Socialist Worker

Residents fight on to save the Atherton Leisure Centre

Issue No. 2274

Around 100 local residents protested outside the Atherton Leisure Centre in east London on Saturday of last week against Newham council’s plans to close it.

Just over a mile away, more than £9 billion has been spent on the Olympic games.

Keeping the Atherton open would cost just £250,000.

Miriam Scharf from Newham Against Cuts told Socialist Worker, “We were told that, with the Olympics, east London would get this wonderful legacy. It was lies.”

Council boss Robin Wales has claimed that the Atherton will ultimately be replaced by a state-of-the-art leisure centre. But the council has also admitted there is no funding for this yet.

In the meantime the nearest leisure centre is a 39 minute bus journey away.

Sylvia Jay, aged 86, remembered the opening of the centre in the 1930s. She said, “I’m devastated that they’re shutting it down.

“I’ve swam here every day since I retired.”

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Tue 18 Oct 2011, 18:59 BST
Issue No. 2274
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