Call to charge for parking at leisure centre
Monday 3rd December 2018 @ 12:25 by Lauren Entwistle
Droylsden News

A councillor has called for a town hall to start charging for parking at a leisure centre, claiming it is an asset that people are ‘using for nothing’.

By Charlotte Green, local democracy reporter.

Droylsden West councillor Barrie Holland, who is also assistant executive member for neighbourhood services, queried why Tameside council did not charge for people to park at the Medlock Sports Centre in Droylsden.

He told a meeting of the strategic planning and capital monitoring panel this week that he visits the leisure facility on a ‘regular basis’ and its’ car park was always full.

“Why don’t we charge for parking because at times there are 150 cars on there and a lot of them are not coming to the sports centre, and parking in there in the day but they are doing other things, vans and stuff like that,” Coun Holland said.

“When it wears out the road surface, either we’ll have to pay for it or they’ll have to pay for it, one way or another.

“It’s an asset that’s not being used. People are using it as an asset for nothing.”

Sandra Stewart, Tameside’s director of governance and pensions replied that Active Tameside, the sports trust who operate the centre off Gardenfold Way, have ‘resisted us doing that in a year really big way’.

“I know that in the 20 years since Active Tameside have been in place they have objected to any of those kind of arrangements,” she said.

“Even to manage it in a way something like Asda does where you get a refund if you go into the gym, so I don’t know if that’s something we need to review or have a look at again.

“That’s been something that Active Tameside have actively asked us not to do. That’s the position, clearly we always need to keep things under review.”

But executive member for economic growth, employment and housing, Coun Ged Cooney, said he would not be a supporter of any plans to introduce paid parking at leisure sites.

“That would undermine the centre as it is now, and undermine Active Tameside as a business itself,” Coun Cooney, who also represents Droylsden West, said.

“It’s the most highly used centre, you can go anytime and it’s full. I am not supportive of any parking charges whatsoever on Medlock.”

Council leader Brenda Warrington said they would refer the issue onto the council’s director of operations and neighbourhoods, Ian Saxon.

He would investigate the issue and then it would be brought back to the panel for further discussion, she added.