‘Act of criminal proportions’

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THE PROPOSED closure of the BBH Leisure Centre is an act of criminal proportions based on short term thinking rather than looking at the long term.

Money has only just been invested in the centre by the council in order to attract Olympic teams to use this facility in the Horsham area. If this facility is bulldozed it will be lost forever to the community.

This centre has a wide range of diverse well-used activities. The indoor athletics facility (the Tube) indoor running track and pole vault area is unique in Sussex.

This facility is used by athletes from as far afield as London. I have been told by the council that the facilities at BBH are duplicated in other centres and that is why they cannot justify spending money to keep the centre open.

When K2 in Crawley was built the reason given for not building indoor athletic facilities, the Tube, was that they could not justify the costs involved as the facility already existed at BBH. This winter facility is essential for athletes and is unique in Sussex .

I have been told by the council that this will be a mixed development site and will not be covered in houses when I enquired. What then is it going to be used for, a larger Tesco’s car park? I was also told that the council will not make much money from this development. How much?

This proposal will also result in more people joining the dole queue at a time when the country needs more people in work contributing to and powering the economy forward. Their wages will be spent in the local shops.

The BBH centre is well-used by the young and old, the able bodied and the disabled, the professional sports person and the club sports person. With the increase in housing in the area the demand to use this local facility will increase.

I have spoken with many people who use this facility who are both local to the area and from further afield. No one I have spoken to wants this facility to close. This includes people who do not use this facility.

I would be very interested in Lord Coe’s views on closing down a unique sports facility in Sussex which has attracted Olympic teams to use it in this Olympic year - perhaps we all should ask him.

We should NOT be closing sports and leisure centres in this Olympic year. We must all unite together and save this facility for the community.

This facility was built with community money, for the community.

RAY BASSETT

Christ’s Hospital, Horsham