#Neighborhood Living
Renfrewshire Council
United Kingdom

Following a decision on June 25th 2009, Renfrewshire Council plans to close Elderslie and Johnstone Centre swimming pools as part of a radical new approach to leisure services that seeks an alternative geographical spread of provision and the co-location of leisure facilities with education and social work facilities. Under the proposals, new swimming pools will be built, at Linwood and Johnstone High School replacing the facilities set to close.

Renfrewshire Council took this decision against the wishes of the people of Johnstone and Elderslie, claiming to be acting in the interests of Renfrewshire as a whole, yet with no mandate from the people of Renfrewshire. They undertook a fraudulent consultation to justify their decision and some cases went against Administration Councillor’s written election promises. The council refuses to address the concerns of residents, some of which are listed below:

Access to Johnstone High school will be restricted during school hours, public transport links between users and the proposed sites are poor and Johnstone High is outside walking distance of Johnstone Centre. Together these restrictions will massively affect public access to the proposed facilities.

The amount of available pool time is also set to be cut, which will affect swimming clubs, swimming lessons and further restrict public access.

The practical problems associated with proposed sites compliment problems associated with moving the facilities from their current sites. Both Elderslie and Johnstone pools are central, forming a vital part of the economy in both communities and as such many businesses are angry that plans to close the pools will have a negative impact on trade.

Moving these facilities will also break up the strong social bonds that have built up around the pools, creating a sense of community and belonging, which if destroyed will have incalculable ripple effects.

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We, the undersigned support Johnstone and Elderslie, Save our Swimming Pools (JESS) and call upon Renfrewshire Council to halt their investment plans and consider an alternative investment plan to be drawn up by the residents, which will retain swimming facilities at Elderslie and Johnstone centre.

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The Support the JESS campaign petition to Renfrewshire Council was written by jesscampaign and is in the category Neighborhood Living at GoPetition.