Kim Leadbeater MP: I was extremely disappointed by the decision to close Batley Baths and Recreation Centre

Batley Baths. Picture Scott MerryleesBatley Baths. Picture Scott Merrylees
Batley Baths. Picture Scott Merrylees
​​I had a big decision to take this month and it wasn’t an easy one. The constituency of Batley and Spen will disappear at the next general election, so I had to choose between putting myself forward for the new seat of Dewsbury and Batley, or Spen Valley.

Kim Leadbeater MP writes: After much soul searching I decided I had to go with my heart and stand in the seat where I was born and brought up and have lived all my life, the Spen Valley.

I’ve been very encouraged by the positive response from so many people across Batley and Spen and grateful for the support I have received.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

One man from Birkenshaw wrote to me to say, “I have voted Conservative all my life. I would just like to say I will be voting for you, I find your non tribal political stance very welcome.”

Sadly, it means if I’m fortunate to be returned to Parliament next year I will no longer be representing the great town of Batley.

I’ve worked hard to help get new investment to revitalise the town centre and I will continue to speak up for the whole of Batley and Spen in the months ahead.

I was extremely disappointed by the decision to close Batley Baths and Recreation Centre, despite the best efforts of many of us to save it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Batley will lose a valuable and much-loved facility, which has played an important role in the community over many years.

The government could have provided a critical financial lifeline but chose not to do so, but I also think there are lessons to be learned for how the Council communicate with residents about the challenges they face.

As someone who feels passionately about the role of sport and physical activity, I will continue to make the case for investment in facilities at a local and national level.

And I would encourage everyone to male use of the local centres we have in Batley and Spen and the wider area.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sadly, many local businesses and groups tell me that anti-social behaviour including vandalism, fire-lighting, or inconsiderate driving and parking is still a serious problem.

I spoke up in parliament to demand better support for victims and more resources for the police.

On a happier note, over the coronation weekend there were dozens of picnics, street parties and other events all across the constituency and I did my best to get to as many of them as I could.

It was a reminder of the wonderful community spirit we have in all our towns and villages.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At the end of Ramadan I hosted an Eid gathering for friends, family, supporters and constituents.

It was lovely to enjoy such excellent food and great conversation.

And I want to say a big thank you to the Rev Mark Umpleby who is moving on after many years of dedicated service to the United Benefice of Batley.

He’s worked tirelessly for the whole community and has been a great friend to me and my family.

Thank you for reading.


Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.