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COMMENT: Closure seems likely despite best efforts of campaigners
9:00am Wednesday 26th March 2014 in News
CAMPAIGNERS have fought a long-standing campaign to save Temple Cowley Pools in Oxford so it is not surprising that they want to register the site as an asset of community value.
The pool is undoubtedly valued by the local community so it has a decent chance of being registered to delay the sale of land for six months.
But the council is closing the pool because it believes the facility has become too costly to maintain and wants proceeds from the sale to help pay for a new pool in Blackbird Leys.
Registering Temple Cowley Pools as a community asset is one thing, but it is quite another to actually raise the necessary funds to take over the facility.
If Save Temple Cowley Pools is successful in getting the site registered as a community asset, the clock will start ticking on raising the funds for a buy-out before the sale of the land goes ahead. The group has every right to test the water by nominating the pool as a community asset, but will need some major backers if it wants to take over the pool.
The council has never deviated from its proposal to shut the pool and is unlikely to allow this latest bid to distract it from its intentions.
The local authority has promised to stick to the rules when it considers the group’s asset nomination and this is no surprise, as it will not want any unexpected legal challenges to get in the way of a new multi-million pound leisure complex for Blackbird Leys. It’s a shame that Temple Cowley Pools is closing, but the closure appears inevitable despite campaigners’ best efforts.
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