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Posted: Mar 6 2008, 04:12 PM
Member No.: 2
Joined: 5-October 07
Protests over Albion centre
Public oppostion to the closure of the Albion Leisure Centre in Ilkeston gathered momentum this week when protesters assembled outside.
Richard Hallsworth, a regular user of the centre, says the closure will devastate the sports and social amenities of Ilkeston and is calling for a referendum on the future of the centre.
He said: "The Albion is much more than a leisure centre - it's a social centre for all age groups.
"Quite a few of the senior citizens go to the centre by bus. After they have finished, they have a meal and a chat. Moving facilities to the Rutland Sports Park won't help them as it's on the outskirts of town."
Mr Hallsworth is gathering names on a petition and wants the council to let the people of Ilkeston decide what should happen to the centre.
He added: "We must stop the closure of the Albion. When all is said and done the council are public servants - supposed to represent us, the public. They must take notice."
Labour's leisure spokesman cllr Louis Booth is calling for a public meeting at the centre on Friday March 13 at 5pm to discuss its future and a decision to end a stall erection service on Ilkeston marketplace.
"The Conservative controlling group of Erewash Borough Council say the closure will save an estimated £269,000 for the 2009/10 financial year; to maintain the facility to its current standards and for disabled access improvements would cost approximately £600,000.
Paul Hogan, director of culture and leisure services at Erewash Borough Council, said the decision to close was falling user numbers since the arrival of the Rutland Sports Park; an independent report also concluded that there are too many indoor sports facilities in Erewash.
Kirk Hallam Community Technology College estimates that it sends more than 250 pupils to the East Street leisure centre each week for its PE national curriculum and GCSE courses. About 40 pupils from St John Houghton Catholic School in Abbot Road use the centre each week.
Phoenix Trampoline Club in Ilkeston, which trains children at national level, also fears the closure of the Albion Centre will cause problems.