The Conservative Council will be updating and improving the Borough’s leisure services by working with potential new operators on concessionary fees.
Concessionary fees allows some Bedford Borough residents access to leisure services at a more affordable price however, this only apply to people on certain forms of benefits and support and to the over 60s.
The new leisure contract that has gone out to tender is being procured on the same terms of the current contract in relation to those groups of people (residents on certain forms of benefits and support and to the over 60s) that are eligible for concessions.
We recognise however that the current concession policy is out of date and does not reflect the existing state benefits framework, nor does it include any provisions relating to groups that we would like to support. For example, children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities or those with care experience.
We are committed to carrying out a review to ensure that our concessions policy fully reflects our aspiration to encourage participation in sport and leisure activities to improve the health and well-being of our residents. The outcome of that review has not been predetermined and any impact for service users will be considered before any changes are adopted.
Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Sarah Gallagher commented,
“The Conservatives recognise the importance of well-maintained leisure facilities that are accessible to everyone in our community. Including those residents who may not otherwise be able to afford access to activities.
By working with potential leisure operators we can improve and modernise the concession policy so more residents in Bedford Borough can benefit from the fantastic health and well-being benefits of our leisure centres.”