Whitehill pool campaigners celebrate anti-cuts victory but vow continued resistance

Ben Wray

Threats to facilities including Whitehill and Drumchapel pools are pulled after active campaigning

  • Whitehill Pool saved after active campaigning.
  • Activists say they will fight on to save other facilities.
  • Dozens of community assets still threatened across the city.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save community assets in the East End of Glasgow are celebrating after Whitehill and Drumchapel pools were declared safe by city budget setters.

Glasgow City Council deputy leader, David McDonald, confirmed today (6 February) that the proposed cuts, which were leaked in December as part of a list of dozens of threatened facilities across the city, will not be made two either the two pools or Haghill Gym.

Speaking to CommonSpace, Alwyn Poulter of the Save Whitehill Pool campaign said: “Firstly, we are really pleased that these proposals have been taken off the table.

“We believe that an investment in health and leisure isn’t a cost, it’s something that is beneficial to society as a whole. We are also pleased that the proposals to close Haghill gym have been taken of the table as well.”

Of all facilities under threat, the campaign to save Whitehill Pool has been the most high profile.

Read more: ‘We won’t accept community vs community’: Glasgow East End residents defend pool threatened with closure

Poulter said that he advises all other communities facing potential cuts across the city to actively resist them.

He said: “I’d say to anyone facing these kind of issues that it is important your voice is heard. Raise it with your MPs, raise it with your MSPs, councillors – make a noise about it. Make people aware that these assets are here to improve people’s lives.”

He added that they still stood “100 per cent” behind all those fighting against cuts in their community.

“We don’t want to see any leisure facilities being closed, whether it’s our pool or Drumchapel or Springburn. These are centres for everyone, and they bring communities together.”

He said that while the campaigners welcome the fact that the community assets are no longer under threat, they are still concerned for other leisure facilities, saying: “We would like more clarification on the Alexander Park Golf course –  that’s a very important area for us and its really important to have additional green space within the city.

Read more: The grim plight of austerity in Moray Council could be just the start unless big change comes to Local Government soon

“Another thing that we’d like to highlight is that it is really important that these facilities are invested in and that they are here to stay for the community. We don’t want to go through this process again in two or three years time.”

Welcoming the decision not to cut the pools, Councillor Allan Casey said: “I am absolutely delighted that Whitehill Pool will remain open and will not form part of the the SNP City Government budget proposals. I and the SNP group listened to the community very carefully to ensure this treasured facility will remain open.”

Poulter said: “We’d like to thank elected members for their support, MSPs local councillors, community councillors and MPs have all been behind us, and all been really supportive.”

Picture courtesy of Whitehill Pool Campaign

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