Save St Mary's Leisure Centre. Photo Nick Chaffey
Save St Mary's Leisure Centre. Photo Nick Chaffey

Southampton – Campaigning to save St Mary’s leisure centre

Graham Henry, Southampton Socialist Party and TUSC

I live in the St Mary’s area of Southampton. It is just one of many places that have been devastated by the austerity years.

The Tories took control of the council in 2021. Before that we had nine years of a Labour council implementing severe Tory government cuts to vital public services – closing after-school clubs, council-run care homes and libraries.

Alongside other Socialist Party members, I am involved in the campaign to save the local St Mary’s leisure centre from closure (see The community has really rallied behind this fight. Unfortunately, the Tories are pushing ahead with their plans to sell the building.

I also recently became a ‘block representative’ – liaising between the council and residents – and was finally able to help solve longstanding repairs that dated back to 2017.

For the election, I’m standing on a strictly no-cuts platform. And I’m working locally to try and show people there is a different way to do things. I am standing in the Bargate ward where I live. And I would also like to wish my fellow TUSC candidates every success in their aim of providing a viable political alternative to this corrupt, capitalist system.