Spiralling costs and further delays to new Morden leisure centre
At the most recent Full Council meeting on 12th April 2017, Merton councillors were asked to agree a further £2.7million of expenditure on the Morden leisure centre scheme. It is now due to cost 25% more than when first agreed back in 2010. And despite Merton Labour promising 3 years ago that it would be completed by 2016, it has also now been revealed that the opening will not take place until September 2018.
Speaking after the Council meeting, Cllr Janice Howard - Conservative Spokesman for Leisure and Culture - said:
“Conservative councillors set aside £11million for a new leisure centre in Morden. We want to see it built as soon as possible. Yet, against residents’ wishes, Merton Labour refused to progress this project when they took over control of the council in May 2010. Since then all we have seen is dither and delay.
“Residents will rightly feel hard done by. They have been waiting almost a decade for a new pool, now only to find that not only has completion been delayed again (to September 2018) but it is costing 25% more for the self same facility.
“Given the spiralling costs and years of potential revenue lost by not building the leisure centre back in 2010, is it any wonder the council’s finances today are on a cliff edge? The concern for council taxpayers is how many more times they will be asked to bail out Merton Labour and their financial incompetence.”
Note to Editors:
- The previous Conservative administration allocated £11million for a new Morden leisure centre in its last budget back in March 2010. The money has been in the council's capital budget ever since.
- The Council report on the new Morden leisure centre can be viewed at: https://merton.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s16965/Morden%20Leisure%20Centre.pdf
- The timetable for the opening of the new leisure centre has consistently slipped. Prior to the last council elections in 2014, the pool was scheduled to open in 2016. Then in October 2014, it was delayed until ‘late 2017’. Now according to the report to Council above, opening will not take place until September 2018.
- Had the leisure centre already been built then not only would Morden residents now be benefiting from improved health and leisure facilities but it would by now be generating revenue for the borough and contributing to closing the hole in the council’s budget.
If you wish to speak to Cllr Janice Howard, please contact her on 07816320654.