East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton, and Eastwood MSP, Jackson Carlaw, have released the initial findings of their survey of local residents in the Broomburn and Shawwood area regarding the potential construction of a new leisure centre on local greenspace.
A recent East Renfrewshire Council meeting confirmed that Shawwood Park was the preferred site for a new leisure centre, with Broomburn Park second preference. Local residents were quick to voice their objections, however the SNP-Labour administration refused to back a Conservative motion which would have protected urban green space, such as Shawwood, Broomburn and Overlee Parks, from development.
Concerns had been raised about the council’s own consultation carried out earlier this year, so the MP and MSP took action to directly contact households around the two parks, many of whom had said they were unaware of the possible development, and so had not been given a proper opportunity to take part in the council consultation.
91.7% of those who completed the survey oppose building a new leisure centre at Broomburn Park, whilst 89.5% oppose building the new leisure centre at Shawwood Park.
The survey carried out by the MP and MSP confirmed that many local people did not engage with the council’s consultation because they simply didn’t know about it with a total of 442 constituents stating that they did not participate as they were not aware it was actually taking place.
In the same manner as the council survey, the Conservative politicians asked residents to rank in order of preference the four potential options for the future of leisure provision in Eastwood: (A) retain Eastwood Park; (B) Refurbish Eastwood Park; (C) New build facility at Eastwood Park; and (D) New build facility on a different site. The council survey produced results showing that 54% of those consulted selected option D, the building of a new build leisure centre on a different site within Eastwood as their first preference.
Mr Masterton and Mr Carlaw’s survey obtained a completely different response with 93% of residents choosing one of the three options to keep leisure centre provision at Eastwood Park as their first preference whilst less than 5% backed building a new leisure centre on a different site within Eastwood as their first preference, raising questions of legitimacy over the council run consultation.
Local Conservative politicians at all levels will continue to push the Council to rethink their plans, with their preference to see a new leisure facility built on the existing Eastwood Park site.
Paul Masterton, MP for East Renfrewshire, commented:
“Residents are completely clear that these well used and loved community parks should not be lost to development. A new leisure facility would be very welcome, but it should be on the existing site, not achieved by concreting over what little urban greenspace is left. Jackson Carlaw and I will continue to stand with residents and their Save Shawwood campaign. It is time the Council put residents first. “
Eastwood MSP, Jackson Carlaw added:
“Over 91.7% of respondents rejected the building of a new leisure centre at Broomburn Park, whilst 89.5% rejected the same proposal at Shawwood Park. Our survey found very little support for the building of a new leisure centre on a different site within Eastwood, in stark contrast to the consultation results reported by the council. We also discovered that many people were not aware the online consultation had even taken place and so we were not given a proper opportunity by the local authority to have their voices heard. This gives us even greater reason to doubt the legitimacy of the council’s own consultation into the future of leisure provision in Eastwood.’