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More than 2,000 sign petition to save Sale Water Sports Centre
MORE than 2,000 people have signed petitions which hope to keep Sale Water Sports Centre open.
MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Paul Goggins, and Labour councillors are backing the campaign, which came about following Trafford Council’s announcement last month that it will cease to subsidise water sports provision at Sale Waterpark.
The cash-strapped local authority will save £1.1 million over six years through ending its association with the Deckers Group, which currently organises water sport provision and park maintenance.
Staff at the water sports centre have organised a paper petitiion which has currently has 2,200 signatures and there is also an online petition which has more than 400 signaturies.
If the petition reaches 3,000 signatures the issue must be put before full council.
Mr Goggins said: “I have had meetings with some of the staff at the water sports centre who would like to continue providing activities at Sale Waterpark.
“I have also received many messages of support from schools and other groups who already pay for the services they receive at the centre.
“It should be possible to create a small business or social enterprise that is capable of carrying on the work and, to this end, I am seeking advice and support from Trafford Council.”
Cllr Jane Baugh said: “I am one of the ward councillors and I and Labour group are totally opposed to this closure.
“The centre is well used by all age groups for various water sports but particularly by youth groups, it is always being said we need more facilities for young people yet this Conservative council is closing this facility down when it is so well used.”
Independently of the petitions, a Friends of Sale Waterpark has been established in order to represent the views of all people who use the park.
Gill Haind, who set up the group, said: “I just realised we were the only park I know of that didn’t have a friends group and this will give people who use the park a voice.
“Our next steps will be looking after the wellbeing of the park, its upkeep and making improvements to it.”
• Search Friends of Sale Waterpark on Facebook or @FOSaleWaterPark on Twitter for more information on the friends group.
• The online petition can be found at gopetition.com/petitions/save-trafford-water-sports-centre/sign.html.
Trafford Council statement
Peter Molyneux, corporate director for environment, transport and operations at Trafford Council said: “Naturally the public are disappointed that the Water Sports Centre is going to close but the council are still actively seeking an alternative water sports provider and have actually received some initial inquiries from interested parties.
"We are doing all we can to try and secure another provider who would be willing to operate the facility without a subsidy from the council.”
A council spokesman said: “Trafford Council would like to clarify that the existing buildings at Sale Waterpark will remain in use and will be maintained by their occupiers, they will not be allowed to fall into a state of disrepair or neglect.”
The spokesman added: “Funding has been retained so that the council can maintain the whole of Sale Waterpark, when the water sports contract with Deckers is terminated.
“The £1.1m saving will be delivered in addition to this annual maintenance funding.
“The greenspace will be maintained under the guidance of the newly formed Trafford Countryside Management Partnership.
“The council are also aware that a new Friends of Sale Water Park Group has been formed and the council looks forward to working with them to provide improved services at the site.
“In addition, the council will be linking the existing Trafford Water Sports Centre CCTV cameras to the central control room who will monitor activity on the site.
“The council can confirm that they are aware of the online petition but as yet a formal petition has not been submitted to the council.”
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