Saturday, 14th January 2017. What a brilliant turnout! We were out campaigning in Templars Square earlier today, sharing the latest information about the Save Temple Cowley Pools Campaign and enabling the public to add several hundred more signatures to our petition.
Our latest petition, number 9, demands that Oxford City Council rebuilds the health and fitness amenity lost when the closed, and then in the middle of last year ordered the demolition of, Temple Cowley Pools. Over 40,000 people, according to the Council’s own figures, are no longer able conveniently to walk or cycle to where they want to exercise, forced instead to travel by other means outside the area.
And more and more people are putting in objections to the Planning Application by Catalyst Housing, which would see the Council coffers increase by £3.6m in return for permission to build on the site at twice the permitted housing density.
At the front of the team today was our very own Peggy Seeger, renowned as the Queen of Folk and a long-term supporter of Temple Cowley Pools. An Iffley resident, Peggy regularly swam at Temple Cowley Pools until it was closed by the City Council in December 2014. Our thanks to everyone who turned up today to sign the petition, discuss what’s happening and show their support for the Campaign.
Member of the Campaign, Nigel Gibson, commented, “It’s great to see such interest and enthusiasm for rebuilding Temple Cowley Pools. Everyone is clear that Blackbird Leys is in a different area, and the closure of three pools (Peers, Temple Cowley, Blackbird Leys) by the Council has swamped the other centres, that now struggle to cope with the additional numbers forced to go to these different locations. Temple Cowley Pools should never have closed, and the Council is obliged by its own statutes to provide a replacement in the same area – Temple Cowley. There are very good planning reasons why the Catalyst Planning Application should not be approved, and we are ready to take the site over at no cost to the public purse to rebuild what should never have been taken away.”
And if you've got this far, Welcome!
Now in our EIGHTH year of campaigning, with massive continuing public support - the City Council wanted Temple Cowley Pools shut over five years ago, but you all helped keep TCP open until December 2014. During that additional time users enjoyed more than half a million more visits, we exposed the Council propaganda as a combination of Inaccurate, Incomplete, Misleading and Untrue, and played our part in getting the right to video at Council meetings.
The decision to sell the site to a commercial developer, Catalyst, was taken at the end of 2014 and the Labour Council has closed and destroyed yet another facility in Cowley. The exact conditions in the contract remain murky, demonstrating yet again the lack of openness and transparency when Oxford City Council decides not to work with the public they are there to serve.
But the Campaign continues into 2016, challenging the decisions, confronting the propaganda and working every way we can so that the community can again have the facilities it wants and needs, where it wants and needs them, in Cowley.
The Save Temple Cowley Pools Campaign has been fighting since 2009 to keep open the Temple Cowley Pools & Fitness Centre in Temple Road, Oxford, condemned to closure by Oxford City Council. The Council rushed to close the site at 4pm on 23rd December 2014, without any notice to the public, and boarded up the centre with people still swimming in it!
We have huge support across Oxford to keep the centre open, including the first petition that reached over 12,000 signatures before we stopped - the largest in Oxford, simply ignored by the administration. We've continued with a succession of petitions that show people's frustration with the City Council. Petition number 8 was debated at the Council meeting in November 2014.
During December 2014, the Council continued to defy public opinion, voting in an all-Labour City Executive Board meeting to go with a commercial developer wanting to put 47 dwellings and 53 car park spaces on the site. Our community Social Enterprise proposal, presented by the SaveTCP community interest company, was dismissed without any public discussion, and without us being told what the council would find acceptable. Our proposal represents £20m annual value delivered to the community, and the council has defied its voters and shown it is simply not interested. The Greens called in the decision to Scrutiny Committee on 23rd December, and despite Green and LibDem support, the 3 councillors were not about to turn over the well managed and "on message" 8 Labour councillors who knew what they had to do, so the decision stands - for now.
At 4pm on the 23rd December 2014 the Council closed TCP - the Campaign continues to challenge the Council decisions and work to keep and replace the facilities the Cowley community wants and needs, where they want and need them.
Please browse these pages for lots more information and background. Send us an email at [email protected] for any questions, comments and/or to add your name to our email list.
We also appear on Twitter @SaveTCP (see rhs of this page for our Twitter feed) and on Facebook.
Get involved! All your Labour councillors are ignoring the views of the people they were elected to serve. The Council needs to be constantly challenged because it is determined to get its way and is continually putting out information that we demonstrate time and again is a combination of MISLEADING, INACCURATE, INCOMPLETE and UNTRUE.
SAVETCP CIC is a Community Interest Company registered in the United Kingdom with the Company reg no 09002684. Registered address is Oxford Greenprint Room 1/oarc East Oxford Community Centre, Princes Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Further information here