Liberal Democrats urge Haringey Council rethink on OAP leisure charges

Liberal Democrats have demanded that Haringey Council rethinks its plans to scrap free leisure facilities for residents over 65.

In a letter to the Leader of the Council, local Lib Dem councillor David Winskill criticises Haringey for failing to consult local residents and for a lack of consideration of the effects the changes will have on the health and well-being of residents.

Lib Dems announced on 4th February 2008, in their alternative budget, that they would reinstate free facilities and have set up an online petition against the plans:

Cllr David Winskill, Lib Dem Leisure, Culture and Lifelong Learning Spokesperson, comments:

“This decision was taken right at the last minute and with absolutely no consultation. We decided to go straight to the top to get it reversed so that older residents can be confident that they won’t have to go through the indignity of a means test to go for a swim.

“The change in pricing structure is something that should involve the community, not just imposed. Again the Labour-controlled council does not want to listen.

“The cost of the free leisure passes to Haringey Council is minute, especially compared to the massive communications budget the council has each year.”

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone adds:

“Haringey is supposed to have health and well-being at the top of its agenda – but this initiative would have the effect of deterring older people from using Haringey’s Leisure Centres and have a very negative effect on their health. It must be withdrawn now.”