Astonished at leisure plan

Madam,

I read with some astonishment that Amber Valley Borough Council is prepared to use £11.5 million of Amber Valley’s money to build a state of the art leisure venue in Belper, a town which already has a leisure centre.

In 2005, Ripley and Heanor residents had to fight with the same council merely to maintain their existing sports facilities.

It took 12,000 people to persuade the council to provide £4.4 million from its own resources to maintain similar buildings in the whole of Alfreton, Heanor and Ripley area.

If the same criteria is used for Belper as was used for Alfreton, Belper and Ripley, the current Belper Sports Centre could be developed as its manager suggests, and there would be surplus funds to enhance other more needy areas in the borough.

The running costs of two sports centres in Belper would not be cost effective and the rate-payers of Amber Valley should not be asked to subsidise this project.

John Thompson

Ripley