Rachel Reeves MP

Member of Parliament for Leeds West

Victory in Sight for Friends of Bramley Baths

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As featured in the Yorkshire Evening Post today it is expected that senior councillors at Leeds City Council are expected to agree that control of the historic Bramley Baths be handed to the Friends of Bramley Baths, a group of community volunteers, under the council's community asset transfer policy.

"I am delighted to hear that the Friends of Bramley Baths are close to taking on ownership of Bramley Baths and hope that we will be celebrating next week when the Council make their final decision. The Friends have worked incredibly hard to try and keep the Baths open for the people of Bramley and I wish them every success and hope that the local community will give them their full support"

The Bramley Baths Campaign:

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The campaign to save Bramley Baths has been ongoing since early 2011, when the Baths faced the threat of total closure due to cuts to Leeds City Council's budget and Rachel, alongside local councillors, began the fight to keep the Baths open and ensure that opening hours weren't reduced too low. Local schools got involved in the campaign from the start when it became clear that their school swimming lessons at the Baths were under threat and hundreds of local residents signed petitions and wrote letters to Rachel's office voicing their support for the campaign.

As the campaign progressed into June 2011 Rachel gained the support of Olympic hero Duncan Goodhew and hosted a public meeting, which over 100 local residents attended, to share their ideas for the future and hear what a potential community asset transfer would entail. Attendees at the meeting voted in favour of exploring the community asset transfer option and more than 20 local people volunteered to be part of a working group. This group of community volunteers, with the involvement of local charities BARCA Leeds and Bramley Elderly Action, became the Friends of Bramley Baths, chaired by former Leeds West MP John Battle.

In July 2011 Rachel organised and took part in a sponsored swim at the Baths with pupils from local primary schools, as well as the Director of the Victorian Society, Ian Dungavell. The pupils raised over £500 for the Baths and gained significant coverage for the Bramley Baths campaign through their efforts.

In October 2011, with the Friends of Bramley Baths working hard to prepare a proposal and business plan, local film makers Interplay launched their great film about Bramley Baths and why it should remain open and Rachel toured local primary schools who had supported the campaign to show them the video and get their thoughts and ideas about the future of the Baths.

In January 2012 the Friends of Bramley Baths submitted their bid to Leeds City Council, after months of hard work, and now we are just a week away from knowing if the group will be given the go ahead to take ownership of the Baths. We wish the Friends of Bramley Baths every success and hope to hear good news next week!

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