Residents have been warned that the fight to save Friary Grange Leisure Centre is not yet won.
Lichfield District Council says it has delayed a final decision on the future of the facility after it proposed shutting it to the public in April 2020.
A petition – signed by more than 3,300 people – has now forced the council to delay applying the rubber-stamp to the proposal.
Independent council member, Cllr Joanne Grange, had urged the local authority not to hold future discussions on the leisure centre behind closed doors given the strength of public opinion.
Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of the Conservative-controlled council, has now said a planned behind-closed doors debate will not go ahead tomorrow (15th July).
Cllr Grange welcomed the news ahead of a public meeting at 7.30pm at Curborough Community Centre, but insisted the fight was not over.
“I’m delighted that the strength of feeling displayed over the weekend has had such a swift impact,” she said.
“The announcement that all future meetings will be held in public is welcomed and deferral of the decision to September will allow proper consultation to take place.
“However, given this is just a temporary deferral, the campaign to keep Friary Grange open will continue as it is clear from the response that there is a strength of feeling that cannot be ignored.”
“Transparency and scrutiny”
Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group, said he was pleased to see transparency in the decision-making process, even if it had arrived late.
“I think officers are now doing their best to put as much as they can into the public domain so that there can be transparency and importantly, scrutiny by the public,” he said.
“I believe the Cabinet will be better informed if users – especially swimming club members – are able to let them know the actual effect that closure will have on them and on Burntwood.
“I have to give some credit to the new leadership responding in this way- albeit with some pushing.”