Residents reject plans for a new leisure centre in Aylesbury Vale

Frustrated locals said they would prefer the council to 'fix the roads' first

By Rory Butler , Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 9:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 9:24 am

Residents have told the council to “fix the roads”, lower taxes and build a new hospital before spending money on a new leisure centre.

Locals reacted with their own ideas about what Bucks Council should spend their money on after council leader Martin Tett hinted at possible future plans for a new leisure centre in the county.

He first signalled the possibility of building a new facility somewhere in Bucks during the ‘Hot Topics’ segment of Cabinet on January 6.

Chiltern Lifestyle Centre

He pitched the idea to cabinet member for culture and leisure Cllr Clive Harriss as the pair discussed the recent opening of the Chilterns Lifestyle Centre in Amersham.

Then, on January 8, he tweeted: “What do people in South East Bucks do on a wet Saturday? Looks like they all head to the new Lifestyle Centre in Amersham. The place is heaving today. Think we should look at a similar one for the north of Bucks.”

The long-awaited Chilterns Lifestyle Centre cost £36 million and was due to open on November 15 but was postponed until December 6 following delays with construction.

Residents have since said they would rather see better highways, clearer drains and lanes, remedied potholes, lower council tax and even a new local hospital as alternative ways to improve their lives.

Ian Morton said: “Can they not fix the roads first before embarking on another spending spree?”

Colin France said: “Fix the road issue first. Too many potholes still around causing damage to vehicles.”

Another resident said: “Fix the roads so we can cycle on them safely.”

Sarah Elizabeth said: “As leisure isn’t actually a statutory duty of a local authority but highways are and they are appalling in this county, perhaps spend £36 million on the maintenance of highways and not new schemes – repair what we have already got.”

Dean Clark said: “I would much rather not have an increase in my council tax, thank you.”

Alan Dean said: “£36 million would build a fair few homes that are realistically affordable and unlike a leisure centre, will appreciate in value.”

John Tierney said: “Wouldn’t a local hospital be of more use to Bucks residents – or road repair? These third world roads are taking their toll.”

John Latchford said: “Still plenty of roadside drain gullies need cleaning out – and will need regular cleaning every year.”

Frances Cutler said: “Put wet weather gear on and litter pick the lanes.”

The council has pledged more than £100 million to a roads and pavement improvement programme.

Bucks Council was approached for comment.