Save St Mary’s Leisure Centre Is Southampton council working for people or asset strippers?

Save SMLC press release

Closed before Xmas, the Tory council in Southampton locked out hundreds of users from St Mary’s Leisure Centre (SMLC) halfway through a council consultation on its future.

86% of the 1,758 of people who responded oppose the closure. Yet council leader Daniel Fitzhenry said the result would be ignored, the centre will close, and the land sold to developers.

Council cabinet member for finance, John Hannides, says: “If you are going to pay a significant amount of public money, you have to be able to justify where you are spending it.” We asked, how much money?

The council budget for 2022-23 is £213 million. The funding for the leisure centre is £148,000 – less than 0.001% of council spending!

Is the council’s priority providing leisure and health facilities to the Southampton community? Or are they asset strippers working for the property developers?

Councillor Hannides says the long-term future of the building will require ‘millions’ in investment, but has no evidence to back his phantom figures.

Solent University does not provide access to the same facilities as priority goes to students and staff. Neither does the council have any control over Solent University.

St Mary’s Leisure Centre remains safe to use, and we call on the council to immediately reopen the centre, while conducting a full survey of the building which then can be the basis of a genuine assessment of the long-term life of the building.

Read this week's #NSSN bulletin no.566: Workers start 2022 on the picket line!

To all #TUSC supporters Best Wishes for 2022 - let’s see if together we can find hundreds of trades unionists, community campaigners and socialists to challenge austerity at the May local elections in the biggest and widest possible socialist unity.

2022 and Council Cuts continue
Defend public services
Defend Jobs and Pay
Stop Cuts and Privatisation
Join the fightback in #southampton to @SaveStMarysLC #SocialistSunday #StopCouncilCuts

@VenueHorse @Callowlands Park, Watford @watfordpalace with #theDanTiendance school. Really enjoyed it, thank you everyone. This weekend @VenueHorse is @DGArtsFest Annan & Stranraer from 1 pm.

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