Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/983/26928
From The Socialist newspaper, 21 February 2018
Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved
Protest outside Caerphilly council offices to save Pont Leisure Centre (Click to enlarge)
Sasha O'Neil, Caerphilly Socialist Party
Campaigners in Pontllanfraith have forced Caerphilly Council to back down on plans to close Pontllanfraith leisure centre. Their victory shows that if you fight the cuts you can win.
This is the second successful blow against the cuts in the Blackwood area. Two years ago, in a hard-fought campaign, the same campaigners stopped the closure of the leisure centre in Cefn Fforest.
At a very well-attended public meeting called to organise a fightback, individual after individual explained how important the leisure centre and its football pitch is to the whole community.
In a blatant attempt to wrong-foot the campaign, the council announced that it would be installing a new football pitch five miles away.
The meeting agreed one area must not be pitted against another. They pledged to ask other areas for solidarity - and to give solidarity if other facilities were threatened.
School children and pensioners - people of all ages - made banners together and went to lobby the council.
They'd been told they wouldn't be allowed to address the council meeting - and if they were, they wouldn't be allowed to explain what the closure would mean to them. Still, campaigners showed up in force, determined to have a go.
Councillors were unimpressed. Rather than give up, campaigners determined to take Caerphilly Council to court.
They secured the help of a solicitor with considerable experience of fighting such cases. The solicitor sent a letter to the council informing them of the legal proceedings - and the very next day, the council backed down.
"We have listened to the community," the council declared disingenuously, "and it is clear from the feedback received... that there is widespread opposition to the closure of this facility... We have agreed that we will defer the decision".
Caerphilly Council has one of the largest reserves in Wales. They should be dipping into those reserves to preserve jobs and services - while at the same time banding together with other councils to demand the funding we need from the Welsh Assembly and Westminster.
Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.
In The Socialist 21 February 2018:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Chatsworth ward victory shows we can save our NHS
Tories raid £1bn from NHS facilities budget - unions must act
Blairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor
Facebook sides with state repression - reinstate the Tamil Solidarity page
Like rats from a sinking Ukip
Workplace news and analysis
Usdaw victory - Socialist Party member Amy Murphy wins presidential election
Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!
After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory
Newham academies strike continues with three schools to strike together
What we think
Northern Ireland talks process paralysed
How can students and young people fight the Tories?
Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!
International socialist news and analysis
South Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism
Russia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Building the campaign against clearances of the working class
Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation
Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved
Save Salford nurseries!
Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget
May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!
Bradford protests against kids' service cuts
Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead
Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference
Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference
Nottingham hospital black alert
Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success
Outrageous sentence for TUSC agent in 'misleading electors' court case
German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 21 February 2018 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 0798 202 1969
East Mids: 0773 797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 0191 421 6230
North West 07769 611 320
South East: 020 8988 8777
South West: 07759 796 478
Southern: 07833 681910
Wales: 07935 391 947
West Mids: 02476 555 620
Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551