WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 26th October 2022

No investment in Sport in Wantage

The District Council has announced that they have installed new LED lighting in the pool area and car park at the White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre in Abingdon at a cost of £78,858.94, with over £70,000 coming from developer contributions.

Regular readers will know that £ millions of developer contributions were put aside for the new Wessex Leisure Centre planned for Mably Way which was then cancelled.

That money is still shown in the District Council records as reserved for the ‘Wessex Leisure Centre’ even though this centre is no longer planned.

In the meantime, people complain that the water in the pool in Wantage Leisure Centre is colder than in Didcot or Abingdon and that there is no toddler pool in Wantage.

I hear that many of the showers don’t work, the lockers are broken, and keys and wristbands are missing in the changing rooms in Wantage.

Before Covid the Wantage Leisure Centre was open until 10pm all week long, but now they close at 5pm on the weekends.

It seems that once again Wantage is being forgotten.

Both Faringdon and Abingdon centres have had significant funds spent on them in the last few years but not Wantage.

We have asked questions about the future plans for sports facilities in this area several times at Council meetings and were first told that a new Leisure Strategy would be completed in 2021 and now that work won’t start on it until next year at the earliest.

This is another Council term where nothing is done to improve facilities in this area.

It doesn’t seem to matter which political party is running the Council, all of them seem to forget Wantage when there is money to be spent and only remember we exist when they need somewhere to put new homes.

Perhaps it’s a little like the TV series “Yes Minister” where it’s the officers that make the decisions anyway and they don’t care about Wantage or don’t take any notice of our Councillors.

Perhaps it’s just that our Councillors aren’t interested in leisure so don’t push for things that would be beneficial to our community.

I don’t know the reason why but I do know that the evidence shows that very little money is spent on sports facilities in Wantage and in the six years that I have been writing this column nothing has changed.

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