Selby District Council and their leisure provider partner, Inspiring healthy lifestyles (IHL), have reached the principles of an agreement to continue their longstanding arrangement to manage leisure facilities and provide key wellbeing services across the district.
Nationally, organisations like IHL have been under extreme financial pressure due to the extended period that Leisure Centres and other services have been closed due to lockdown. This has resulted in an almost total loss of income - which is particularly acute at this time of year, given January and February are traditionally a very busy and important period.
The agreement in Selby is part of a wider agreement which also sees IHL continuing to provide similar services for Cannock Chase District Council, Staffordshire. All three parties have worked closely to collaborate and find a way through the current difficulties the pandemic has presented.
Both councils are committed to focusing on those who do not exercise regularly or who have simply lost the habit of regular physical activity during the national lockdowns.
Recent research by University College London shows that 40% of people are doing less exercise in third Lockdown than in first Lockdown.
The new plan, currently being finalised, will prioritise supporting people who have become inactive during the pandemic and helping them get their healthy routines back on track.
Councillor Mark Crane, Leader of Selby District Council, said. “As a Council our priority is to support residents remain active and healthy, especially during these difficult times. We are currently working with Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles on a new plan to provide leisure services safely to the Selby District.
“People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of many long-term health condition such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. More recently we’ve seen the importance of keeping fit and healthy, especially when fighting the virus.
“Although restrictions and lockdowns have meant that people have been unable to attend the Selby or Tadcaster Leisure Centres. I am confident that once restrictions change and the centres reopen, we will see people exercising safely again.”
Pete Burt, Managing Director of Inspiring healthy lifestyles, said: “It will take a long time to evaluate the impact Covid-19 has had on the nation’s health but we know that helping people suffering from the effects of long-Covid and encouraging people to get back into the habit of regularly exercising, following months of restrictions and lockdowns is a key priority for Selby District Council.
“We are committed to supporting our partners locally and recognise the importance of improving public health across the districts. Currently finalising the details of plans with Council Officers, we look forward to providing a wide range of Covid-safe services and activities”.