"What a good idea! I'd really like a local swimming pool", you might think to yourself. What you might not know is that one exists at present; it's in the Elephant & Castle Fusion Leisure centre. Unfortunately, it has fallen into disrepair and needs to be replaced. So Southwark Council are consulting on whether or not to replace a facility that they should be providing at present. The reason given for this pointless consultation is that Southwark council officers are concerned that they might be unable to meet their leisure commitments on the basis of the financial squeeze. However, due to the fact that most of SE11 is in Lambeth, many local residents will not be included in the consultation. Obviously, residents living in Kennington, Oval or Vauxhall would be much closer to the propsed pool than Southwark residents in Peckham or East Dulwich. So, I'm proposing that the news of the potential pool be circulated as widely as possible to Lambeth residents so that we have a chance to comment on the consultation.
On the basis that we're all good friends really (since Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Councils are all Labour controlled) and we're meant to be thinking of ways to be co-operative and share services, I thought it might be worth suggesting to Cllr Mark Harrison (Princes Ward) that he could campaign on behalf of Princes residents to enable the pool in the complex to be replaced. After all, according to London-SE1,
[Southwark] "Council leader Peter John said last month: 'We do want to see a swimming pool at the site and we're determined to deliver'".So, it should be a done deal, a fait accompli.... But unfortunately, despite our very poor local leisure coverage in the area (kindly mapped for us by Jason Cobb), Cllr Harrison considers the matter would be better taken up by individual residents. After all, maybe many local residents wouldn't consider a pool a priority. Bah. Unlikely. Here are the Tweets in question:
And this is Cllr Harrison's response:
So, let's demonstrate to Southwark / Lambeth Labour group that local residents would seek to prioritize a local swimming pool, and put pressure on them to provide this type of essential service, despite cuts. Let's demonstrate that there is a clear majority view in favour of such a service.
Why not write to Cllr Mark Harrison outlining your views (if you're a Princes Ward constituent) at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask him to put pressure on the Labour coalition of councils? Here's the link again to fill out the Southwark Council questionnaire (it's very short). After all, shouldn't the Co-operative Council actually, y'know, co-operate?