Changes to health suite

CHANGES have been agreed to health suite sessions at a popular leisure centre.

Hartlepool Borough Council has agreed to make all sessions in the health suite at the Mill House Leisure Centre, in the town’s Raby Road, mixed from the start of next month.

The suite includes sauna and steam facilities and these are currently operated as either mixed, male or female sessions.

But civic chiefs have backed plans for it to only operate mixed sessions from October 1.

Independent councillor Cath Hill agreed the changes at a meeting of her children’s and community services portfolio.

John Mennear, assistant director (community services), said the current set-up was inconvenient to users who wanted more regular access, but they found it difficult due to the restrictive timetable.

Mr Mennear said: “As health suite usage has steadily decline and the requests for mixed sessions has increased, particularly so since the upgrading and significant investment made to the centre’s fitness suite, it is proposed that the health suite operates mixed sessions only.

“This will be in line with other local and regional operators of similar facilities and will assist in maximising usage and income potential.”

A survey was carried out which revealed the majority of people, 97 per cent, were in favour of mixed sessions in the health suite.

Coun Hill said: “The results of the survey was overwhelmingly in favour of mixed sessions.

“We don’t want a fall in the numbers using it and we need the income to provide the service.

“If it is going to increase the number of people using the facility then it can only be a good thing.”

Under the current arrangements, there are male only sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, female only sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays and mixed sessions on Fridays and Sundays.