sessions was 34.

'Economic sense'

A spokesman said: "If we get 34 people to attend the three men-only sessions, when they are mixed, the additional revenue per year equates to over £35,000."

Councillor Caroline Bayliss, cabinet member for cultural services, said they believed any "inappropriate behaviour" would end once the men-only sessions stopped.

She said the council made its decision on commercial grounds but it did consider the issue.

She added: "Like any business, the council is having to look hard at its income generating facilities which bring benefit to the district.

"To run sessions that are under-used doesn't make economic sense in these hard financial times."

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