Gym report cost slammed

Compass Gym pix .Picture Richard Ponter.121345d
Compass Gym pix .Picture Richard Ponter.121345d
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The cost of a “flawed” report on gym space in the borough has been publicly slammed by a Scarborough councillor.

At the full council meeting on Friday, Cllr Sam Cross said that over £10,000 had been “wasted” by the authority on the report, which was commissioned by Scarborough Council to assess the need for space ahead of the proposed Weaponness sports village development.

Scarborough Council has been criticised over the report by both Cllr Cross and Compass Gym boss Nick Ingham, after the facility was omitted from the report.

The head of the council, Cllr Tom Fox, has defended the omission, by stating the report was not included on Sports England’s Active Places Power database on which the reports are based - although Mr Ingham said there was no obligation for the gym to be registered.

And at the meeting, Cllr Cross said: “The report says there’s a more than adequate supply, not including Compass and The Bay - the document is flawed and there’s no doubt about it.

“Around £10,000 to £11,000 has been wasted on this report and I don’t have any confidence in it.”

Replying, Cllr Fox said: “It’s disappointing they weren’t included in the report, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

“Any sports village without these workstations wouldn’t be a sports village.

“It’s not about competition, it’s about service provision. It will not be to the detriment of Compass or anybody else.”

However, Mr Ingham has called on the report to be carried out again - with all the gyms included, and speaking after the meeting, Cllr Cross added: “I feel strongly that this should be done properly, with a true reflection of how many stations are in Scarborough.

“The cost shows that, in these austere times, they shouldn’t be wasting money on reports that are simply not fit for purpose.”

The report states that, even without the gyms excluded, there is “no evidence” additional space is required, although the council insists the Weaponness development would only replace existing, ageing, council facilities.

Cllr Fox added: “The facilities’ mix, market appraisal and needs analysis review reports were all prepared by an independent consultant, and we have had no undue influence in their production or findings.

“The reports conclude by stating overall provision in the town is good, there is a balance between existing supply and demand and that existing provision is justified. There is no evidence to support additional provision.”

He added that a council gym would be a “subsidised” community facility at Weaponness.

Scarborough Borough Council has also issued a detailed response to the criticism over the report. The response is available in full on the council website.

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