With just 30 days to go before the planned closure of the capital’s popular Leith Waterworld pool, the residents’ campaign to save it is rapidly gaining momentum.
More than 3,000 petition signatures against the closure have been collected, just 8 days after the launch of Splashback!, a dynamic residents’ campaign to stop City Council bosses pulling the plug on the leisure pool, the only facility of its kind in the Lothians.
“We’ve had overwhelming support from the people of Leith and wider Edinburgh,” says campaigner Helen Howe. “No-one wants to see this pool close... it would be a hammer-blow to Leith, and to children, families and people with disabilities from across the whole of Edinburgh.”
Since being formed last Wednesday, Splashback! has mounted a determined effort to fight the City of Edinburgh Council’s decision to shut Leith Waterworld’s doors for good on 8 January 2012. Last weekend, the campaign collected over 2,000 petition signatures in person outside the pool. In addition, a total of over 1,000 signatures have been added to two online petitions on the matter.
With the help of volunteers, the Splashback SUB (Swimming Utility Battlebus – a converted bike trailer) will again be parked outside the pool this coming weekend, from tomorrow (Friday) 10.30am to Sunday 5pm. “We hope to collect 2,000 more petition signatures this weekend,” says campaigner and father-of-two Johnny Gailey.
Though the City of Edinburgh Council earmarked Leith Waterworld for closure in 2005, the decision to close it in early January has come as a surprise to most users. “We, like most residents, believe that the decision taken in 2005 is outdated and needs to be revisited,” says Gailey.
Splashback! is also contesting the Council’s decision to close the pool at least two months before the refurbished Royal Commonwealth Pool will open to the public in spring. “February 2007, the Council gave a clear commitment to keep Leith Waterworld open until the new Commonwealth Pool was open to the public. But now it seems there will be a few months gap. We urge the Council to keep LWW open after 8 January and make use of that time to carefully review this outdated decision,” concluded Gailey.
- More information about Splashback! at www.splashbackedinburgh.blogspot.com and on Twitter @splashback
- The campaign has more than 500 fans on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SaveLeithWaterworld
- The online petition is at http://bit.ly/lwwpetition