Temple Cowley Pools are the most used pools in the city, attracting 140,000 visitors a year. They are vital to the heart of Cowley, an area that equals Blackbird Leys for social deprivation and overcrowded housing. Both areas are highly populated, and need sports and leisure facilities to maintain the health and wellbeing of their communities.
No-one is disputing that the current TC Pools are in urgent need of upgrading. Or that Blackbird Leys estate needs a pool too. However, to argue, as the council does, that relocating a popular pool to a part of Oxford difficult to get to by public transport, is a green option, is absurd. Furthermore, the original justification for the pool - that the city needs a 50m pool and there is no space in Cowley for such a large one - has been undermined by new proposals for a 25m pool, just like the current one at Temple Cowley.
The Cabinet lead for sport and leisure, Bob Timbs, has stated that this is the direction of travel - he knows it is unpopular, but is not going to change his mind. This is totally undemocratic. Yet, there has been no public consultation about the future of Temple Cowley Pools, nor have the City Council shown any imagination in thinking through green, economic options that will suit both the Blackbird Leys and Cowley communities. Bob Timbs is trying to suggest that it is not worth protesting - he and the other members of the cabinet need to see that they are wrong.
Members of the Council Scrutiny Committee obviously don't agree, and have called in an Executive decision to fund a £200,000 option appraisal looking at the plans for Blackbird Leys.
The Committee are meeting this Wednesday, 10th February, 5pm at the Town Hall (St Aldate's). Please come along and show them the strength of feelings on this issue. Please bring banners, placards etc.
If you are not able to attend, you can email committee members - details of membership are here: http://www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decCD/committeemeetings.htm?committeeId=2_CommunitiesPartnershipScrutinyCommittee.cmt