A public meeting was held this morning to discuss the future of Colmers Community Leisure Centre. In March, it was proposed that the council would be withdrawing from the centre, leaving many questions over its future. Centre users and the local community rallied to make their voices heard in a bid to prevent any potential closure or loss of services.
Firstly, apologies for not publicising or attending this meeting – we are very disappointed that no-one informed us it was taking place until it was over!
We are told that the meeting was attended by leisure centre users and staff as well as Ifor Jones (Service Director, Homes and Neighbourhoods), Richard Davies (Northfield District Senior Manager) , Cllr Peter Griffiths (District Chair), Pete Smith (Head of Northfield Leisure), Cllr Andy Cartwright (Longbridge Ward Chair), Cllr Jess Philips, Cllr Ian Cruise and Barry Doherty (Headteacher, Colmers School).
Cllr Cartwright said that Longbridge ward councillors were able to support and secure the groups by getting their voices heard and have secured a 3 year plan with a vision working toward a long term strategy.
The leisure centre will be managed by a partnership between the school and Birmingham City Council. There will be some changes to services but those groups that requested to stay will be accommodated.
“We recognise the mental and physical impact that Community Leisure Centres bring to our area and are glad that we have built up relationships” Cllr Cartwright said.
He added that the petition gathered at the leisure centre and online on B31 Voices contributed to making needs known.
Cllr Cartwright said: “Sadly, we inherited a mess. By working together we have been able to keep Colmers as a community facility.
“As Longbridge Ward Chair I am thankful to Mr Doherty in supporting and investing in our community. [He sees] the importance that Colmers Senior School plays in the Longbridge Ward. Colmers is open – use it to make sure you don’t lose use it!”
For more information on facilities, groups and timetables call the leisure centre on 0121 675 8146.
We would like to thank everyone who signed the petition and attended meetings to make their voices heard.
We will provide a further update on details as we can get them, as we have many unanswered questions! We’re interested to know how many interested parties knew of and attended the meeting. Lisa Widdicombe, a vocal campaigner who started the Save Colmers Leisure Centre Facebook group was also unaware.