Labour under pressure over planned leisure centre

Conservatives are pressuring the Labour council to guarantee that the proposed Eltham Leisure centre will have at least three pools including a warm water pool similar to Eltham baths. Conservatives are presenting a motion to council next wednesday insisting that the proposed Eltham Leisure centre will be at last equal to, if not better, than the current facilities in the Eltham area.

The Lions Swimming club for the disabled are also presenting a petition and making a deputation to the council illustrating how vital a community facility the warm water pool is in Eltham.

Conservative councillor and Parliamentary Candidate for Eltham Spencer Drury says:  “Currently there are three pools at Eltham baths which are fully used and crowded and it is clearly not sensible to reduce this to two baths.  More importantly the third warm water pool is mainly used by all the vulnerable members of our society…the very young, the elderly, the disabled.   We want a commitment from Labour that they will not let down these vulnerable groups by getting rid of a third warm water pool.”

The Lions swimming club for the disabled has been in negotiations with the council for a long time over retaining the third pool and yet the council are refusing to commit.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Vivienne French-Gibbens says “We cannot understand why the council is proposing not to replace the hydropool when they build the new leisure centre in Eltham. It would be disastrous for everyone who uses it.
“Our hydro pool users are mainly physically disabled with conditions like cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.       I have a son who has cerebral palsy and have seen first hand the fantastic benefit and freedom that people get from just having fun in the water and learning to swim.  If the council were not to include a third warm water hydro-pool in the centre so many lives would be utterly devastated.”

Spencer adds “If this leisure centre is to go ahead, we want better facilities not worse.   This planned leisure centre should be visionary.  It could include a 50 metre Olympic size pool, a diving pool (as I believe there are currently no diving pools left in South east London) and a warm water pool. If Labour had any vision at all, Greenwich and particularly Eltham could be at the forefront of swimming in the South east but currently Labour is not providing for community needs and doesn’t have the ambition to provide a world-class swimming facility. “