Campaigners vow to fight on as as Oxford City Council put Temple Cowley Pools up for sale

The Oxford Times: Nigel Gibson and Jane Alexander campaigning to keep Temple Cowley Pools open in 2010 Nigel Gibson and Jane Alexander campaigning to keep Temple Cowley Pools open in 2010

CAMPAIGNERS yesterday vowed to fight on to keep Temple Cowley Pools open after council bosses put it up for sale.

Oxford City Council yesterday said it had put the Temple Road location - the site of a pool since the 1930s - on the market for housing.

This will ensure a “smooth transition” to its multi-million pound Blackbird Leys replacement, it said.

But Save Temple Cowley Pools’ Nigel Gibson said: “It is extremely disappointing that the council continues to ignore the needs of so many people in East Oxford for which Temple Cowley Pools is essential to their quality of life and fitness.

“We are putting in our seventh petition at the next full council meeting which shows the strength of feeling about this.”

He said the fight is “not over” as councillors will still need to approve or reject a planning application for homes. The site has been earmarked for about 26 properties, half of which would be affordable.

Work is expected to finish by December on a new swimming complex next to Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Pegasus Road.

Campaigners say Temple Cowley should be refurbished but the council said this would only extend its life by two years.

The new facility will feature an eight-lane, 25-metre pool and teaching pool.

The campaign group will consider using new laws to try and stop the sale.

The Localism Act 2011 means councils can designate buildings and facilities as a “community asset”.

This could put sale of land on hold six months so the community can raise cash to bid for the site. Mr Gibson said: “We are aware of the community asset legislation and we will look at that.”

Council executive board member for leisure services Mike Rowley said: “The site is being advertised now to ensure that there is enough time for the consultation and any planning issues that arise to be sorted out.

“The sale process has been designed to ensure that the council gets best value for the people of Oxford, as well as ensuring a well-designed scheme.

“We want the site to provide affordable housing and we will be working with the developer who purchases the site to ensure that this happens.”

Comments (7)

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8:41am Wed 22 Jan 14

Bart_simpsonDoh says...

More taxpayers wasted, if they still want to object then use their own money NOT MINE.
More taxpayers wasted, if they still want to object then use their own money NOT MINE. Bart_simpsonDoh
  • Score: -188

8:47am Wed 22 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

There we go. "Asset of community value".

The SaveTCP group are always vocal about the council getting good value for money. So all they have to do is sort out the AoCV paperwork, raise the £6M, that they have previously recognised as the top-end estimate of the site value, and it's sorted.

Once that's done, they can invite members of the "Fusion Six" - those who have been banned from the facility - to rejoin!
There we go. "Asset of community value". The SaveTCP group are always vocal about the council getting good value for money. So all they have to do is sort out the AoCV paperwork, raise the £6M, that they have previously recognised as the top-end estimate of the site value, and it's sorted. Once that's done, they can invite members of the "Fusion Six" - those who have been banned from the facility - to rejoin! Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -60

10:14am Wed 22 Jan 14

marlenedeitrich says...

Can't these objectors go and find something else to do? TCP is a crumbling wreck with only one boiler working. Far too cold for children to be learning to swim in at times. Leave the council to get on with this. Thanks to the objectors we've already lost the lottery funding for the Blackbird Leys site.
Can't these objectors go and find something else to do? TCP is a crumbling wreck with only one boiler working. Far too cold for children to be learning to swim in at times. Leave the council to get on with this. Thanks to the objectors we've already lost the lottery funding for the Blackbird Leys site. marlenedeitrich
  • Score: -59

10:33am Wed 22 Jan 14

Canismajoris says...

marlenedeitrich wrote:
Can't these objectors go and find something else to do? TCP is a crumbling wreck with only one boiler working. Far too cold for children to be learning to swim in at times. Leave the council to get on with this. Thanks to the objectors we've already lost the lottery funding for the Blackbird Leys site.
They probably dread the thought of having to go to Blackbird Leys. A brand new swimming complex for Oxford is a great, I have used temple Cowley for 40 years and do feel a little sad to see it go but surely this is going to be great having a new swimming complex.
[quote][p][bold]marlenedeitrich[/bold] wrote: Can't these objectors go and find something else to do? TCP is a crumbling wreck with only one boiler working. Far too cold for children to be learning to swim in at times. Leave the council to get on with this. Thanks to the objectors we've already lost the lottery funding for the Blackbird Leys site.[/p][/quote]They probably dread the thought of having to go to Blackbird Leys. A brand new swimming complex for Oxford is a great, I have used temple Cowley for 40 years and do feel a little sad to see it go but surely this is going to be great having a new swimming complex. Canismajoris
  • Score: -19

11:16am Wed 22 Jan 14

sarahmw says...

There is no way that I am going to Blackbird leys pool - however wonderful it is. Why not? I do not have the time to allow an extra 30 mins to get there and another 30 mins to get back.

It seems that the council are making it difficult for people who live in central East Oxford to have a pool/fitness centre.

Judging by the number of people who use TCP, it is not lack of members that is the problem. The council just act as 'landgrabbers' and see potential ££££ in selling the TCP.

And the health and welfare of the locals means nothing to the council.
There is no way that I am going to Blackbird leys pool - however wonderful it is. Why not? I do not have the time to allow an extra 30 mins to get there and another 30 mins to get back. It seems that the council are making it difficult for people who live in central East Oxford to have a pool/fitness centre. Judging by the number of people who use TCP, it is not lack of members that is the problem. The council just act as 'landgrabbers' and see potential ££££ in selling the TCP. And the health and welfare of the locals means nothing to the council. sarahmw
  • Score: 19

1:07pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

sarahmw wrote:
There is no way that I am going to Blackbird leys pool - however wonderful it is. Why not? I do not have the time to allow an extra 30 mins to get there and another 30 mins to get back.

It seems that the council are making it difficult for people who live in central East Oxford to have a pool/fitness centre.

Judging by the number of people who use TCP, it is not lack of members that is the problem. The council just act as 'landgrabbers' and see potential ££££ in selling the TCP.

And the health and welfare of the locals means nothing to the council.
30 minutes...

Are you sure you know where Blackbird Leys is?

I appreciate that there may well be people in the city who have never crossed the ring-road in their lives...

In the car it's less than 3 minutes between the sites. Depending on your personal fitness, it's around a 15-20 minute brisk walk. Similar in a standard pavement mobility scooter. About 8 minutes in road-suitable mobility scooter capable of 8mph.

There is even a regular bus service that serves the new pool with over 1000 seats available every hour. All standard accommodation though.
[quote][p][bold]sarahmw[/bold] wrote: There is no way that I am going to Blackbird leys pool - however wonderful it is. Why not? I do not have the time to allow an extra 30 mins to get there and another 30 mins to get back. It seems that the council are making it difficult for people who live in central East Oxford to have a pool/fitness centre. Judging by the number of people who use TCP, it is not lack of members that is the problem. The council just act as 'landgrabbers' and see potential ££££ in selling the TCP. And the health and welfare of the locals means nothing to the council.[/p][/quote]30 minutes... Are you sure you know where Blackbird Leys is? I appreciate that there may well be people in the city who have never crossed the ring-road in their lives... In the car it's less than 3 minutes between the sites. Depending on your personal fitness, it's around a 15-20 minute brisk walk. Similar in a standard pavement mobility scooter. About 8 minutes in road-suitable mobility scooter capable of 8mph. There is even a regular bus service that serves the new pool with over 1000 seats available every hour. All standard accommodation though. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -54

11:51am Thu 23 Jan 14

SaveTCP says...

The waste of taxpayers money is by the City Council, who are spending over £13m of our cash on the most expensive 25m non-Olympic swimming pool in the UK, no bigger that what we have in Temple Cowley. £500,000 would be enough, according to the City Council's engineer survey that lies hidden from the public, to keep TCP operational for another 20 years. A full refurbishment would be better, but having these facilities for health and fitness exactly where they are is what is wanted.

The 'crumbling wreck' is down to our Council's deliberate mismanagement of the centre, in actively running it down and wasting money on makeshift repairs instead of fixing it properly. This is not a 1930s building as the Council (and clearly the OxMail) would have you believe - TCP was totally rebuilt in 1987 as a competition swimming pool, and could provide the best value by being kept open for another 25 years.

The arguments for siting at Blackbird Leys don't stand up to examination. There is no evidence of demand there, whereas there clearly is at TCP. Most of the current users at TCP will be forced to travel for much longer than at present, and most of them will not be able to walk or cycle as they do now.

Lottery funding? Well, that was supposed to be supporting the Olympic legacy wasn't it? So where is the legacy in closing the only public diving pool in Oxfordshire - at TCP? We shouldn't be asking for funding we don't deserve.

"New swimming complex"? Do we really know what we are getting? It's another 25m swimming pool, with fewer facilities than Temple Cowley. Sounds great when described as a "complex". Actually it's on a site of convenience for the Council, enabling Fusion to get rid of jobs and make £'000s more profit as they won't have to run two other sites. And built on land prone to flooding so it's more expensive to build. And it's eating away at yet more of the Green at Blackbird Leys, reducing yet again what little green space there is for the estate. And watch that dwindle as they justify more housing, and reduce the number of football pitches.

The point is that the Council is not doing its job; it should be actively talking to, listening, and responding to the community it serves, not its business 'partners'. And overwhelmingly this community is saying keep Temple Cowley Pools and Fitness Centre open, in the place where people want and need to use it.
The waste of taxpayers money is by the City Council, who are spending over £13m of our cash on the most expensive 25m non-Olympic swimming pool in the UK, no bigger that what we have in Temple Cowley. £500,000 would be enough, according to the City Council's engineer survey that lies hidden from the public, to keep TCP operational for another 20 years. A full refurbishment would be better, but having these facilities for health and fitness exactly where they are is what is wanted. The 'crumbling wreck' is down to our Council's deliberate mismanagement of the centre, in actively running it down and wasting money on makeshift repairs instead of fixing it properly. This is not a 1930s building as the Council (and clearly the OxMail) would have you believe - TCP was totally rebuilt in 1987 as a competition swimming pool, and could provide the best value by being kept open for another 25 years. The arguments for siting at Blackbird Leys don't stand up to examination. There is no evidence of demand there, whereas there clearly is at TCP. Most of the current users at TCP will be forced to travel for much longer than at present, and most of them will not be able to walk or cycle as they do now. Lottery funding? Well, that was supposed to be supporting the Olympic legacy wasn't it? So where is the legacy in closing the only public diving pool in Oxfordshire - at TCP? We shouldn't be asking for funding we don't deserve. "New swimming complex"? Do we really know what we are getting? It's another 25m swimming pool, with fewer facilities than Temple Cowley. Sounds great when described as a "complex". Actually it's on a site of convenience for the Council, enabling Fusion to get rid of jobs and make £'000s more profit as they won't have to run two other sites. And built on land prone to flooding so it's more expensive to build. And it's eating away at yet more of the Green at Blackbird Leys, reducing yet again what little green space there is for the estate. And watch that dwindle as they justify more housing, and reduce the number of football pitches. The point is that the Council is not doing its job; it should be actively talking to, listening, and responding to the community it serves, not its business 'partners'. And overwhelmingly this community is saying keep Temple Cowley Pools and Fitness Centre open, in the place where people want and need to use it. SaveTCP
  • Score: 26

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