A LEISURE centre user is dismayed by Wiltshire Council for drastically changing what members can and cannot do under their contracts.

Ken Morrison, 74, uses the Devizes Leisure Centre for its gym and swimming pool, most days.

He holds a paid-up “Life Zone” membership – costing around £300 – which entitles him to use the gym, swimming pool and the squash courts at the leisure centre.

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Mr Morrison said he uses the squash facilities at least once per week in the winter time, but now Wiltshire Council has shifted the goals posts and is asking for an additional £80 to use the courts.

“They suddenly announced that people like me who still have six months of their contract to run were going to have to start paying for squash courts,” Mr Morrison said.

“This is despite the fact I have a contract saying I have unlimited use of the squash courts until the end of this period.

“To me it just seems utterly wrong. Wiltshire have been dealing with it almost like cowboys, you can’t unilaterally change the terms of a contract during its duration.”

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Cabinet member for leisure, Ian Blair-Pilling said: “We are as committed as ever to ensure we provide top-class leisure facilities and services, such as racket sports, to the residents of Wiltshire.

"These types of sports are the lifeblood of many people’s health and fitness routines and we know how important they are.

“The way that racket sports provision is currently incorporated into our membership offer is not sustainable in its current form.

"Our leisure team have met with and spoken to many rackets customers and have agreed to continue with the inclusion of rackets in the Lifezone membership for a fee of £7.50 per month or apportioned across an annual membership.

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"This is a short term resolution while we are review the rackets usage within the leisure sites that have recently transferred across, and we’ll then look to have a more permanent solution at some point in the New Year.

"We have updated affected members on this, but in the meantime if there are any further questions, concerns or queries they are welcome to email us at leisureadmin@wiltshire.gov.uk.”

On October 1, 2021 Wiltshire Council took control of its remaining 10 leisure centres which were under the management of Places Leisure.