Plaid Town Councillors slam Labour Cabinet decision that threatens leisure centres


Plaid Cymru Town Councillors Rhys Mills and Zoe Hammond have hit out at Wednesday's decision by the Labour Cabinet at Caerphilly Council that threatens the closure of leisure centres in Islwyn. 

Speaking on Radio Cymru, Councillor Rhys Mills had urged the Cabinet to implement a motion from opposition councillors and send the controversial consultation document to the full council. 

Councillor Mills said: "Over 15 primary schools use Cefn Fforest Leisure Centre and Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre had record footfall in the year leading up to the announcement of the leisure strategy. It is simply unacceptable that 10 Cabinet members’ make such a huge decision, the decision should be made by full 73 members of the council." 

Both Plaid councillors have been working with the 'Save Our Leisure Centres' campaign group and attended Wednesday’s crucial Cabinet meeting during which they voted through the controversial leisure strategy. 

Speaking after the meeting Councillor Zoe Hammond voiced her dismay at the decision pointing to the over 5,000 signatures collected on the campaign group’s petition and the hundreds of people who marched in protest through Blackwood. 

She said: "We had hoped that the Labour Cabinet would listen to the people of the County Borough and send the strategy to be debated by full council. Their failure to do so shows a lack of judgement. They have effectively let the people of Islwyn down. This isn't about money, it's about political decisions. "

Both councillors drew attention to Islwyn Labour MP Chris Evans’ damning statement on the decision. It read: “I am very sorry that a Labour cabinet has decided not to listen to the voice of the people they are meant to serve.”

Both councillors are not giving up on the campaign with Councillor Zoe Hammond adding: “This isn't over. We will fight these cuts to our services at every opportunity.”