Bradford Council is controversially considering scrapping its discount leisure card for those on low incomes but it has been forced to admit it does not actually know how many people hold it.
The Passport to Leisure cards were introduced in 1990, mainly as a reaction to high levels of unemployment at the time. The cards, which cost 2.30 for an adult or 1.15 for a child, give holders a discount of up to 50 per cent at Council run leisure centres, theatres, as well as the IMAX, ice rink, Bradford Bulls and Keighley Cougars grounds.
I took my grandaughter to Skipton baths and the lady asked if i was paying full price ???? i aked her what other price was available and she explained that if i was on BENEFITS i could get in cheaper !!!!
He said: "I find it completely bizarre that we are not keeping efficient records of cardholders. I am disappointed to see in the report that the officer only works part time administering the card system, and that individual is going to retire. The document offers no real glimpse of hope for Bradford Council as to how they are going to move this thing forward."
Coun Andrew Thornton, executive member for sport, said: "Our Passport to Leisure card has been running virtually unchanged since it was introduced in the mid 1990s. The report to the scrutiny committee is about starting a conversation and looking at options to modernise and expand the scheme.
students' and pensioners' groups reacted angrily to the suggestion the scheme could be axed.
The Council has run a 'Passport to Leisure' scheme, offering discounts on sports and leisure activities for Hermes Belt Ladies Uk
Piers Telemacque, president of Bradford College Students' Union, said: "If they are keeping no records of how many people are getting their cards, they are in no position to say uptake is low."
He said: "I think it's appalling, really. It's public finances that are involved."
He said scrapping the scheme would have a massive effect on students and other low income households.
"In 1990 the scheme contained more than 25,000 members. Since then there has been a significant decline in membership, although it is difficult to accurately ascertain the number of current Passport to Leisure holders as there are no records of current or previous holders."
The Council report, by Ian Bairstow, strategic director for environment and sport, says: "No database of card holders is maintained.
He said while few of his members had bought cards, a better publicised scheme could be more popular.
He said: "The people who are eligible for these cards are the ones who are struggling for money, and probably the people most likely to be affected by obesity. It shouldn't be down to your income whether you can go to your local sports centre or not."
Card" but not a "Passport To Leisure Card" so the look on her face was priceless maybe because she didn't quite know what you were talking about.!!Passport to leisure!! or !!CONCESSION CARD !! still pays to sit at home these days, But thanks for pointing it out anyway"
Trevor Holdsworth, secretary of the Keighley and Bradford Pensioners' Association, said he thought it was "astonishing" that Givenchy Belt no database of cardholders was kept by the Council.
The report, written for the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Regeneration, puts forward three options for the scheme's future: l keeping it; l replacing it; l or scrapping it entirely.
A replacement scheme would cost around 100,000 to introduce, it says.
Anger as passport to leisure discount scheme could be scrapped From Bradford Telegraph and Argus
"Paper records exist but because the scheme started in the mid 1990s there has not been an electronic database of card holders built up, or any easy mechanisms to be able to monitor specifics about the use of the cards.
i replied NO I AM NOT ON BENEFITS and that i worked for a living and had to budget for treats such as this. Craven Council has a Versace Belt Medusa Head Gold
The Council's best guess is that there are 4,000 cardholders, which would be four per cent of those eligible, although the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting puts the figure at 10,000.
Coun Mallinson said he would like to see an improved card scheme, giving discounts on more services, such as public transport or tourist destinations.
Last night, a senior councillor described the situation as "completely bizarre", while Gucci Belt For Men Cheap
"One of the options in this report is to make improvements to the scheme by embracing new technology that allows for smart cards that are able to keep accurate records of the number of cards issued, how often they are used and which services are being accessed."
people on benefits, students and those aged 60 or more, for more than 20 years.
The report also reveals only one staff member administers the scheme on behalf of the Council, as a small part of their job, and this person is set to retire this month.
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