Bulmershe Leisure Centre’s future is at stake due to the management being transferred from Woodley Town Council to Wokingham Borough Council. The Lib Dems when in charge of Woodley Town Council provided a swimming pool and leisure facilities over the last 20 years, when at the outset no other local council was prepared to take on the management of the centre.
We call on Wokingham Borough Council to make a significant investment in Bulmershe Leisure Centre to ensure that Woodley’s residents have access to high quality facilities at affordable prices in the future.
We believe that Woodley residents should enjoy the same standard of Wokingham Borough Council provided leisure facilities as the other main towns in Wokingham Borough which are provided through Wokingham Borough Council tax funding.
Join our campaign to save our Bulmershe Leisure Centre.
Sign the Lib Dem petition online at: http://chn.ge/1q4D003
‘Like’ our Facebook page at facebook.com/savebulmersheleisurecentre
Lib Dems in Woodley understand that the agents for some of the boarded up flats above the shops in Woodley town centre have confirmed that they are going to be brought back into use for housing with assistance from a government grant. Lib Dems are pleased that the Lib Dem proposal to bring these flats back into use is finally moving forward.
In 2011 a Lib Dem petition seeking efforts to regenerate Woodley was rejected in a very off-hand way by the Conservative leadership at Wokingham Borough Council. When presenting the petition with almost 1000 signatures Phil Challis, who was a Lib Dem borough councillor at the time said “I would suggest that a little investment of officer time in discussing issues and promoting improvements with property owners would be a good start – it is a scandal that many flats over the shops in Woodley are boarded up whilst the borough is crying out for affordable homes”
The response from the Conservative Executive Member for regeneration was that Woodley would have to wait for funds to become available after a successful Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration project, which the Conservatives thought would provide the funds to regenerate Woodley.
Lib Dems believed that progress could be made much more quickly and that Woodley town centre could be improved without spending the millions that the Conservatives were planning to spend on Wokingham. Despite the negative response from the Conservative leadership, Lib Dems councillors worked with officers behind the scenes to identify possibilities.
Jenny Lissaman, former Lib Dem councillor said “It’s a good job we didn’t wait for the Conservatives to finish the Wokingham project, as that all seems to be going pear-shaped and taking a long time. There are much simpler, community based actions that can make big improvements to the town’s environment. I and other Lib Dems kept up the pressure and with council officers we identified that a government grant was available to bring these boarded up and empty properties back into use as affordable homes”.
Tom McCann, Lib Dem councillor for Loddon said “This was part of a commitment I made when I was elected in 2012 and this is a very positive step for Woodley. Lib Dems will always speak up for Woodley”.
Wokingham Borough Lib Dems would like to thank the eighty local residents who attended a public meeting to discuss their alternative proposals for the regeneration of Wokingham Town Centre.
Cllr Prue Bray Leader of Wokingham Borough Council’s Lib Dems said “At the public meeting residents had the opportunity to see our alternatives for Wokingham Town Centre, discuss these ideas, ask questions and give us feedback. It has been really encouraging that all those attending broadly supported what we proposed. The idea of a World War 1 memorial garden in Rose Street was particularly popular, as was keeping all the existing green space at Elms Field. There were constructive ideas put forward for the brownfield site that was Wellington House, some would like to see this become more green space in Elms Field and others suggested a community centre in this area. We listened carefully to resident’s ideas and will look at whether we can incorporate these into our plans depending on what is financially viable.
We explained how Wokingham needs to harness the huge potential of online shopping and how this can be achieved to support growth for the existing Town Centre shops. Online shopping can work alongside and boost trade for the shops in our towns; we showed how our plans for this can also help Woodley, Earley and Twyford, not just Wokingham.
We continue to oppose the Conservatives high cost, high risk and controversial plans. Senior officers at Wokingham Borough Council have seen our proposals and confirm these are viable and do provide a good return. We offer residents a choice of an exciting and viable alternative which DOES NOT include building on existing green space at Elms Field. “