Leeds: Battle of Bramley Baths ends in campaign joy

Coun Ted Hanley (centre) with Bramley Baths users.
Coun Ted Hanley (centre) with Bramley Baths users.
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AN army of campaigners were today celebrating after winning their battle to keep opening times the same at Bramley Baths.

In recent weeks, schoolchildren tweeted and marched against plans to slash hours in half following Leeds City Council’s recent decision to make £90m of cuts.

But after older campaigners, some of whom have been using the baths since they opened 60 years ago, joined the fight the community was able to find £40,000 Capital Investment.

And now the iconic pool will stay open for 60 hours a week, instead of just 29.

Coun Ted Hanley (Lab, Bramley and Stanningley), said: “I was horrified when Council Officers first suggested the full closure of Bramley Baths – due to massive government cuts in our budget.

“The first job was to convince people to keep the pool open until September this year.

“From then it was only going to be open 29 hours per week that would have meant no school swimming lessons and as importantly, no early morning swimming for the elderly people of Bramley.

“I have now managed to find a £40,000 capital investment for a new jacuzzi and other renovation works and I am delighted to now report, that with support from the area committee funds, we shall keep the pool open for 60 hours per week.”

The Edwardian pool opened to get children swimming after two drowned in accident in Bramley. It has since become one of major drains on council cash – losing £240,000 a year.

Coun Hanley, added: “Our victory means our elderly residents will be able to enjoy early morning swimming.

“And as importantly, all of our primary schools will continue to have their swimming lessons there.”