Campaigners with banners outside Uckfield Leisure Centre
Campaigners with banners outside Uckfield Leisure Centre

Campaigners are excited and relieved that Wealden District Council and East Sussex County Council have finally listened to the voices of thousands of residents.

Only a few months ago, many thought that the decision to close Uckfield Leisure Centre was irreversible. A small team of campaigners, led by newly elected Wealden District Labour Councillor Daniel Manvell, knew this would be devastating for thousands of Uckfield residents and those living in nearby villages. Daniel’s Freedom of Information request identified that Uckfield’s pool is the most well-used in the whole of Wealden, with 10,000 children’s swimming lessons a year at risk. (Read more below)

When the public consultation was announced, Daniel organised a rally involving hundreds of residents and an active campaign began. Months of leafleting and High Street events encouraged a staggering 3306 local residents to complete the consultation. This overwhelming response has left East Sussex and Wealden with little choice but to reverse their decision. The new agreement will see a 19-year lease between Wealden and East Sussex, as well as investment in energy efficiency measures.

Campaign organiser Daniel Manvell, newly elected Labour Councillor at Wealden District Council, says: “Uckfield had been left feeling abandoned by the thought that our leisure centre could be closed, which would have stopped thousands of children’s swimming lesson. I was elected in part by residents who were horrified by this idea, adding further misery at an already difficult time for many people. I am delighted that we have finally been listened to and I will now be working to secure the investment we need in our youth and leisure facilities. I think many people will agree that thirteen devastating years of Conservative Party cuts and austerity will shortly come to an end.”


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