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Sports Hall Demolition Plan Sparks Debate

Friday January 6 2012

Steve Houghton Steve Houghton

A SPORTS hall which cost over £2m to build just four years ago has to be demolished or the entire project to rejenerate Barnsley's schools is at risk, according to Barnsley's Council leader.

Kingstone School Sports Hall - widely acknowledged as a popular and exceptional facility - would need to be sacrificed under the new Building Schools For The Future project which sees many schools replaced with modern Advanced Learning Centres.

Local community groups have already joined together to try to come up with a business plan to take it on - but council leader Steve Houghton said the money from the land sale is needed to fund new schools.

He said: "When we started down the Building Schools For The Future route it was made clear that the site from the old school would have to be sold to help fund the new schools - and that included any buildings on the site.

"If we don't get capital receipts from the sale, there is a hole in the funding and that means cuts to council services.We may have to do things we may not want to do but capital receipts do not stack up without that bit of the site.

"There will be a top class sports facility down the road at the new ALC and it will be open to the public."

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Reply Posted by Ejsouthy on Friday January 6 2012 at 17:23
Oh well as long as they are going to build another that's ok then, I think it's absolutely disgusting, why on earth didn't they just demolish the old Kingstone school, which I left 10 yrs ago and it was dropping to pieces then, and build the new one on the old site, oh sorry prime building land for houses that isn't it, what a joke.

Reply Posted by Jan on Friday January 6 2012 at 17:33
the not building a new sports centre it already in the new school 

Reply Posted by richwright15 on Sunday January 8 2012 at 17:14
Yes, the site must be absolutely worthless to a developer with a 2m sports centre on site.. we would have to pay them to take it on.. bending over backwards is not enough.

Reply Posted by Lou Gurney on Sunday January 8 2012 at 17:21
Surely Greenacre School next door could make good use of it for physio or their own physical therapy, it could even be hired out to help with maintenance.

Reply Posted by dick king gay on Wednesday December 12 2012 at 23:59
i don't know why they didn't gave us it what an idiot he is what a wasy of money and building

Reply Posted by mindless robot on Sunday January 8 2012 at 17:52
Thought the new schools were built by the company and the schools had to pay rent etc on them for the next 25 YEARS UNTILL THE BUILDINGS ARE KNACKARD AGAIN THEN THE SCHOOL HAS TO PICK UP REPAIR COSTS ETC AGAIN the new schools probably wont even last as long as the ones they are replacing have

Reply Posted by dick king gay on Thursday December 13 2012 at 00:06
true totally agree with u

Reply Posted by Guestymcguest on Monday January 9 2012 at 14:00
I could slap Steve Houghton soon as look at him, If this was Private Sector someone would have been sacked for such incompetence. They knew full well when they built the sports centre that the school probably wouldn't be there in the near future so why build it there in the first place?

Reply Posted by CBC on Thursday February 16 2012 at 21:45
Totally agree. Only in the council could this series of events have occurred without there being repercussions. There are some serious questions that need answering here. The information in this and the Chronicle's article (below) do not rule out the possibility that the fate of the Community sports centre (and £2.1m) could have been known prior to it being built. I'd like Mr Houghton to answer the question - when was the specific details of the BSF that required the whole sites to be sold conceived? What was the earliest date that anyone in the council new that as a result of the BSF the building would no longer be tenable. What date did discussions first take place with the lottery regarding the future of the sports centre and the BSF?

I can understand Mr Gaunt's opinion that the buidling's fate was hidden (to Mr Houghton's convenience) in the reports.   

Full Chronicle article, 13 January 2012. "The embarrassing
probability that a £2.1m sports centre built five years ago will
have to be demolished was the subject of bitter exchanges at a
council meeting.

The Chronicle revealed
last year that the lottery-funded Kingstone Sports Centre on the
Kingstone School site, will be flattened once the school closes in
the summer and merges with Holgate on a new site a few hundred yards

Opposition councillors
slammed the idea at the full Council meeting on Thursday and said an
alternative must be found.

Coun Phil Bikinshaw
said “It would be criminal to knock down such a good building which
has cost so much money.”

Coun Jack Carr said
Barnsley Premier Leisure, which manages the council's leisure
centres, could take it over.

But leader of the
council Steve Houghton said this was not possible.

''There simply isn't
the money to do that. I wish the opposition members would read their
reports, because they agreed to all of this years ago, when we agreed
to the BSF programme”

Building Schools for
the Future (BSF) is a £1bn scheme to replace all of Barnsley's
secondary schools and is nearly complete.

He said it had always
been the plan that the sites where the schools had been knocked down
would be sold to bring income to help fund the scheme.

Coun Houghton said:
''It was the whole of these sites, and that included any buildings on

“It was in the
reports we all agreed to''

But he added the
council was working was sports groups to see if there was a way the
building could saved.

“It would have to
stand on its own two feet financially. There can be no cost to the
council. It would have to be providing something that cannot be
provided elsewhere.”

“The facilities at
all the new schools will be open to the public. Nobody in Barnsley is
going to be short of sports facilities”

Coun Bill Gaunt said
the the information had been 'hidden' in reports. After the meeting
he told the Chronicle he was concerned the National Lottery would
want to 'claw back' the money it had invested, because the council
would 'profit' from the sale.

However, the education
department says it has been agreed with the lottery that there would
be no claw back because the money was funding the new development
which provides the same facilities."

Reply Posted by Ged Brearley on Thursday December 6 2012 at 19:42
I've yet to have the misfortune of stumbling across a more inept bunch of Imbasillic morons as those supposed decision makers within Barnsley Council.
The catalogue of disastrous decision making on a number of fronts is nothing short of mystifying at best through to shambollic in the main.
In short they quite obviously couldn't run a bath, let alone lead a community through the recent austere times within any degree of confidence and surety.
Clearly when the money that used to exist is no more and ever decreasing, the errors of judgement made cant be bought out of a predicament and accountability for decision making is under far more scrutiny, the quality of management is exposed as nothing more than a bunch of passive observers, the Kingstone Sports centre typifying these very points!!!

Reply Posted by dick king gay on Wednesday December 12 2012 at 23:45
so what r there going o build there

Reply Posted by dick king day on Wednesday December 12 2012 at 23:50
are there building something or are there selling the land to some one

ipso Regulated