An MP has urged users of a doomed Kirklees sports centre to get in touch.
Batley and Spen Labour MP Jo Cox would like to speak to current and past members of Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre in Cleckheaton after the recent final decision to close it and demolish it next year was taken by councillors.
She vowed to ensure that Kirklees Council and Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) help groups find suitable alternative accommodation before they are effectively left homeless when the centre closes, which has been earmarked for May.
The fate of the centre was sealed at the venue on December 18 in front of almost 300 people, many of whom campaigned to keep it open.
At the meeting cabinet members were forced to reconsider an early decision to close it, which was taken without consulting the public.
However, despite hearing objections to its closure, they voted to close it anyway to allow for a replacement to the adjoining Whitcliffe Mount Business and Enterprise College. Some £12m of fudning for the College, given by the Education Funding Agency, was otherwise at risk.
Mrs Cox said: “It really is sad for users of the centre and I remain critical of some of the ways in which the decision was made.
“Whitcliffe Mount did, and still does, a lot right. It was a big, positive part of a number of peoples lives. Local people have every right to demand good sports facilities in Spen.”
“My job now is to help the current users and groups find new homes until new facilities can be made available.”
A new, improved fitness area will open 1.8 miles away at Spenborough pool in January.
Ms Cox added: “The design needs to accommodate as many of the current users of Whitcliffe as it possibly can. I will push very hard for that to happen.
“I have a good list of current users and groups but it is clear that not I am not in touch with all of them yet. I would urge everyone to get in touch, even if provision has already been offered to your group, because I want to know what is working and what isn’t.
“I have commitments from the leader of Kirklees, Cllr David Sheard, and the Chief Executive of KAL, Alistair Brown, to attend a public meeting in the new year. I want to make sure all of the current users and groups who need assistance in finding new local facilities can put their cases forward.”
Ms Cox has set up a special email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, for people to get in touch but people can also telephone her office on 01924 910 499 or write to Jo Cox MP, 3-5 Branch Road, Batley, WF17 5RY.