Sunday, October 3, 2010

St Neots Leisure Centre - costing the taxpayer

With the opening of the upgraded St Neots Leisure Centre with all the publicity surrounding this I thought I would give some food for thought.

Should HDC build and run such a facility? My main problem with this upgraded facility is why should HDC be using Council Taxpayers money to essentially run an business. This is funded by a cheap loan - not available to the private sector - on a 50 year term. Making a surplus is not essential as the Council Taxpayer will pick up any losses.
This facility is in open competition with the any other provider of Health and Well-being industry. I find it strange that Conservatives are following a left wing statist approach. I suppose it is easy to use other peoples money.

How is this being paid for? According to the latest accounts HDC took out a 50 year loan for £10 million. Part of the loan is being used to pay for these upgrades. Whilst the structure of the building could last 50 years, I can't see the HDTV and all the other bits and pieces actually lasting 50 years. This is a problem. If these items are included in the loan they will be long gone before they are paid off. What is behind this is the disconnect between the 50 year loan and the length of time these upgrades will last. This could very well mean the taxpayer will be paying for the HDTV and other bits well after I've passed on. So future generations will be picking up the bill for what we have now.

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