Leaders attacked over 'lack of scrutiny' in leisure crisis

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CITY leaders were today criticised for a "lack of scrutiny" of companies which run services for the council in the wake of the latest crisis to hit Edinburgh Leisure.

The company, which manages the Capital's sports facilities, recently announced it will close down its last four crches because of the impact that a massive funding cut will have.

Its chairman and chief executive have both announced their decision to stand down, sparking more concern.

Councillor Paul Godzik, sport and leisure spokesman for the Labour group on the council, wrote to sport leader Deidre Brock in June to address concerns about decision-making at outside bodies, such as Edinburgh Leisure.

Councillor Brock pledged to invite the Edinburgh Leisure chief executive to "an appropriate" culture and leisure committee meeting but, nearly eight months on, he has still not appeared before councillors.

"He was to be invited along over seven months ago and it's not happened," said Cllr Godzik.

"With the cuts proposed, you would expect these organisations to be fully engaged with the council but, at the moment, they are not."

Edinburgh Leisure's budget is to be slashed by four per cent – or 349,000 – in the year beginning in April.

Some sources claim there are growing tensions between Edinburgh Leisure and the council over funding and management of buildings. It has said that it took the decision to close the crches because they attract only 200 visits a week.

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