Trust plans put on hold by council

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PROPOSALS by a council to outsource museums, libraries and leisure centres have been shelved.

Durham County Council said it was looking at putting dozens of venues into a non-profit trust in order to save at least £1million a year in business rates and VAT.

Now a Government review of how business rates work has put the buffers on the plans.

Council bosses say the plans have not been dropped, but that the next stage in implementing them would require more resources.

Steve Howell, Durham County Council’s head of sport and leisure, said no major work would be carried out until the review was complete: “Should the outcome of the review be positive, we will be putting the project back on track at the earliest possible opportunity.”

He said work is under way to identify the savings it will have to make should trust status not prove the best way forward.