November 24, 2022 12.30 pm This story is over 12 months old

Council leaders resign as Leisure company directors ahead of Deepings centre meeting

£10.7m repair programme set to be cancelled today

South Kesteven District Council leader Councillor Kelham Cooke and deputy leader Councillor Adam Stokes have resigned from the authority’s arms-length LeisureSK Company ahead of a meeting on the future of Deepings Leisure Centre today.

It is understood the pair stepped down from their roles on Wednesday night due to the conflict of interest of them being directors of the company and being cabinet members making a decision.

In a statement, Councillor Cooke told reporters: “I can confirm that Councillor Stokes and I have resigned as Board Directors of LeisureSK Limited.

“We took formal advice in advance of the council meeting later today.

“It was incredibly important that we were present at today’s meeting to discuss and debate the future of the Deepings Leisure Centre.”

LeisureSK oversees the running of the council’s leisure and sports services including its leisure centres.

Councillors today (Thursday) will be asked  to vote against proceeding with a £10.7 million refurbishment project and hand back the site to Lincolnshire County Council.

Council leaders say spiralling costs have made the mounting price tag of the repairs unaffordable.

Plans for a 3G football pitch on the nearby playing field would also be scrapped.

The council has blamed higher energy prices, construction costs and the cost of borrowing for the proposed cancellation.

However, opposition councillors have called for a rethink and for the authority to ““explore all options for retaining and re-opening the existing Deepings Leisure Centre.”

The AllianceSK group have submitted their own amendment, acknowledging that the repairs may need to be “scaled back” given the council’s financial situation.

They suggest seeking funding or partnerships with Lincolnshire County Council, the neighbouring Deepings School or other public and private bodies.

The Deepings St James leisure centre has been shut since July 2021 due to serious health and safety concerns.

It had hoped to reopen by 2025.

The meeting today will begin at 1pm.

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