Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds council axes sports centre creche service

Scott Hall Sports Centre
Image caption Scott Hall Sports Centre will see its creche facility withdrawn next month

Childcare for parents using sports facilities in Leeds is to be scrapped from next month as the city council looks to cut costs.

The city council subsidised creche facilities at six leisure centres in a bid to encourage parents to exercise.

But the authority said the service had been underused and cutting the subsidy would save £60,000 a year.

The service has been withdrawn from other centres over the past five years because of falling numbers.

The latest cuts mean creche facilities will be axed at East Leeds, Kippax, Rothwell, Aireborough, Pudsey and Scott Hall sports centres on 12 November.

The city council said it had been forced into the move by "falling demand, rising costs and budget pressures which have made the service unsustainable".

In the last year the service saw only 7,264 children placed in the creches, which equates to fewer than three per hour in total across all six sites.

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

Chief recreation officer Richard Mond said continuing the service was "unsustainable" and they had reluctantly been forced to "make this difficult decision".

"Everyone involved is being informed and we will make every effort to work with customers to see if they can attend their current or alternative fitness sessions."

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