MEMBERS of the community in Pontllanfraith and Blackwood have raised their concerns after Caerphilly County Borough Council declared the closure of Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre.

Community councillors within the area have shared their anger about the decision, declaring that the decision has not been made “democratically”.

Cllr Kevin Etheridge set up a motion which more than eight councillors have signed so far which claims that the decision on the closure should have been put past more people and local groups.

Mr Etheridge said: “I do not feel it proper that such an important matter which affects many services users has been given proper discussion.

“I fail to see how this is effective consultation especially when the three local members and councillors in the affected ward, and in nearby wards opposed the closure.”

Fellow councillor Nigel Dix, of Blackwood, said he is frustrated as he believes Islwyn has received a lot of cutbacks compared to Caerphilly in general.

Mr Dix said: “It seems to be the Islwyn area that receives all the cuts. The leisure centre has been on the council’s agenda for a long time now.

“If the council are looking to raise money, they look to the Islwyn side as a cash cow and not the Caerphilly side.

“The former council officers aren’t used and are being sold for the land and we have had a nursing home closed. It feels like Islwyn always takes a hit.”

Cllr Nigel George, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services said: "We recognise that the closure will be a disappointment to many people, and that there is strength of feeling about the decision, however we are faced with significant financial pressures and we have looked at alternative facilities nearby."