Socialist Worker

Newham council attacks leisure services

Issue No. 2284

Newham Council has now partially closed the Atherton Leisure Centre in Stratford, east London, as a prelude to shutting it entirely.

It claims that it will be cheaper to build a new centre than to repair the Atherton building.

But there are no firm plans for a replacement, and a council report has stated, “There is significant risk that the capital financing will not be secure for a replacement facility”.

But less than a mile away from the centre, more than £9 billion has been ploughed into the Olympic games site.

The Save The Atherton campaign has delivered a petition with 5,200 signatures against the closure.

No other petition has ever come close to the 1,000 names needed to force a full council debate.

But the council will not allow a debate to go ahead, because it claims this would prejudice legal action that the campaign is planning to bring against the council.

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Tue 3 Jan 2012, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2284
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