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Refusing to listen
8:30am Thursday 10th May 2012 in Letters
Sir — As party election leaflets dropped through our doors they begged the question of how much councillors actually listen to their electorate.
When the city council refuses to listen to 12,000 residents something has gone badly wrong.
Despite the views of so many, the city council will demolish Temple Cowley Pools and in so doing deny children and adults in the east of the city the right to swim or use a gym locally — effectively disenfranchising them from local leisure facilities.
Twelve million pounds of our money is to be spent on a new Olympic-sized competition pool in Blackbird Leys. Instead £3m would refurbish Temple Cowley — and the existing Blackbird Leys pool retained — and save us council taxpayers £9m. In fact Temple Cowley Pools has been starved of money over the last ten years, whereas millions have been spent refurbishing Ferry and building a new pool at Barton.
This is total madness when thousands of residents have signed a petition to stop their pool being demolished and the site is sold off for £1m.
So is there a huge demand for a new pool in Blackbird Leys and an Olympic-sized “competition pool”?
When an initial consultation was done, two people asked for such a pool, while everyone else said refurbish Temple Cowley Pools.
At a time of austerity, unemployment and a 12 per cent cut in the Government grant to the city, we apparently need a £12+m competition-standard pool built outside the ring road and Temple Cowley and existing Blackbird Leys pools demolished.
Why should we in eastern Oxford pay the leisure “services” element of council tax for this profligate and totally irresponsible bit of town hall empire building, when I and tens of thousands of my neighbours will receive no such “service”.
Councillors serve a four-year term — destroying such beloved community assets affects whole childhoods and lifetimes.
Tony Williams, East Oxford