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Save Friary Grange campaign: Cllr Paul Ray says “Lets’ pack out The Garrick on 7 Oct”

August 18, 2019 9:10 PM

Paul Ray - 2015 Election

Lib Dem Councillor Paul Ray has urged residents to attend the Lichfield District Council meeting on 7 October at 6pm at The Garrick Theatre when the future of The Friary Grange Leisure Centre will be decided.

Paul Ray said that "I and Cllr Jo Grange met with Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Councillor last Friday to discuss the Friary Grange Leisure Centre and had a positive meeting.

I totally oppose the decision to close the centre and have been working with Cllr Jo Grange, other councillors and the Save The Friary Grange campaign group to make sure this just does not happen.

I know that many other councillors across all parties feel the same.

The next key date is the Cabinet meeting of Lichfield District Council on 7 October at 6pm which will decide the future of The Friary Grange Leisure Centre. This meeting is to be held in public at The Garrick Theatre.

The campaign to Save The Friary Grange has been very high profile and vocal. And it is clear that the campaign is having a real impact. The council is in no doubt about the strength of feeling in our community. And we need to make sure that The Garrick Theatre is filled to the rafters on 7 October. Anyone can attend and so I urge residents to attend to ensure that your council knows exactly how the community feels about this issue.

Doug Pullen confirmed on Friday that solutions for the short-term (keeping the centre open) and long term (new leisure facility) are both being actively explored. It was also good to hear that progress is being made with negotiations with Staffordshire County Council and there is a more collaborative approach to those discussions.

I have said to Doug Pullen that the period of delay for the closure must not be an exercise in "kicking the can down the road". From the meeting on Friday I took away that there is a real desire from Doug Pullen to find a solution. We have to find one as this is what the community is expecting of its council."