Paralympic hopeful, Lyndon Longhorne presents petition to save Crook leisure centre

A PARALYMPIC hopeful has called on a council not to close the leisure centre where he learned to swim.

Lyndon Longhorne hands over a petition to save Glenholme Leisure Centre to Linda Marshall, vice chairman of Durham County Council, right.

Lyndon Longhorne, 15, from Crook, County Durham, yesterday handed a 4,000 signature petition to Durham County Council, which is consulting over plans to close the town’s leisure centre.

If we hadn’t been able to go to a pool so close to home, Lyndon may not have been able to develop his talent for swimming.”

Lyndon’s mother, Tammy Shevels

Glenholme Leisure Centre, which includes a gym and swimming pool, is one of six earmarked for closure as the council aims to save £1.3m a year.

The other endangered leisure centres include facilities in Sherburn, Ushaw Moor, Coxhoe, Pity Me and Ferryhill.

Lyndon, who lost both legs, an arm and part of his hand to meningitis when just nine months old, was originally taken to the pool by his grandfather.

His mother Tammy Shevels said he had learned to swim in Crook and had the pool not been so close to his home, it is unlikely he would have developed his passion for the sport.

Lynson is currently aiming to qualify for the paralympic games in 2012.

She said: “If we hadn’t been able to go to a pool so close to home, Lyndon may not have been able to develop his talent for swimming.

“We will do everything we can to stop it from closing.”

County councillor Eddie Murphy is one of leaders of the campaign and is part of a new group of Crook residents looking at taking over the management of the leisure centre should the council decide to close it.

He said the petition had been signed by residents from Crook, Willington, Tow Law and other surrounding villages.

Councillor Murphy also handed over 289 letters written by school children calling for the centre to be saved.

He said: “The number of signatures shows the strength of feeling against the closure of the pool, I hope the council gets the message that we do not want our leisure centre to close.”

Terry Collins, director of Neighbourhood Services at Durham County Council, said: “We completely understand that this is an emotive subject and that all the facilities will be valued by the people that use them and of course the staff working there.

“It is for precisely these reasons that we have done everything we can to engage with the widest audience possible throughout the extensive consultation process.”

The consultation ends today with business plans from groups wanting to manage the centres due by Friday, June 10.

Tags: , , , ,