Save Temple Cowley Pools & Fitness Centre!

The Campaign to Save Temple Cowley Pools & Fitness Centre!

City Executive Board Meeting 10th December - Our View

Firstly, we'd like to thank all the people who took the time to come to the meeting - the packed meeting room underlined the massive popular support to keep Temple Cowley Pools open.

We were naturally disappointed with the result, but not surprised given that it was this same committee that voted to close Temple Cowley Pools in the first place.

And we were surprised that the Labour councillors showed not sign of supporting a Social Enterprise that is no cost or risk to the council. It has to be of great concern to people of East Oxford that the councillors did not discuss the 'bigger' issues that the SaveTCP cic proposal represents:

  • No discussion of the effect of closing facilities like leisure centres has on an area. Independent research demonstrates clearly how not only is there an increase in obesity and related disease, but an increase in crime as well. And it is well established that if you are forced to travel more than 15 minutes to a leisure centre, you don't go as frequently or at all.

  • And no acknowledgement of the huge positive social impact that health, fitness and community facilities have on an area. We showed how, using a standard methodology accepted and endorsed by central government to measure community value, keeping Temple Cowley open would deliver over £20m of value to the community each year.

And having said they wanted to give us every chance to present the benefits of our proposal, instead of the positive discussion we expected around what the council would find acceptable in terms of a price, timing and plan, we were subjected to a series of carefully orchestrated questions around carbon emissions (where we've already demonstrated many times before how efficient Temple Cowley Pools is) and volunteer scheduling, as well as vague comments such as they expected much more detail from us. In a fifteen minute presentation - were they really serious? The conclusion can only be that they were playing lip service to their process, going through the motions to rubber stamp a decision already made. As usual with a City Executive Board, no discussion, just a decision. 

It remains unfortunate that the Council remains unwilling to discuss in any way how a community social enterprise could take over and operate a facility that the council doesn't want to run.

Thanks to the Green Party councillors who spoke on our behalf, particularly highlighting the wider issues that our proposal represents. And to Cllr Simmons, who as Chair of Scrutiny Committee has called in the decision. This means the discussion moves to the Scrutiny Committee meeting on 23rd December. Watch this space for more information...

We'd like to know what you think! 
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If you are looking for the SaveTCP Community Interest Company, putting together a bid to take over operating Temple Cowley Pools & Fitness Centre, AND OUR NEW PLANS click HERE to go to those pages.

If you are looking for information about the Campaign generally, you are in the right place - keep browsing and welcome!


Now near the end of our fifth year of campaigning, with massive continuing public support - the City Council wanted it shut over two years ago, but you have all helped keep it open. We only have until January 2015 before the Council plans to demolish our centre, Temple Cowley Pools needs everyone's help NOW.

The Save Temple Cowley Pools Campaign has been fighting since 2009 to keep open the Temple Cowley Pools & Fitness Centre in Temple Road, Oxford, condemned to closure by Oxford City Council.


We have huge support across Oxford to keep the centre open, including the first petition that reached over 12,000 signatures before we stopped - the largest in Oxford, simply ignored by the administration. We've continued with a succession of petitions that show people's frustration with the City Council. Petition number 7 was debated at the Council meeting on 14th April.


Oxford City Council want to close Temple Cowley Pools and the existing Blackbird Leys swimming pool and replace it with only a non-Olympic, 25m swimming pool next to Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre. There are lots of reasons why we think this shouldn't happen, and we continually find evidence that supports keeping Temple Cowley Pools open.


It simply doesn't make sense to build a new swimming pool for what will be over £13m in a place where there's no evidence of demand, when £3m will refurbish and improve both Temple Cowley Pools and the existing Blackbird Leys pool. Temple Cowley Pools continues to be extremely popular despite the Council deliberately running it down to try and put people off.

As of December 2014, the Council has continued to defy public opinion, voting in an all-Labour City Executive Board meeting to go with a commercial developer wanting to put 47 dwellings and 53 car park spaces on the site. Our community Social Enterprise proposal, presented by the SaveTCP community interest company, was dismissed without any public discussion, and without us being told what the council would find acceptable. Our proposal represents £20m annual value delivered to the community, and the council has defied its voters and shown it is simply not interested. The next meeting will be the Scrutiny Committee on 23rd December.

Please browse these pages for lots more information and background, particularly the blog. Send us an email at for any questions, comments and/or to add your name to our email list.

We also appear on Twitter @SaveTCP (see rhs of this page for our Twitter feed) and on Facebook


Get involved! We remain an active Campaign focused on keeping Temple Cowley Pools open beyond the (current) planned closure date of early 2015. The Council needs to be constantly challenged because it is determined to get its way and is continually putting out information that we demonstrate time and again is a combination of MISLEADING, INACCURATE, INCOMPLETE and UNTRUE.

We meet every Sunday evening,     7-8 pm at the Karma Restaurant, 152 Oxford Road, just round from TCP - please come along and help keep Temple Cowley Pools open!
Karma Restaurant, 152 Oxford Road, Cowley, Oxford OX4

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38 Degrees Online Petition - PLEASE SIGN!

We now have an online petition on the international campaigning site 38 Degrees. Go there NOW and sign to show your support - click HERE

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Sunday, Dec 21 at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday, Dec 23 All Day
Sunday, Dec 28 at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Comments from real people...

All the comments above have been collected from real people who have freely given their view.