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Leisure service boost may take set back

PUBLISHED: 17:47 02 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:41 03 July 2010

BOOSTING leisure services in Broadland may have to take a back seat as recession looms, it has been claimed.

In October the Audit Commission gave the district council a 'fair' one-star rating for services and said that it lacked a clear direction about what it wanted to achieve.

BOOSTING leisure services in Broadland may have to take a back seat as recession looms, it has been claimed.

In October the Audit Commission gave the district council a 'fair' one-star rating for services and said that it lacked a clear direction about what it wanted to achieve.

Broadland does not provide any leisure facilities itself, but funds a range of community and voluntary organisations to fill the breach.

The watchdog found that, on the whole, residents were not happy about what was on offer, and said the 'pepperpot approach' meant that any provision was narrowly targeted on specific groups.

Council leader Simon Woodbridge said the findings were a mixed bag for the authority and the watchdog had praised some schemes such as the Stairway project - aimed at finding ways to reduce crime and yob behaviour.

Members of the ruling cabinet are set to map out ways in which leisure services can be improved, but Mr Woodbridge said any changes would need to be balanced against other pressures on services caused by the economic downturn.

“Clearly we are in very difficult times and going through a recession,” he said. “The Audit Commission has raised some issues about culture and leisure, but we have only got so much money in the pot and we can only do what we can. At the moment what's important is making sure residents in Broadland come through a difficult time, and that's where the money will go.”


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