Lewisham council is being urged to do the right thing and bring their leisure centres back in house.

 

The decision whether or not to bring the council’s five leisure centres in house will be taken at a closed meeting of the council tomorrow (Wednesday 12 August).

 

Fusion Lifestyle

 

The leisure centres are currently outsourced to Fusion lifestyle, which is a registered charity, however the workforce, many of whom are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have been warned to expect redundancies.

 

Fusion is experiencing extreme financial problems partially as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Unite has made a request for Fusion to ‘open its books’ to reveal its true financial situation so that workers and council taxpayers could see the challenges that it is facing; however, Fusion has so far refused to be transparent about its financial position.

 

Behind closed doors

 

Unite is also questioning why the council is holding the decision on the leisure centres behind closed doors.

 

Do the right thing

 

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Lewisham council needs to do the right thing for local residents and the workers at its leisure centres and bring services back in-house.

 

"The council also owes it to local people to make decisions about core services transparently and not behind closed doors.

 

“At the same time, Fusion needs to own up to the true extent of the financial problems it is facing which is why Unite is demanding that it opens its books.

 

“Unite’s position is clear; public services belong in the public sector, and the workers providing these services need a stable future.

 

“The model used by Fusion is failing. Privateers can no longer rely on large council subsidies to run these services and they can’t bank on attracting sufficient gym memberships to make the profits they chase.

 

“Local councils must no longer waste council taxpayers' money propping up a failed system and throwing good money after bad.

 

“Instead the answer is obvious in-source council services now.”

 

Wider campaign 

 

The call for Lewisham to return its leisure centres to the public sector is part of a wider campaign by Unite for council’s to in-source public services, in order to reduce costs, improve services and to protect jobs.

 

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

 

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

 

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

 

Email: [email protected]

 

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org

 

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.