Shakeup all on the inside

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013
Jill Tutty and Rachel Godall
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
STILL GOING STRONG: Jill Tutty and Rachel Godall settle for a final cycle during yesterday’s light circuit class at the SBS Fitness Centre.

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The trustees have changed and the gym is closed, but it will still be business as usual for the Aorangi Stadium.

A year ago the Timaru District Council struck a deal with the Aorangi Stadium Trust in which the council would manage the SBS Events Centre and the Fitness Studio.

The council agreed to operate the Fitness Centre for at least a year, but falling membership and use led to the council's announcement in November that the gym would close.

Sport Canterbury will now run three sessions a week in the gym, catering for those over 50 who want to increase their fitness and wellbeing.

The council has received the income from the centre and the gym during the past year, and paid all the bills.

Before that the council made an annual grant to the trust, which was used largely for repairs and maintenance.

The trust had also contracted the council to prepare and manage its monthly and annual financial accounts, and its payroll. The book value of the trust's total assets at the end of June 2011 was $2.63 million.

Following public consultation the council decided to form a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) to govern the stadium.

For the last year the trust's role had been limited to "landlord" issues and ensuring the building remained in good condition.

The trustees felt they had completed their roles and were happy for the council to appoint new trustees.

Councillors backed council chief executive Peter Nixon's suggestion that the new trustees appointed should be the chairman and deputy chairman of the policy and development committee, council's corporate services and property managers.

"From the community's point of view nothing will have changed," corporate services manager Tina Rogers said.

"It has been operated as if we owned the premises since February last year."

The Fitness Centre and CBay Fitness at the new aquatics centre had run side by side for the last seven months, with a membership providing access to both gyms.

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- The Timaru Herald

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