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People have been urged to show the strength of feeling when a meeting is held to decide the future of Friary Grange Leisure Centre.
Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet meeting has been moved to the Lichfield Garrick to enable more members of the public to attend.
Top of the agenda for the session will be the under-threat leisure centre. The local authority had initially planned to shut the centre from April 2020.
But a petition signed by thousands of residents has led to a temporary reprieve – while emails from Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, revealed that Friary Grange could remain open until a replacement site is found.
Cllr Paul Ray, Liberal Democrat representative for the Chadsmead ward, said it is important that the community turn out in force for the meeting at 6pm on 7th October.
“The campaign to Save The Friary Grange has been very high profile and vocal,” he explained. “And it is clear that the campaign is having a real impact.
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“The council is in no doubt about the strength of feeling in our community. And we need to make sure that the Garrick is filled to the rafters on 7th October.
“Anyone can attend and so I urge residents to attend to ensure that your council knows exactly how the community feels about this issue.”
“A real desire to find a solution”
The leaked emails from Cllr Pullen to the Conservative group have given a glimmer of hope that the leisure centre could get an 11th hour reprieve.
Cllr Ray added: “I and Cllr Joanne Grange met with Cllr Pullen to discuss the Friary Grange Leisure Centre and had a positive meeting.
“I totally oppose the decision to close the centre and have been working with Cllr Grange and others as well as the Save The Friary Grange campaign group to make sure this does not happen.
“I know that many other councillors across all parties feel the same.
“Cllr Pullen confirmed on Friday that solutions for the short-term and long term are both being actively explored.
“It was also good to hear that progress is being made with negotiations with Staffordshire County Council and there is a more collaborative approach to those discussions.
“I have said to Cllr Pullen that the period of delay for the closure must not be an exercise in kicking the can down the road.
“From the meeting on Friday I took away that there is a real desire from Cllr Pullen to find a solution.
“We have to find one as this is what the community is expecting of the council.”