Political attack over leisure centre

A POLITICAL row has broken out over the future of Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre at Norton.

Opposition Liberal Democrats believe the proposed transfer of the running of the premises from the council to Sheffield International Venues will pave the way for the closure of the pool and sports hall – which is denied by Labour.

The Lib Dems point to a new lease at Graves being split between the profit-making tennis centre and the rundown pool and sports hall.

Finance spokesman Coun Simon Clement-Jones said: “I know that council officers want to close the pool at Graves Leisure Centre, as we turned down the proposal on more than one occasion whilst running the council.

“It seems Labour haven’t been so quick to defend this much-loved community asset and we are seeing closure by stealth.”

Labour leader Coun Julie Dore said: “I can categorically confirm there are no plans to close Graves tennis and leisure centre.”

The council’s cabinet was yesterday (Wed) due to confirm the transfer of the management of Graves, Heeley swimming pool and Stocksbridge and Springs Leisure Centres to SIV, which already runs Ponds Forge, Don Valley Stadium and Hillsborough Leisure Centre.

Cabinet member Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris said the council aimed to “benefit from SIV’s experience and excellent track record in taking forward the sports facilities”.