Save our Leisure Centres Campaign to go before full Council next month

27 Jun 2024
Carl Cashman at Protest

Liverpool’s main opposition group have called another extraordinary meeting to put forward the concerns of the community campaigns that have been calling for the protection of Park Road and Everton Park Lifestyles centres.

The extraordinary council meeting is scheduled to take place after the normal Council meeting on Wednesday, 24th July at 6.30 p.m. The Liberal Democrat motion has been put forward by their leader Cllr Carl Cashman and is being seconded by former leader of the Council Cllr Mike Storey.

The motion highlights the importance of the leisure centres have in their communities. Park Road and Everton Park service some of the most deprived communities in the city. Concerns come from local campaigners and community groups who fear that the centres will be sold off, and either local people will be priced out or the centres will be shut down for good.

The Lib Dems aim to encourage the administration to keep the provision in house protecting it from closure or looking to a trusted non-profit provider to protect these community assets. They’re also looking for a review and update to the Council’s Community Asset Transfer guidance to prevent future cases like this.

Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Carl Cashman said, “We’ve worked closely with the community listening to their concerns. It’s a fact that not every council-run facility will be a profit maker but it’s also a fact that they’re not destined to be a loss maker. Investigations by community activists like Kevin Robinson-Hale have demonstrated that there has been a culture of managed decline at Everton Park – the council has let the centre become uneconomical.”

“But it’s not only about the money – as the Granby Somali Women's Group has pointed out repeatedly the Park Road lifestyle centre is the only one of in the city that offers a women-only swim session with a female lifeguard that means the pool can freely be used by Muslim women. These leisure centres are vital community hubs.

“The campaign to save these leisure centres has been led by the communities that use them – we’ve supported them in their aims. Other members of my party and I have repeatedly joined them at their demonstrations, stood with them, but most importantly listened and acknowledged their concerns, whilst their local Labour councillors have stood silently by – for fear of breaking rank and looking disloyal.

“This is the problem with this Labour administration they refuse to listen to people who don’t agree with them or challenge them – they did it to the Epstein Theatre, they did it to the St John’s Market traders, they are doing it again to communities around Everton Park and Park Road.

“At the last extraordinary council meeting a Labour Councillor accused the Market Traders of being thieves and criminals – a libelous remark I understand he’s yet to apologise for – and their group whip telling us her grandchildren would much prefer to go to Barcelona than Liverpool city centre, I can’t wait to hear what Labour are going to say this time. Who knows what they’ll come up with next.


Leisure Centre Protest
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