Wednesday, 28 March 2012

All change for Leith?

Workers on Leith Walk construct the old tramline circa 1905

It's election time! and tomorrow night Leith Links Community Council  kicks off the hustings period for all the candidates standing for Council in the Leith Ward, at the Leith Community Centre, Kirkgate from 7pm - (further details here)

On the 22 December last year, we asked the Council to keep to their promise to keep Leith Waterworld open until the Commonwealth Pool opened (i.e. March), allowing them time to 'investigate all the options' which might allow LWW to stay open.  All parties, bar the Greens, voted for closure on 8 Jan.

On the 3 February, we again presented a deputation requesting that the sale be put on hold for six months to see if a community bid might be viable.  This time all parties (bar the Tories...) found it somewhat easier and more palatable to be positive, and so voted to delay the sale of Leith Waterworld.  Splashback's response was lukewarm - we were well aware that would mean a lot of hard work,  which for us as activists and volunteers means a lot of unpaid work, but our goal remained and remains to see Leith Waterworld reopen.

We argued that day, that we were not 'the' community, but just one element (albeit the only element who seemed to want to look deeper into whether closure was the only option).  The Council, Edinburgh Leisure, the social enterprise sector, other interested parties, us, and the wider community would all have to be engaged and required to pull together if a community bid is to be successful... We have been working so far to that end.  To date we have had no contact from the Council, and no concrete offers of support (a name (not even an email address!) of someone else to contact is not quite enough, is it?).  We are serious, are they?

Please do come tomorrow night and add your voice to the campaign to re-open Leith Waterworld.  We will be asking questions of all the parties, and hope that their responses might interest you.

I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that "eyeball to eyeball is best" as Ewan Aikten does - that's getting a little bit too intimate with our politicians - a straight answer will do!

Today's Evening News article - "Waterworld hot topic in May's poll'.

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