COUNCILLORS in Leeds have agreed to hand over the running of an Edwardian-era swimming baths and three libraries to local volunteers.
Leeds Council had decided Bramley Baths and some libraries were too expensive to run and yesterday agreed that community groups could take over.
Labour MP for Leeds West Rachel Reeves, who helped the Bramley campaign, said: “I am delighted that Leeds City Council have made the decision to transfer ownership of Bramley Baths to the Friends of Bramley Baths.
“This group of community volunteers have worked extremely hard, giving up much of their free time to prepare a business plan and negotiate with the council and I am glad that their efforts have paid off so that Bramley Baths can remain open for the community.
“This time last year the Friends of Bramley Baths didn’t exist and myself and local councillors were fighting and campaigning hard just to keep the Baths open, with amazing backing and support from the people of Bramley.
“To see this group form out of a public meeting that I organised in Bramley Community Centre in June 2011 and witness the strength of feeling from the local community has been amazing and really shows the talent and commitment of the people of Bramley.
“I hope everyone in Bramley will support the efforts of the Friends of Bramley Baths and make that extra effort to visit and support the Baths when the Friends take over. This type of community venture needs the backing of the local community to succeed and I am sure that every person in Bramley will give their support to the group – without whom, the Baths would have had to close.”
Councillors also backed volunteers who want to run libraries in Shadwell, Rawdon and Drighlington.