THE new boss of Huddersfield sports centres has promised a fresh start after his predecessor quit amid allegations he abused his position.
Alasdair Brown has taken over as chief executive of Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL), which runs 10 centres and swimming pools in the district.
He succeeds Terry Meehan, who quit on Christmas Eve last year after being suspended by the KAL board.
An investigation had been launched into allegations Mr Meehan and his colleagues had been wined and dined on VIP trips organised by big businesses.
It found that they had broken rules by accepting invitations to attend a string of corporate hospitality events, including junkets to Las Vegas and Italy.
Mr Brown, 38, said most of the 200-plus people who worked for KAL, and customers, had been unaffected by the problems.
But he admitted things had to change.
He said: “What happened in the past was unfortunate and we need to make sure it’s not repeated.
“We are a charitable trust and although we are not a public sector organisation, we use public money and we need to be using that money as efficiently as possible.
“We need to make sure we don’t go off track again and I’m determined that won’t happen under my leadership.”
Father-of-two Mr Brown, who is originally from Glasgow, is currently living in Ilkley but is planning to move to Kirklees.
He took the top job last month after six years in a management role at Leeds City Council’s sports and recreation service.
He will be paid more than £50,000 a year.
Mr Brown said the challenge of the role had been one of the major attractions of the job.
“I want to make the reputation of the organisation as good as it can be,” he said.
“In some ways coming into an organisation that’s a bit down is a positive thing because it gives me an opportunity for me to turn things around.
“People want good, clear direction, they want trust to be built up and good leadership. I think I will provide all those things.”
Chairman of the KAL board David Heddon said: “Alasdair brings a wealth of experience and professionalism to the role and I am pleased that we have been able to recruit someone of his calibre.”