COUNCILLORS representing communities that may lose their leisure centres in a shake-up of leisure services in Caerphilly have spoken out about the proposals.

Six of the local authority’s 10 leisure centres could close amidst plans to create four strategic sites in Caerphilly town, Risca, Newbridge and the Bargoed/Aberbargoed area to service the county borough.

Residents will be able to have their say on the draft sports and recreation strategy during a 10-week consultation from July 16, subject to cabinet approval tomorrow..

While centres that are located on school sites could be taken over, the future of three sites without such affiliations – Pontllanfraith, Cefn Fforest and New Tredegar – remain uncertain.

Independent councillor Graham Simmonds fears for the future of the Cefn Fforest ward if the local facility was to close.

“There is virtually nothing in Cefn Fforest. We’ve got a community centre and this leisure centre. There’s no other provision for young people within the ward at all,” he said.

“If the centre is closed, Cefn Fforest will plunge into the bottom 100 most deprived wards in Wales. That’s a decision the Labour cabinet will have to take.”

Cllr Simmonds believes the proposals, which from part plans to promoter a healthier Caerphilly, are no different to ones put forward in 2014.

He added: “They put it away, dusted it off and there’s no element of a change in strategy.”

The impact of any potential closure could be felt the most in New Tredegar, which is in the bottom 10 per cent most deprived areas in Wales.

One of its councillors, Labour’s Eluned Stenner, stressed that the future of the local centre, and others that could close, had not yet been decided.

The cabinet member for environment and public protection said: “Obviously we live in a very different time to when our sport centre was built but we’ve got this strategy going now and I want to urge everybody to get involved with the consultation.”

Proposals to close Pontllanfraith leisure centre which drew significant backlash from residents and local councillors, are back on the table three months after they were deferred by cabinet.

Labour councillor Gez Kirby said he was “very disappointed” that the centre was once again threatened with closure, adding: “I support our Labour-led council’s commitment to promoting residents’ health and wellbeing and believe that closure of our leisure centre would undermine that commitment.”

“I hope that there’ll be a massive local response to our council’s consultation.”

The draft sport and recreation strategy will be discussed by the Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee tonight (Tues June 26) before going to cabinet tomorrow (Weds June 27).