Cllr Simon Wheale: Labour making the wrong choice by shutting Withington Baths.

Simon and John and supporters outside Withington Baths

Simon and John and supporters outside Withington Baths

On Saturday, John Leech and I met with local residents and campaigners  to launch the campaign and petition to save Withington Baths following the shock decision by Labour’s Town Hall bosses to propose closing the historic Baths on Burton Road sometime after April.

On saturday afternoon, several thousand petition forms were delivers, and already over 400 petition forms have been returned.

There is also an on-line petition, current with over 500 signatures, which you can find at

Labour’s Finance chiefs in Manchester are making the wrong choices. They have decided to turn down nearly £1.5Million in Government money to freeze the Council Tax, to put up the Council Tax by nearly 4% and to close Withington and Levenshulme Baths. These are the wrong choices when difficult decisions have to be made.”

“It is crazy that Labour Councillors, in this area, agreed to spend nearly half a million pounds of local Council taxpayers’ money on one night’s celebrity concert last September and now can’t find the same amount of money from a Council budget of £1.5Billion to save Withington Baths for the next two years.”

Please join our campaign to save Withington Baths.

9 responses to “Cllr Simon Wheale: Labour making the wrong choice by shutting Withington Baths.

  1. I blame the Euro Zone and the Labour Party, not necessarily in that order. This would not have happened had we not been in the EU. We must withdraw straight away. Nasty bloody foreigners, closing our swimming baths down!

  2. Great support for the Withington Baths and Leisure Centre!
    Please also join #savewithingtonbaths campaign on Twitter : @SaveWithyBaths
    Thanks 🙂

  3. The logic of the EU’s responsibility for the closure of Withington Baths escapes me. It’s clear to me that the Coalition Government is behind this, not the Labour local authority, with the disastrous (and utterly counterproductive) ‘austerity’ programme which all commentators agree has failed. And that includes the Lib Dem support which legitimises this government.

  4. It’s not about using this situation to get one up over labour. Its about making sensible decisions for a community, whatever the political sway. We could go another step back and ask why they have to make cuts, then back again. How far back do we go? Blame is not constructive.

  5. What we have is baths, libraries and nursery services being closed,street cleaning being reduced (it has been poor outside the city center for years) with proposals to build a baths on the communal green space at Hough End and all because the bankers caused a massive economic recession because Labour Governments were entirely biased in favour of business. The Tories (who are also biased in favour of business) have taken advantage of the situation, with the help of the Lib Dems, to begin to dismantle the welfare state, the NHS and social amenities.
    No cuts would be necessary if we saved on tax evasion, £100 billion a year, foreign wars (£8 billion a year), Trident £2 billion.
    Despite all this, if the Labour Council didn’t spend on prestige projects like the multimillion pound development of St Peters Square, £440,000 pop concerts, £2 million a year susidising a football museum, owning a football stadium,buying up airports, building new roads to Ringway, we wouldn’t need to be closing baths and libraries.
    These parties are prioritising business before peoples needs. It hardly needs saying that in one of the richest countries in the world, Manchester is the child poverty capital.
    Sam Darby, Green Party.

  6. There is a serious problem with this line that accepting a grant for freezing Council Tax would allow there to be fewer cuts now isn’t there? That is absolutely, utterly untrue. Taking the grant would need some £5m MORE cuts in the two year budget cycle. And in every future cycle it would be worse as there would be no freeze grant then.
    Simon knows that, John knows that, Lib Dems all know that. Repeating it knowing it to be untrue? That is hopeless lying really. The Brentford Town Council (Tory) in Eric Pickles’ own Brentford and Ongar Constituency is not taking the freeze grant. And Lib Dem controlled Stockport MBC council is not taking it either.
    The people of Manchester know who is to blame for the unfair settlement on Manchester people. And they also know that Simon, as finance spokesperson and now as opposition leader, has continued to claim that horrendous settlement is in some way generous. It’s there in the transcripts of Full Council. What isn’t there of course is any kind of criticism whatsoever of the brutal and vindictive cuts from the Lib Dem enabled government on great Northern Cities.
    If the Community in Withington, working with Labour councillors, finding creative ways to amend the Executive’s Draft Budget, manage to save Withington Baths and Leisure Centre until a new facility is built nearby AND get support to develop an asset transfer to continue community use, that will be no thanks to Simon and John.
    They are cheerleaders for the neo-Thatcherite Tory-LibDem government. And the dishonesty of this campaign is frankly astounding. The LibDem petition is worthless because it is based on lies. If you want to change the budget you should sign the community petition on paper or online at Thank you.

  7. It is absolutely astounding that Cllr. Wheale thinks he can con the good people of Withington like this. Liberal Democrats, including John Leech in Parliament have supported catastrophic local government settlements imposed on Manchester City Council under their coalition government. Cllr. Wheale has had the brass neck to praise these cutbacks, in Manchester Council meetings! And then, to top it off, he protests against the consequences of cutbacks that he supports! All the while, running around Withington ward, fooling people into signing a worthless Lib-Dem petition, instead of at least offering the genuine community petition ( And all this while Cllr. Chris Paul spends his time and energy actually working with Council officers and residents in Withington to try and find sensible, community-based alternatives to closing the Leisure Centre.

    The shamelessness of the photo above, the callous manipulation of local people, and the bare-faced lies of this campaign led by Cllr. Wheale are just some of the things Withington people are going to remember when they go to the local polls next year. I never thought you’d be this desperate Simon. Just how exactly do you sleep at night???

  8. Pingback: Help me raise £500 for Withington Baths |·

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