Meeting will discuss leisure centre redevelopment delay

A meeting will be held tonight (Thursday) to discuss redevelopment plans for Congleton Leisure Centre, after Cheshire East Council put the project on pause for a review.
Independent town councillor Russell Chadwick, a critic of the decision to delay the redevelopment, has told the Chronicle that he has three requests to put forward at tonight's town council meeting.
The first is his call for a face-to-face meeting with Cheshire East Council to ask whether or not the redevelopment project will go ahead as planned.
He said he also wanted the town council to put together an open letter urging the borough council to resume the project.
Coun Chadwick said he also wanted a pro forma letter to be published in the Chronicle that residents could sign and send to Cheshire East Council, calling for the redevelopment project to go ahead as the plans stand.
He formally requested a town council meeting to be held tonight (Thursday) after Cheshire East Council took what it called the “difficult decision” to pause the redevelopment project, with a review scheduled for the autumn.
Independent councillor Suzie Akers Smith argued that the pausing of the project could be used as an opportunity to find a different location to build a new leisure centre from scratch with added facilities.
But Coun Chadwick told the Chronicle ahead of tonight's meeting that he had doubts the project would ever be completed, now that it had been paused.
He said: “Cheshire East is saying that it is a postponement, but I think that could be a smoke screen.
“If I was the chief executive of Cheshire East and I had a deficit, I would be telling all of my portfolio holders to stop any capital projects that we haven't put a spade in the ground for.”
For a full report of tonight's meeting, see next week's Chronicle.