Wiltshire Publications

Issue 468 – Caution urged over leisure consultation

MEMBERS of the Save Westbury Pool group are indignant at Wiltshire Council’s leisure facilities consultation questionnaire.

The committee identifies the questionnaire, which intends to consult local people on their views for the proposed changes to leisure facilities in the county, as one that is “quite clearly designed to elicit responses from the general public” to confirm the council’s proposals.
The Save Westbury Pool Committee is therefore urging people to be careful when answering the questionnaire, as reported in their latest statement (printed below).
Wiltshire Council has been carrying out a review of leisure facilities in the county, and the review is now proposing that Westbury should step forward and run both the pool and Leighton Recreation Centre through community ownership. However, at the last public meeting held by the Save Westbury Pool committee in June, this option was considered and strongly objected to.
The proposal comes as part of a major shake-up of leisure provision in the county, where the council plans to close some centres, transfer others to community ownership, as well as creating some new leisure campuses.
The future of leisure facilities in the town will be discussed at the next area board meeting on Thursday 19th August. Cllr Stuart Wheeler, Wiltshire Cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture will be attending, along with the council’s head of leisure services. The meeting will be held at Heywood Village Hall at 7.00pm.

Statement from the
Save Westbury Pool (SWP) committee.

“The Save Westbury Swimming Pool committee had a recent meeting to consider the Leisure Facilities Consultation Questionnaire which has recently been distributed for public consideration. The committee felt that it was quite clearly designed to elicit responses from the general public which confirm the Wiltshire Council’s preferred policy of providing new multi- purpose centres/hubs and off loading existing local facilities onto community trusts. Your SWP committee urge the people of Westbury to be very cautious about the way they respond to the questionnaire.
“For example: Should you “strongly agree” that high quality modern facilities will encourage more people to become more active – that will SUPPORT the council’s wish to put its funds into such facilities and NOT into Westbury Pool.
“Similarly, the committee would state that they themselves would only want to travel within 5 minutes from home, not 20 minutes, and all residents in Westbury live just 5 minutes from their local leisure facilities – this is something to consider.
“The SWP committee members will be writing individual letters and attaching them to their own questionnaires and they would urge all those who feel strongly about the pool in particular, to visit their website to see a copy of a draft letter from Bob Lee, chairman of the SWP committee. This letter can be downloaded from the website and adapted for your own use, or used in the “additional comments” section. www. savewestburypool.org.uk
“The SWP committee would also like to bring the attention to all residents in Westbury and surrounding villages, that there is an Area Board Meeting to be held at Heywood Village Hall at 7.00pm on Thursday 19th August, when the future of our leisure facilities will be on the agenda.”