The Edge: shameful behaviour by Conservative-run Surrey County Council

WLD

Waverley Lib Dems are furious that the people of Haslemere have been massively let down by the Conservatives, resulting in the current closure of The Edge. We will do everything we can to find a solution to the temporary closure of the much-loved leisure centre at Woolmer Hill School and to get it back open to the public as soon as possible.

The leisure centre sadly closed its doors to the public in July due to backtracking and delays from Conservative-run Surrey County Council who own the building.

Waverley Borough Council took on the running of the centre, at significant cost, many years ago when the charity that first set it up fell into financial difficulties.

But due to chronic and sustained underfunding of local councils from the Government, with many councils across the country and right here in Surrey on the verge of bankruptcy, it became increasingly clear that Waverley and local taxpayers simply cannot afford to continue operating The Edge. That was confirmed when the council recently re-tendered for the running of all its leisure centres; during that process potential management companies did not want to take on the loss-making Edge which is only available for commercial use by the public when it is not required by the school.

Waverley therefore took the painful decision well over a year ago to initiate a break clause in its lease with Surrey County Council, giving them plenty of time to find an alternative provider and with the school themselves saying they were keen to take over the running of the facility.

Waverley were given clear reassurances from Surrey that they were committed to keeping the centre open to the public, but they have massively let down local residents and clubs by failing to do so.

Despite Surrey’s backtracking, Waverley and Haslemere Town Council are resolute that the building must re-open as a leisure centre for the community. As well as working hard to temporarily re-home some of the many groups affected by Surrey’s inaction, they have offered various solutions, including temporarily running the leisure centre while Surrey finds an alternative provider.

Numerous recent attempts by Waverley to sit down with Surrey to thrash out a solution have been met with silence. Waverley Lib Dems are now calling publicly on Surrey to come to the table and work positively and constructively with Waverley to reach an agreement that will get the Edge back open for use by local sports clubs and the public without further delay.

Waverley Borough Council have provided an update on the latest situation with The Edge, including a useful FAQ on their website here.