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.
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.
A total of 91.7 per cent of those who completed the survey oppose building a new leisure centre at Broomburn Park, whilst 89.5 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent of residents choosing one of the three options to keep leisure centre provision at Eastwood Park as their first preference whilst less than 5 per cent 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 said that they 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, said: “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 per cent of respondents rejected the building of a new leisure centre at Broomburn Park, whilst 89.5 per cent 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.”
However, East Renfrewshire Council again stressed that no decision has yet been made on the location of the leisure centre and a report is still to go before councillors following a feasibility study of Eastwood park.
A council spokesman said: “It is important to reiterate that no decision has been made on a potential site for a new leisure centre within the Eastwood area.
“Councillors agreed on October 31 to a new study being carried out to look at the feasibility of a new leisure centre in Eastwood Park. Once this work has been completed, a further report will be considered by councillors. Since the previous consultant’s report was carried out, a number of factors relating to Eastwood Park have changed, therefore a further analysis and options for the potential for a new build leisure centre on the park is being undertaken at this stage.
“The public consultation carried out earlier this year attracted 3,601 responses from residents, which is one of the biggest responses ever to an East Renfrewshire consultation. Of those who responded, 87 per cent expressed a desire to have more modern, revamped leisure facility for the Eastwood area.”