The MP for Batley & Spen is keen to make sure Kirklees Council and Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) help the groups find suitable accommodation.
Mrs Cox said: “I would never tell campaigners to give up their fight to keep the centre open but the sad fact is that Kirklees Cabinet have now made their decision. It really is a sad day for users of the centre and I remain critical of some of the ways in which the decision was made.”
“Whitcliffe Mount did, and still does, a lot right. It was a big, positive part of a number of peoples lives. Local people have every right to protest and, importantly, to demand good sports facilities in Spen.”
The final decision was taken last night at a cabinet meeting held in public at the sports centre in front of over 100 local people. Findings of the Local Government Ombudsman meant that the decision, initially taken in 2013, had to be reconsidered by the current cabinet.
“I believe my job now is to help the current users and groups find new homes until new facilities can be made available,” said Mrs Cox. “The council’s commitment to invest some £15m in a new facility at the site of the Spen baths can not come soon enough, and the design needs to accommodate as many of the current users of Whitcliffe as it possibly can. I will push very hard for that to happen.
“From two public meetings I have previously held I have a good list of current users and groups but it was clear from last night that not I am not in touch with all of them yet. I would urge everyone to get in touch, even if provision has already been offered to your group, because I want to know what is working and what isn’t.
“I have commitments from the leader of Kirklees, Cllr David Sheard, and the Chief Executive of KAL, Alistair Brown, to attend a public meeting in the new year. I want to make sure all of the current users and groups who need assistance in finding new local facilities can put their cases forward. If it takes more than one meeting to do that then so be it.”
The Spen MP has set up a special email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, for people to get in touch – but people can also telephone her office on 01924 910 499 or write to Jo Cox MP, 3-5 Branch Road, Batley, WF17 5RY.