THE million pound cost of maintaining the district's showcase indoor sports venue in Louth has been defended amid claims it does not reflect good value for money.
Leader of the Independent group Councillor Terry Knowles, chaired a group which investigated sports and leisure provision within East Lindsey.
Its subsequent report revealed the total cost of the Louth-based Meridian Leisure Centre, including depreciation, is about £1million per year – approximately £7 per year for every resident in the district.
Manby representative Mr Knowles told a meeting of the council's overview committee: "The panel is of the opinion that this represents good value – and I'm happy to stick to that view."
He acknowledged that many people in East Lindsey never used the centre, but he said that it was a "fact of life" that residents used different local authority facilities and services in differing proportions.
However, Councillor Sarah Dodds said it was doubtful if people on the coast ever visited the Meridian, and she queried why a comparable figure had not been produced for the corresponding facility in Skegness.
Councillor Jeremy Webb argued that comparative figures should have been provided from other local authorities.
He claimed that some authorities – he pinpointed Bracknell Forest in Berkshire – made a profit, rather than a loss, on their leisure services.
Mr Knowles replied that he was satisfied that the Meridian was being managed "progressively", with efforts being made to attract additional revenue streams through diversification.
He said: "If current progress is maintained, the deficit could be halved within a couple of years."