LED: delivering high standards

PUBLISHED: 15:56 08 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:59 10 June 2010

THIS letter is in response to the letter from Mr Paul Carter, published in the Journal on October 25. Leisure East Devon (LED) is committed to delivering high standards of service in all our centres across East Devon and we are focused on making our spor

THIS letter is in response to the letter from Mr Paul Carter, published in the Journal on October 25. Leisure East Devon (LED) is committed to delivering high standards of service in all our centres across East Devon and we are focused on making our sports and leisure facilities as enjoyable and accessible as possible to everybody. The decision not to participate in the free swimming for the over-60s scheme was taken by East Devon District Council (EDDC) and not LED. I quote Councillor Andrew Moulding, EDDC's portfolio holder resources, who has previously stated: "EDDC is not planning to participate in the free swimming scheme as it exists at the moment. We have not submitted an expression of interest because we believe the scheme is under-funded by a factor of around two-thirds. You could say their figures don't hold water."We would be happy to participate if the Government were to fund the scheme properly. We have seen examples in the past where the Council Tax payer has had to subsidise schemes such as free bus travel and this appears to be just another case of the Government taking the applause, but giving someone else the burden."With regards to the Kellogg's swim vouchers, LED accepted these with no restrictions until September 19 this year. The pool at Exmouth actually accepted 2,937 vouchers and we were thrilled that so many extra people took up swimming over the summer as a result. However, the scheme cost LED in the region of £15,000 and no offer was made by Kellogg's to reimburse any of the costs incurred. As a non-profit charitable trust, we could not continue to operate this Kellogg's scheme. We have offered free swimming for children accompanied by an adult on a number of Sundays during 2008 and will extend our free swimming offers to customers of all ages in 2009, the dates of which will be announced shortly. LED's annual fuel bill will rise by a massive £111,000 over the next year and, while we are making every effort to conserve energy, our swimming pools are becoming more expensive to run and, as a charity, we must structure our prices accordingly in order to cover our extra costs.We set ourselves high standards of customer service and operational excellence in everyone of our facilities and our centre managers and their teams always welcome feedback from members and visitors. David Pagett, Chief Executive, LED

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