Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater “dismayed” and “angry” at permanent closure of Batley Baths
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Ms Leadbeater made her comments after being contacted by constituents who had been informed of the permanent closure by Kirklees Active Leisure, although she said she was “surprised” and “disappointed” that there had as yet been no public announcement from the Council.
Following the shocking news, Ms Leadbeater said: “I am extremely disappointed by the news that Batley Baths is to close permanently.
“The town is losing a valuable and much-loved facility that has played an important role in the community over many, many years.
“I did all that I could to avert this closure, raising the issue in Parliament, consulting with local people and holding numerous meetings with Kirklees Active Leisure and the Council.
“The government could have thrown the Baths a lifeline but they chose not to do so.
“Government support with energy bills was withdrawn, and while ministers in London promised millions of pounds for public swimming pools and leisure centres, to date not a penny of that has materialised and it is now too late for Batley Baths.
“Cuts to local authorities combined with soaring inflation and fuel costs have imposed impossible pressures on budgets and once again it’s the health and wellbeing of people and communities that suffer.
“At a local level, residents deserve to know why this closure had to happen and, crucially, what alternative arrangements will be made for those who have relied on Batley Baths. When difficult decisions like this have to be taken, people deserve to be told the full facts.
“I have written to Kirklees Council asking for a full explanation of how this happened and what plans they have to mitigate the impact on service users and local residents.
“I pay tribute to all the local people who fought so hard to keep the Baths open and I’m just very sorry that those efforts have not proved successful. I share their anger and dismay.”