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Councillors want gyms to be "essential services"

Created on 18/11/2020 @ 07:00
A local county councillor wants gyms to be re-classified as essential services.

Cllr Karl Lewis of Llandinam and Cllr James Evans have put forward a motion to next week's Powys County Council Cabinet meeting.

They believe that gyms should be re-classified as an “essential service” by the Welsh Government to guard against their closure in any future Covid-19 lockdowns.

They will be asking the Council to back their call on the motion which says:

“As a key sector of the Welsh Economy, gyms provide essential physical/mental health and well-being opportunities and solutions to a large percentage of the Powys population.

“Continually closing and re-opening gyms is now putting an increasing strain on their financial viability, jobs and more importantly the public who rely on gyms for a wide range of reasons, for both physical and mental health.

“We now call on the Welsh Government to re-classify gyms as an ‘Essential Service’, allowing our gyms to continue operating through future lockdowns, in the interest of the public’s physical and mental health.”

Both have been contacted by gym owners and residents across Powys who want to see Gyms kept open throughout the pandemic

Cllr James Evans said: “People use gyms to help with health conditions, to improve mental health and improve their overall fitness.

“Gyms are a vital component on reducing pressure on our NHS and we have seen that lockdowns have had a massive detriment on people’s mental health.”

Another motion is about wool and aims to help farmers.

Cllr Elwyn Vaughan wants it considered as part of the £150m Mid Wales Growth Deal.

Cllr Vaughan proposed: “The authority, as part of the Mid Wales Growth deal, looks at opportunities to add value to our agricultural products and specifically to work with the farming unions and the British Wool Marketing Board with a view of facilitating the establishment of the equivalent of WRONZ, Wool Research Organisation New Zealand in Mid Wales.

“Hence being a catalyst for innovative ideas, products and commercial spin offs using wool.”

Cllr Vaughan, said: “We have wool grading centres in Newtown and Brecon, and the sheep sector is of huge importance in Powys.

“Wool is also a natural, environmentally friendly and fire retardant product.”

In recent months the price of wool has dropped to alarmingly low levels.

The second motion to be announced is being proposed by Cllrs James Evans and Karl Lewis.

The meeting takes place on Thursday, 26 November.

By Elgan Vaughan, Local Democracy Reporting Service, additional reporting by MyNewtown