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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 December 2021

Save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

And make it fit for the future

Campaigning in Southampton. Photo: Nick Chaffey

Campaigning in Southampton. Photo: Nick Chaffey   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Southampton Socialist Party

Southampton Council says its priority is our health and wellbeing, but it seems St Mary's can do without. During the pandemic, poor health and poverty have been key causes of serious health complications and death. Access to leisure is a lifesaver.

Council cabinet member John Hannides says St Mary's Leisure Centre (SMLC) must close because "the condition of the building will require significant repair". Isn't it the job of the council to run and maintain services we have built and paid for over the years, and secure them for the next generation?

Solent University paid the council to use the leisure centre. Was this money used to maintain it? Why not keep it open and make it fit for the future?

Councillor Hannides says he wants "modern, accessible facilities". What is old-fashioned about the weights room, squash courts, climbing wall and sports hall at St Mary's? How is it inaccessible?

Hannidies says: "There is not enough use". But has he stopped for a minute and asked himself why?

For ten years, Solent University dominated use of the centre. Having left, what has the council done to rebuild community use?

How has Covid impacted leisure centre use? Thousands have used St Mary's over the years, and will do if it is kept open.

This council is fast becoming an asset stripper, shutting down services, selling land to developers for housing no one can afford, or office blocks no one can fill.

We are constantly paying more and getting less. That is unless you're a property developer, or a billionaire getting tax breaks, tax cuts and government contracts.

Council cuts must stop. We need a council that will develop community facilities, provide affordable council housing for all, care for the elderly, and youth centres. Restoring the £160 million a year in grants stolen from Southampton by central government since 2010 would provide much of the resources we need to get the job done.

We have fought successfully in the past to keep St Mary's Leisure Centre open. We will now do so again.

Join the campaign today. Contact 07833 681 910 for more information.

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In The Socialist 15 December 2021:


News

Tory cuts and privatisation leave NHS in crisis

Unions must fight for Covid workplace safety

Councils to make workers pay, again

Assange faces extradition

Global inequality grows


What we think

Split Tories and spineless Starmer


End of the USSR

The legacy of the collapse of Stalinism


LGBTQ+ rights

Stonewall attacked by the establishment


Workplace news

Sharon Graham: 100 days as Unite general secretary - the challenges ahead

Fighting union leadership needed to win NHS pay rise

Support tube workers fighting back

South Wales Stagecoach victory

Yorkshire Stagecoach strikers confidence growing

Welcome support for striking Scunthorpe scaffolders

Guards fight for their grades on CrossCountry rail

London colleges victory

Coventry bin workers strike against Christmas holiday cut

Sheffield couriers escalate and spread action

Uni support staff strike ballot

Tesco strike action latest

Barts health workers to strike for a pay rise

Worksop Wincanton depot strike builds


International news

Sudan: End military rule and poverty


Campaigns

Nana's eviction: Community vs heartless Labour council

London solidarity protest: Rio Tinto out of Serbia

Save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

Why we joined the Socialist Party

Selling the Socialist - Waltham Cross and Boscombe

Posters, car boot and socialist guided tour - some ideas to raise funds


Readers' opinion

TV review: Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer


Quiz 2021

Christmas quiz of 2021


 

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