Retain the communal snooker facilities in Yate.

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Yate has always had at least one snooker facility, and used to have three, which were Yate Leisure Centre, Riley’s and The Armadillo. Riley’s closed a number of years ago, The Armadillo is for under 18s, so this leaves the Leisure Centre as the only snooker facility in the local area (excluding a very small number of pubs). 

The snooker hall at the Leisure Centre is now closed. It has been closed to make room for the growing demands of other fitness clubs and exercises. This is understandable from a business and health perspective.

Mr Crutchley (Chief Executive of Circadian Trust who run the Leisure Centre) however cannot see the sense of keeping a snooker facility at the Leisure Centre. Mr Crutchley reports that the original centre had six squash courts which over the years has been reduced to three, with only a 30% increase over a seven day period in usage, with Monday to Friday having an occupancy ‘close to 100%’. This does not answer why one court could not be used on a Saturday and Sunday (the recorded lowest use of occupancy days) to house a snooker facility.

The community groups (some of which were for people with learning disabilities) that used the snooker hall may have been small, but they got enjoyment from the use and cannot use a public house. The elderly were able to partake in a game that didn’t exhaust them, and rekindled memories of their youth in a safe space. Those who cannot undertake strenuous activities or those who do not like the popular sports are losing a facility where they can socialise and enjoy their time. The over 18s who cannot use youth clubs or do not wish to use pubs are also losing out on a facility that encourages socialising, various skills and enjoyment. For those with dementia the facility provided a space to stimulate their brains, a workout activity for them and provided respite for carers for a number of hours. Last but not least those affected by mental health issues often withdraw and struggle to socialise - the use of the snooker facilities offered a safe space for them to socialise on a small scale whilst recovering. All of this, I argue, constitutes an essential service. All of these benefits are being stripped from the local community.

Mr Crutchley himself has implied that Saturdays and Sundays have the lowest demand for the use of the squash courts. The use of one of the courts for snooker on these days would not only be valuable to the community but also to the centre itself which would make up the money lost on general and/or squash usage by snooker bookings.

Please sign to show Mr Crutchley we value our snooker facility and if we cannot have one space in the Leisure Centre permanently then we can at least have one squash court on Saturdays and Sundays!


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