OVER all the months that the future of the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre is being deliberated, it continues to suffer neglect. As a home owner I am sure you would not let this happen and would roll up your sleeves and make things good to the best of your ability.
So to you, Horsham councillors I make the following points.
The council has provided a fantastic leisure centre for the people of Horsham. You and the users were justly proud of this facility.
Even beach huts which suffer from the full force of the elements survive far longer than 25 years BUT with maintenance.
Since you, the council, in your infinite wisdom, have not arranged sufficient maintenance, now comes the opportunity to show that you do care for the people of Horsham and the facilities on offer.
We, the people of Horsham, have shown how much we appreciate and use the centre. We are not going to be fobbed off with a replacement which will serve half the number of people and give a fraction of the facilities. In particular I must make note of the sprung floor which is such a godsend.
You may not know that surgeons and consultants who have treated and replaced many of our hips and knees do not recommend play on a stone or concrete floor but do agree to a sprung floor which thankfully we have – and the Horsham Arun Badminton Club paid for the current floor, so strictly speaking it does not belong to the council. Many users in the over-60 age category are affected by this fact.
You are prepared to spend £4m on demolition and rebuilding. Perhaps it is time to show a more caring attitude and get teams in immediately to deal with – first the roof problems.
Then ask the people of the town, particularly the users if they would be prepared to form renovation teams according to their skills. Gradually the interior will then be smartened up.
Surely there must be a gantry around, which could be brought into the badminton hall one day soon so that the many failed striplights may be replaced. We will soon be playing in the dark while you debate further, and it would not cost the earth.
Once you have a team of volunteers working and using their skills, proudly ask for lottery funding, for grants from local businesses etc. There are funds available but they have to be worked for not talked about. Surely there are people who would be prepared to lend a hand and pull together to bring the centre back to A1 condition? It is not possible to make a list of jobs here because of lack of information.
When a church house in North Horsham suffered enormous damage 18 months ago, the congregation of St Mark’s Church formed teams and pulled together offering their skills in so many different ways and renovated the house from top to bottom.
The centre is much larger but if users are really dedicated and want to keep what they have got I’m certain the right skills will emerge, a team spirit will develop, new friendships will be made and we, the people will develop an enormous sense of PRIDE.
The longer this matter is deliberated over so the centre’s problems will worsen. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine. Now is the moment to get on with the repairs so that we can all look forward to use of what we have got for years to come. After all you, the council, have agreed to thousands of houses more in the area so how can another 8,000 or more people enjoy smaller facilities? Can you squeeze a quart into a pint pot? We can’t.