Monday, 30 April 2012

Wave Generator

Picture by Doug
It's election day on Thursday, and we urge all supporters of the campaign to re-open Leith Waterworld to use their votes.  Splashback are in the process of developing a community bid for the facility, however we need political support in order for the re-opening to be feasible.  We have undertaken a short survey of candidates in the Leith and Leith Walk wards, asking them to respond to the following questions:

1. As a candidate standing for local election, do you support the re-opening of Leith Waterworld?

2. Do you support, in principle, The City of Edinburgh Council providing an annual revenue subsidy for the running of Leith Waterworld if a community bid can succeed in getting subsidy required below the national average for pools? (£2.18 per visitor)                                
  (see page 11 of West Lothian Leisure's Annual Report 2010-2011for national figures

3. Do you agree, in principle, that Leith Waterworld should receive an equivalent subsidy per user to that of the Royal Commonwealth Pool? (£2.54 in most recent accounts)

4. Can we have a statement on Leith Waterworld please, and any other comments for potential voters?

Click here for the Leith ward candidates responses.
Click here for the Leith Walk ward candidates' responses

We are aware that the closure of Leith Waterworld affected voters throughout the city - indeed our research found that whilst some 50% of visitors were from the Leith area, 40% came from throughout the city, with the remaining 10% coming from outwith Edinburgh.  We would therefore urge voters throughout the city to review the responses from candidates as they weigh up who to vote for on Thursday.

In summary:
  • The Greens are committed to the re-opening of Leith Waterworld as either a community owned and run facility, or as a publically run facility.
  • Labour, in principle, have agreed that a community owned pool would require a ongoing public subsidy, will work co-operatively with us on that basis and indeed have been doing so.
  • The independents (who responded) are, as expected, more than willing to represent public opinion and stand up for the re-opening Leith Waterworld within any new chamber
  • The SNP won't commit their support, even in principle,  until a business case is prepared (by us) showing how LWW might run.  One response outline a belief that a community owned pool should ultimately be self-funding - a tall order not expected of any other pool in Edinburgh.
  • The Lib Dems believe that 'the first step' in any serious bid is to meet with council officials - blithly ignoring the numerous weekends of street campaigning, meetings and time and energy spent by the campaign team to date
  • The Tories are, on the whole, not supportive- special mention to Leith candidate Nicola Ross's responses for brevity. However they are willing to relook at the business case if the subsidy required can be considerably lowered.

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