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Kirklees leisure must come back in house after £4 million bail out

24 Jul 2020
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GMB, the union for public sector workers, has called for Kirklees leisure services to be brought back in house after a £4 million bail out 

Kirklees Council leisure services have been provided by Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) since 2001.  

In that time workers have seen a casualisation of jobs, reductions in terms and conditions, redundancies and a refusal by the company to pay the foundation living wage.  

KAL has always blamed a lack of money and has laid this squarely at the door of Kirklees council.  The company was supposed to become financially independent, but after almost 20 years still has not succeeded. 

In the wake of the pandemic, which saw KAL furlough most of its workers, the company has gone cap in hand to Kirklees Council asking for a £ 4million bailout – expected to be ratified by the council on July 28. 

GMB, which represents KAL employees, say enough is enough – it's time to bring the service back in house. 

Andrew Aldwinkle, GMB Organiser, said: 

“GMB has written to the council leader setting out exactly what the issues are with KAL and requesting that these services are provided directly by the council.  

“The £4 million bailout will not be the last and demonstrates that the current model is broken and needs fixing. 

“Once bought back in house, any profit made can go straight back into developing services. Currently the council has little control over services it has a statutory responsibility to provide, while being asked to bail out KAL. 

“Instead of nodding through the bailout, Kirklees Council has an opportunity to end the outsourcing experiment and take back control.” 

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