Councils have been urged to find new ways of providing leisure services by the Wales Audit Office, following a report showing many have been ‘too slow’ at identifying new delivery models.
The report, Delivering with less – Leisure Services, found councils across Wales have cut funding for leisure services by nearly £18m in the past five years.
However, many have failed to find new ways of delivering services to manage funding gaps.
Auditor general for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas, said: Our report highlights that councils have done well to deliver almost £0.5bn of cuts across their services in recent years.
‘My report also shows that there are options to make further savings by changing how major leisure facilities are managed and provided in the future.'
The report found that councils transferring leisure services to trusts have managed to achieve annual savings of £2.4m.
It calls on councils to undertake an options appraisal to consider alternative methods of delivery, using data to identify how best to deliver services.