Prescotians Fight for Future as Knowsley Council Ignore Views

By on Saturday, October 23, 2010

 A historic Merseyside town is protesting the downgrading of its leisure centre and museum by fighting back against the council it accuses of selling it short.

Furious at Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council’s plans to replace Prescot Leisure Centre with a smaller pitch-side leisure facility and relocate Prescot Museum from an impressive Grade II listed Georgian house, Prescot residents have launched a campaign to get their views heard.

Whiston teenager Carl Cashman, 18, a former Higher Side student and political activist who was recently elected to the North West Liberal Youth Committee, is behind Save Prescot’s Facebook page, which so far boasts almost 600 members.

“At Knowsley’s consultation with Prescotians, 42.5 percent voted to refurbish the existing leisure centre,” said Carl. “Only 28 percent voted for Knowsley’s plans. Yet council officers have rubbished the first option and pushed for its closure, which the cabinet has now voted through.”

Councillor Ian Smith has backed the campaign and, as leader of Knowsley’s Liberal Democrats, attempted to confront Chief Executive Sheena Ramsey with the concerns of Prescotians in a regularly scheduled meeting. She refused to see him.

Cllr Smith delivered a petition containing 1,500 signatures prior to the cabinet meeting where the council’s plans were confirmed.

Knowsley’s actions are just the latest in a long line of events that have spelt disaster for the town. In the 1980s, the civic hall was demolished, to be replaced in the 1990s with a civic suite that lasted just a few years before being turned into welfare offices. Later, KMBC sanctioned town planning that diverted trade and traffic away from the centre and towards a retail development dominated by Tesco.

Eccleston Street, once the heart of business and commerce in the town, is now overrun by boarded-up shops and suffering visibly dwindling numbers of shoppers.

“What was the point of a consultation when KMBC were determined to ignore the views of ordinary Prescotians anyway?” said Cllr Smith. “We have so much to be proud of in Prescot, and we will not give up its future without a fight.”

KMBC’s plans for the leisure centre will leave Prescot Town Council without a home, and will also see the closure of Scotchbarn Swimming Pool, leaving Prescot without a pool.

“Save Prescot” is a grassroots campaign and is not affiliated to a political party.

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Knowsley Labour Councillors Defend Prescot Plans | Prescot Online

  2. Mr Mrs Fishwick

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    we object to the waste disposal in Prescot by our houses.
    Our future children are at risk.The Bicc caused chest complaints now we have more to cope with.

  3. pam broadfoot

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    The loss of a local swimming pool has far reaching consequences. Local children are usually taught to swim in school and Scotchbarn baths was used by most local Primary schools. The schools walked the children to the baths and paid for the lessons. The new pool in Huyton isn’t within walking distance and if schools continued to have swimming lessons they will have to pay for buses/coaches to take the children there.The cost would have to be shared with the parents as it is unlikely that Knowsley council will increase the funding to each school to take these costs into account.Also the schools would have to fit in to a schedule with far more schools than before ,all of the Huyton primary schools will also be competing for time especially as a lot of them will be within walking distance.What this actually means is that if parents don’t teach children to swim themselves(time/cost/transport will all affect this) we will soon have generations of children who can’t swim and will be loosing another source of exercise.And don’t get me started on the Museum!,there is’nt enough room for my complaints.

  4. Harry Doward

    Monday, January 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Zoo – keeper: ” Help, two lions have escaped from the Knowsley Safari Park and are heading down Huyton Lane!!”

    Police Officer Derby Street ” I’m afraid there’s not much we can do, they’ll have to look after themselves…”

    I’m sure lots of parents will be ‘delighted’ to park their cars near Huyton baths only to return to find windows smashed, bonnets keyed and wheels slashed. Huyton makes Mogadishu feel like Margate!

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