December 6 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden and Zjan Shirinian, Reporter
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Campaigners demanding a new swimming pool in south Ilford are taking their fight to the streets this afternoon.
The former Ilford swimming pool, in High Road, was demolished this month to make way for a primary school, five years after being closed.
In the week of that anniversary, campaigners want to remind town hall bosses of the need for a pool in the south of the borough.
Currently, only Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre in High Street, Barkingside, has a swimming pool open to residents.
Speaking earlier this month at a council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, Redbridge Swimmers chairman John Sharrock said he wanted to “shame” the council for the lack of swimming facilities in the borough.
Campaigners will meet outside the former Ilford pool, as well as in the car park of the Recorder offices opposite, at 3pm to make their point - everyone welcome.
The leader of Redbridge Council will be meeting residents and councillors less than a mile from the demolished pool tomorrow (Sunday) to inspect a development site.
Cllr Keith Prince and the cabinet member for leisure Cllr Ashok Kumar will be assessing the former Seven Kings Lorry Park, in High Road, as the possible site for new leisure facilities.
The John Barker Centre, a unit for pupils excluded from mainstream schools, has been on the site since 2011.
Cllr Ali Hai is inviting residents and campaigners to the visit at 1pm to show the need for leisure facilities.
He said: “It’s not just about a pool, it’s leisure and community facilities that are much needed in the south of the borough.”
But Cllr Prince said there is no money available to build large leisure facilities.
He added: “We haven’t got the money to deal with a large leisure complex at this moment in time but I’m very aware of the under provision of swimming facilities.
“We are looking at all the options and I’m very keen to provide something.”
All Redbridge residents are welcome to join the protest outside the former Ilford swimming pool, High Road, today at 3pm, as well as the site inspection tomorrow at 1pm.