Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1122/32092
From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2021
Save John Carroll Leisure Centre
Geraint Thomas, Nottingham Socialist Party
John Carroll Leisure Centre, in the working-class Radford area of Nottingham, is threatened with closure in the latest £15.6m of cuts proposed by Nottingham Labour Council. Radford has seen most of its local services disappear, the leisure centre is virtually the only community amenity left.
Many services and groups operate from the centre, and the sports facilities provide local people with an alternative to street life. But over the years services have been run down, the last real investment in the centre was 15 years ago.
The 'Save John Carroll Leisure Centre' campaign (savejohncarroll.co.uk) has been founded by local residents and users of the centre in a determined bid to stop the closure, planned for June.
The closure would especially hit schools and older users who will struggle to travel to the next nearest leisure centre. The campaign is heaping pressure on councillors to oppose the closure in the March council meeting, but that will not be the end of it.
The council says that it is consulting on the closure proposals, but so far that has proved a sham. In a meeting with campaigners, the council leaders claimed that the centre is the least used, and that saving it would mean closing another two. It has clearly decided in advance that the centre will close.
We reject the attempt to pit working-class service users in the city against each other. Services should and can be protected. Councillors need to take serious action to block the cuts, using their remaining reserves and borrowing powers to defend services instead of propping up failing commercial ventures.
Passing on Tory cuts and removing services from the people of Nottingham is a political choice. The Tories are weak; even two or three councils taking a stand, and demanding funding from central government, could well result in yet another government U-turn.
There are no elections in Nottingham this year, but the Socialist Party is prepared to stand as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition against any councillors voting to impose cuts in future elections.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
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In The Socialist 24 February 2021:
Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?
Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety
Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality
Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage
What we think
Starmer's speech a return to New Labour
Justice for Moyied Bashir
Uber drivers win case - they are workers
Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run
Lessons from history
How militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act
Usdaw elections - right makes gains but Broad Left builds
HMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions
Hinkley Point electricians fight 'deskilling'
"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"
London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours
GMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas
Scunthorpe steelworks scaffolders: Fifth week of action
Liverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy
Scottish TUSC election campaign launch
Keep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May
W. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block
Coventry success building subscriptions
Socialist Students conference - postering
Save John Carroll Leisure Centre
Getting the Socialist out in lockdown
LGBT+ history month
Pride flag is about unity in struggle
Tories tout toilet tensions
Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle
Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!
Film Review: The White Tiger
Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect
Tories target universities in free speech shakedown
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