Fitness instructors losing jobs in Telford and Wrekin area

Nearly 30 people involved in fitness classes and other activities are losing their jobs in part of Shropshire.

Telford & Wrekin Council said the move follows changes around the NHS which led to the public health team joining the authority in April.

It was a matter of "eliminating duplication where it exists", it added.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust said it issued redundancy notices to 28 staff and was doing all it could to help them find other work.

'Very little cost'

Leigh Marie Denley, a fitness consultant who has been involved in some programmes, said it was "heartbreaking".

She added: "We've made exercise accessible to a lot of people.

"Those who can't reach the large leisure centres can usually reach the corner of their road where there's a community centre or a church hall.

"They've been able to go in and participate in exercise either in many cases for free or for very little cost."

Alternatives 'signposted'

The NHS trust said it would "stop delivering some of its health improvement services" at the end of June, after the council, which has taken responsibility for some public health services, told the trust "it will not commission these services after this time".

Trust interim director of operations Nette Carder said it was doing "everything it can" to support staff and was working with the council to ensure, where appropriate, people using the services are "signposted" to alternatives.

The council said "all existing contracts let by the public health team previously" were finishing at the end of March anyway and it was "looking at those which we could then afford to ask the contractors to extend".

Council director for care, health and wellbeing Paul Clifford said: "If there's some programmes that have not had a massive effect, then we'll say it's better to protect some of the other ones that do have an effect."

He added the authority needed to keep working with volunteers to make sure their activities continued.

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