Elderly residents say they are fed up after a sudden price increase at their local leisure centre.

Badminton has been offered to OAPs at a discount rate at Witney’s Windrush and Carterton Leisure Centres for two hours twice a week.

The price has now gone up by 20p meaning the current price is now £3.30 per badminton session for OAPs.

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An annual membership fee giving access to badminton plus other activities is £12.95.

Witney Gazette:

Phil and Margaret Hamm

A spokesperson for Better, which operates the leisure centre, said: “Seniors who would like to take part in regular activities should consider taking out an annual Pay & Play membership at £12.95. This brings the cost of each session down to £2.”

Badminton player Phil Hamm, 77, said: “We have lost the privilege of pay when you attend on the day which suits us OAPs as we live on a limited budget. We don’t require the use of any other facilities.” 

He said attendance had dropped off since the price rise.

“Some can afford the increase and the cost of travelling from the more rural areas but others cannot.

“We are fed up and miss the social side. I have some lonely members say that I am the only person they have spoken to all week.

“It is such a shameful move.”

Better confirmed that players are encouraged to book in advance but can pay on the day, subject to availability and Covid-capacity restrictions, and free pay and play memberships are also available to those on benefits.