We were all shocked on 12th January to find the list of leisure facilities that have been proposed for potential closure by Edinburgh Leisure due to the funding gap that the City of Edinburgh Council receives from the Scottish Government. This includes the Gracemount Leisure Centre in my constituency.
This funding gap from the Scottish Government now sits at £58.6m this year and means that council services are once again being cut to the bone, as the SNP have done since they entered government in 2007. One in four Scottish local authorities are warning of effective bankruptcy and the unfunded council tax freezes announced in Humza Yousaf’s speech to SNP conference in October have left councils with no choice but to make cuts to keep vital statutory services running (leisure is not a statutory service).
Nevertheless, Gracemount Leisure is a cherished community asset build to be at the heart of the community, and provides vital facilities to many in the local and wider area.
Since the proposed closures were announced, constituents have been in touch to say how important the centre is to them, providing facilities for children, the elderly and disabled people to exercise and socialise. In fact, for many in the area, going to the leisure centre is often their only point of regular social contact.
The GP crisis in South East Edinburgh is well-known among constituents after the SNP scrapped new proposed practices in Liberton and Gilmerton and Gracemount Medical Practices frequently has to text its patients asking them to stay away from the practice due to short-staffing. The facilities provided by the leisure centre are crucial to improving the mental and physical health of residents and taking the burden off of health facilities further down the line.
Please sign my petition to the Scottish Government asking them to rethink their funding of the City of Edinburgh Council to save our vital public services and facilities from closure. We will also pass the petition to the Council and Edinburgh Leisure to show the strength of feeling in the local community against these proposals.
Save Gracemount Leisure Centre
A petition to Save Gracemount Leisure Centre from closure.